October was an exciting month for me. Not only did I get to visit more Starbucks this month than any before — a whopping 25! — but I also was able to visit 22 of those within the first 20 days of the month. Is my newfound blogging rapidity all because the year is coming to a close? No I wouldn’t say that’s entirely the reason. Yes — I’m well aware that I’ve only 60 days left to visit the remaining Starbucks in Manhattan. But also, I’m growing more and more excited to hunt down the remaining thirty-some-odd Starbucks I’ve yet to see. Each one brings a new element of surprise and brings me that much closer to completing my goal.
Another reason this month was exciting is because of Starbucks began to actively engage in a political debate over the government shutdown. While normally I avoid politics like I would a sniffling colleague, Starbucks involvement truly intrigued me. In fact, its presence was so pervasive in my blog that I was interviewed and then quoted in an NBC news article on the Starbucks petition to end the shutdown. Clearly I’m no political pundit, but it felt great to be included in a news story that was so familiar and prevalent in my life.
As for the quality of these 25 Starbucks, only one received a 5-Cup rating; seven were 4-Cup; nine were 3-Cup; five were 2-Cup; and three were 1-Cup stores. Which means that I visited just as many good Starbucks as I did bad ones. My favorite was a towering two-story location on 88th & Broadway in the Upper West Side, while my least favorite were — not surprisingly — in Midtown and the Financial District.
Another fact I found out this month that’s worth mentioning is there are some Starbucks here in Manhattan that are only accessible to a select group of people. A great example of that is the Starbucks at the New York Stock Exchange. Without security clearance to enter 11 Wall Street, you cannot visit the Starbucks within. And I discovered a few Midtown locations that have the same policy. This is something I probably should have guessed at earlier — I mean it is logical — but I just assumed that any Starbucks in NYC was open to the public. Clearly, that’s not the case. Now I find myself asking exactly how will I get to see that handful of unique limited-access Starbucks, or will I end the year regretting those few locations that got slipped through the cracks?
There are only two months left in the year of 2013. I’ve visited 170 Starbucks so far. And my appetite for Starbucks is still just as strong as when I started.