NYC Starbucks: 81st & Columbus

10 Feb


This weekend I received a birthday present from New York City in the form of a blizzard.

The word blizzard may not be a friendly term to most, but as a recovering-Floridian, this weekend was a unique and enjoyable experience. The city slowed, and the people took a moment to chill — literally. Central Park is currently a winter wonderland of snow covered trees, sledding children, and lovers walking hands entwined.

My explorations in Central Park led me to the Upper West Side and the Starbucks on the corner of 81st & Columbus. One of Manhattan’s most affluent neighborhoods, the UWS is juxtaposed by its equivalent across the park — the Upper East Side. Both residential neighborhoods — the UWS is considered to house the artistic and cultural, while the UES  is home to the commercial and business crowd. One of the most notable features that I’ve seen in this neighborhood is the contrasting colors of the residential facades. They go from white, to red, to green, and back again in a close proximity that really highlights the gorgeous architecture of each.

This particular Starbucks reflects the Upper West Side affluence quite well. Filled with comfy chairs and evenly spaced seating, this location attempts to defy the cramped NYC culture, and spaced evenly between the 1-Train and Central Park  its in a prime location. The maple wood decor is also a pleasant contrast from most dark-espresso locations in the city. But don’t just take my word for it, come see it yourself.

Believe it or not — personal space is actually possible here!

The Good:

The Location… One block from Central Park and surrounded by tons of shops and restaurants.

The Amenities… Comfy chairs, large and small tables, and cushioned benches. Personal space is not forgotten in this NYC Starbucks. They even have some benches outside for those who can’t find a seat indoors.

The Bad:

The Restroom… Just one for both Men & Women. And after using it, one of the patrons commented to me, “That was a scary experience…”

The Size… Yes the seating is comfortable and spacious  but there’s just not that much of it. I was fortunate to score a seat, but there were definitely a lot of people forced out into the cold with their warm drinks.

Barista Friendliness:

On par.


Drink of Choice: 

Iced-Grande Chai Tea Latte


Overall Starbucks Rating:

This Starbucks is reminiscent of the Florida locations I used to frequent — comfy seating and room to spread out.



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