Archive | April, 2013

NYC Starbucks: 42nd & Madison

6 Apr


Let me preface this post by saying that this Starbucks is actually between Madison and Park on 42nd Street; however, for clarity’s sake I named it after the cross-street I felt it was closer to.

This Midtown Starbucks’ absence of a bathroom finally inspired me to research New York City’s codes and laws concerning public restrooms and food service establishments. And — of course — the New York Times was there to provide me with my answer. Check out this 2012 article about NYC’s shifting policy on restroom rules in restaurants. Or if you’re lazy (it’s okay, I understand) just read below:

Restaurants with under 20 seats: NO RESTROOM REQUIRED

Restaurants with seating between 20 and 30: ONE UNISEX RESTROOM REQUIRED

Restaurants with 30 or more seats: TWO GENDER SPECIFIC RESTROOMS REQUIRED

And there you have it. It all makes sense now. Since most Starbucks probably are capable of seating between 20-30 patrons, the one-unisex restroom makes perfect sense. Whereas a Starbucks of the same size in Florida would most definitely have two gender specific restrooms — and that’s because of the differing city codes. Space is of great value here in NYC, so why waste space on one or two bathrooms when you don’t need to.

This Starbucks has only 7 seats, so despite the fact that they are in a highly trafficked and see many patrons, they are well below the city code for a restroom requirement. Keep that in mind the next time you walk into a Starbucks, small deli, or cafe. Do a quick seat count before complaining that they need to have a restroom. Maybe they do — maybe they don’t.

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NYC Starbucks: 29th & Park

4 Apr


I’ve stumbled upon another behemoth Starbucks in New York City.

The location on 29th & Park is in a small Manhattan neighborhood known as Rose Hill. Not exactly why this neighborhood is named Rose “Hill” since the geography doesn’t seem to differ from any of the surrounding neighborhoods, but I’m not gonna sweat it. This area is referred to as Little India (or Curry Way), because there is a stretch of Indian restaurants and markets just a block away down Lexington Ave. I highly recommend grabbing some naan and  chicken tikka masala in this neighborhood.

Another thing this neighborhood has going for it is this awesome Starbucks. Looking like it was newly renovated, it offers plenty of space to read, write, or chat. It has plenty of lighting, a stylish decor, and a Halal truck right outside if you’re looking for some of New York’s fine cuisine. Transportation isn’t the best in this area, but the local 6-train is relatively nearby. A consistent crowd lurks inside, but this Starbucks is designed to house a good amount of us caffeine addicts.

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NYC Starbucks: 21st & 5th

3 Apr


I walked into the Starbucks on 21st and 5th today, and half expected a hostess to show me to my table. Then I had to remind myself that this is simply another Starbucks.

It was the decor that tricked me. A small area is set up in the front (almost resembling a waiting area), and beyond that a larger seating area is revealed under the light of a chandelier. This combined with the light music and framed photographer made me second-guess my place and time. If Starbucks were to open up an high end tea house, it would resemble this location.

Now there’s an idea. A sit down Starbucks. Imagine walking in — or even calling ahead! — to get a seat at the Starbucks Lounge. They’d serve coffee table-side and have made-to-order breakfast sandwiches, food platters, and pastries. It would definitely take Starbucks to the next level and separate them from the McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts of the world. Of course if they were to ever do anything like this, they’d need one in New York and one in Seattle as the flagship store.

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NYC Starbucks: 60th & 3rd

1 Apr


I hate to start the month off with anything less than the best, but today’s Upper East Side Starbucks was anything but impressive.

This is the second location in a week that I have been unable to connect to WiFi. I thought it was an April Fool’s joke or something. Now I will admit that I have had previous encounters with this location and been able to access WiFi just fine. They were obviously having an issue today. Maybe that’s why it was pretty vacant when usually it contains quite the crowd.

Still… in today’s age having a Starbucks without WiFi (even for a moment) is like living on the 10th floor without an elevator. You don’t need it, but you really really want it.

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Reflection: March

1 Apr

march - Copy

A quarter of the year has come and gone and I still find myself wanting to write 2012 whenever I mark the date. I’ve been in NYC for 8 months now, and I have only 9 months left of my bizarre journey through the Starbucks of Manhattan. But I’ve encountered a problem… The Starbucks seem to be multiplying. First one of my colleagues joyfully informed me of the opening of one near her apartment on 28th and Lex. Then I spot one myself sprouting up on top the F-Train stop on 63rd and Lex. Who can say how many new ones will pop up before the year’s end. Clearly my original calculation of 201 needs to be adjusted.

But where do I stand so far… In the month of March I visited 16 locations in 11 different neighborhoods. Although I did better this month than I did in February, I still find myself falling short of my goal. 1/4 of the year is already over, and I’ve visited a total of 44 unique Starbucks locations. But at this rate, I’ll only get to 176 by the year’s end. Here’s hoping that the warming weather will make me a more devoted wanderer of the streets of Manhattan.

My favorite Starbucks of March has to be the TriBeCa location on Leonard and West Broadway. Not only did it open my eyes to a new neighborhood in the city, but it was the only Starbucks this month to receive 5-Cups. My least favorite, not surprisingly, was a Midtown location. The Starbucks on 43rd and 6th was too cramped and lacked the accommodations to receive anything more than 1-Cup.

So there we have it. 44 down… who know exactly how many to go.

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