If the neighborhoods of Manhattan were competing in a beauty pageant, I feel the Upper West Side would take it by a landslide. Not only does it border Central Park, but it has some of the prettiest buildings and unique architecture (take note of some of the street art and statuary I captured above). It’s less congested, and you can take your time to walk slowly and window shop without becoming a barrier to the go-getters of NYC.
As a gay man, I often tend to look at the city through a rainbow colored lens. The “gay scene” in Manhattan has been on a steady migration ever since the days of Stonewall (1969). Over the past 40 some odd years, the gays have been slowly working their way up the west side of the island. From the West Village to Chelsea to Hell’s Kitchen. You can see the remnants of this slow migration in slug-like trail of stereotypes: The Village houses the “old gays” while Chelsea is for the “muscle daddies” and HK is for “the youngins.”
Always being a forward thinking person, this train of thought has driven me to the conclusion that the Upper West Side will be the next big gay neighborhood within the next 20 years. The proof is in the past and present. As Chelsea bars begin to close and reemerge in HK, the same thing is bound to happen as rent in HK continue to rise. Also since the city was built up — with the northern neighborhoods being newer than the south — there is more room to spread out here.
Building on this stereotype even further, this inevitable migration of gay men with their expendable incomes will certainly lead to more Upper West Side Starbucks. I really hope you can read the jest in my voice here, people!
This Starbucks on 73rd & Columbus is a good example of why I have not grown bored of visiting Starbucks after Starbucks here in Manhattan. Every now and then I stumble upon one that is distinctive enough to keep me pushing forward on my coffee-colored journey.
This location is small but brewing with charm. It’s angled, glass-paneled walls and dark espresso decor attracted me immediately. Then I saw the little seating area separated by a mirrored half-wall and the adorableness factor of this location increased considerably. I believe this to be the first open mirror I’ve seen at any Starbucks so far. Although the restroom line runs long, I still recommend this as a homey and brightly lit Starbucks to spend some time in while on the Upper West Side.
The Location… Just a block away from Central Park and directly between the 1/2/3 and B/C subways stops.
The Seating… Window seating lines one corner and an adorable nook consisting of two raised tables and a mirror wall.
The Crowd… People coming and going but few taking up seats.
The Size… It’s a pint sized charm.
The Restroom… One with a sizable line.
Friendly and playful. Plus my green tea was in my hand by the time I whipped out my phone to pay.
Drink of Choice:
Grande Iced Green Tea… No Water. You can almost taste the antioxidants.
Overall Starbucks Rating:
A tiny but unique Upper West Side Starbucks.