About the Blog

My name is John McCourt, and I’m a Starbucks addict.

John McCourt Starbucks

My love interest in Starbucks began several years ago. However, it wasn’t until after moving to Manhattan in late 2012 that things got serious. There are just over 200 Starbucks on the island of Manhattan alone, and whether you’re a born-and-bred New Yorker, a city transplant, or a visitor in wanderlust you can’t help but find yourself stepping in and out of the city’s most prominent coffee shop.

So I ask the question. Are all Starbucks created equal?

Starbucks is known for consistency across the nation, but in a city of 201 individual locations, one cannot help but notice the differences. It is my theory that Starbucks can serve as a guide to the neighborhoods of Manhattan, with each store a reflection of its surroundings. So I’m giving myself a year. One year of trying new drinks in new neighborhoods across the city.

Join me in my journey as I discover New York City through its favorite guilty pleasure.


26 Responses to “About the Blog”

  1. John M January 8, 2013 at 8:52 AM #

    Bad, overpriced coffee only drinkable when loaded with cream, sugar and bizarre flavorings like pumpkin. Good luck to you, New York newbie. And may God rest your stomach.

  2. James C. Taylor January 8, 2013 at 11:35 AM #

    Hi John,

    I’ve managed to live New York for several years without ever setting foot in a Starbucks. I have succumbed to getting coffee there (usually when stuck at airports or visiting other states) but I’ve always found it unimpressive, not to mention over-priced. But hey, if you enjoy their product, great.

    However, since you claim to be interested in the neighborhoods of Manhattan, and stores being a reflection of their surroundings, surely you’d be better off supporting some of New York’s many local coffee shops that actually need the business to survive. Believe it or not, Starbucks doesn’t need you any more than New York needs Starbucks.

    Best of luck,


    Here’s a similar project of mine:

    • Harlequin Boy January 8, 2013 at 11:58 AM #

      If NYC had no Starbucks, where would everyone use the bathroom?
      Thanks for sharing and opinion noted.

      • Karin December 4, 2014 at 9:11 AM #

        Thank goodness for Starbucks and any other chain that actually has public restrooms! The Service New York City Forgot.

  3. Chuck January 8, 2013 at 11:38 AM #

    Couldn’t you learn about the neighborhoods and city in a better way? Find the oldest building in X block radius…longest living tenant in neighborhood…most successful family owned LOCAL business stories…so many options! Instead…you choose to sound like an idiot..telling stories about things we already know = you were fooled into overpriced coffee drinks and live like a robot. I’m sure you carry your People magazine under your arm, man bag draped from your wrist, STARBUCKS brand in hand while trying to txt on your glitter cased iPhone. STORY OF A VALLEY GIRL!

    • Harlequin Boy January 8, 2013 at 11:59 AM #

      The iPhone case is purple. 😉

    • Nicole W. January 13, 2013 at 2:36 PM #

      Haters never prosper Chuck Boy,

  4. James C. Taylor January 8, 2013 at 12:03 PM #

    That’s true — they have created inadvertently a citywide toilet chain. But I usually take my bathroom breaks in hotels — they’re cleaner.

  5. Kraisin January 8, 2013 at 1:04 PM #

    Too bad about the haters who need to be negative about everything. I’m glad you’re doing something you enjoy and writing about a company/culture/experience that’s become nothing short of ubiquitous on NYC street corners. I happen to like Starbucks coffee, yet I also frequent the small coffee shops that dot the streets in my native East Village. Looking forward to seeing another unique view on living in NYC! Cheers!

  6. Remco van der Heeft January 10, 2013 at 12:08 PM #

    Love your idea but you won’t set any record, a fellow citizen visted all 171 Starbucks in 1 day at that time. Check out here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwYxuV2dVzwx

  7. Lemon January 12, 2013 at 4:47 PM #

    I am really enjoying your blog so far. Ignore the critics. Good luck!

  8. alasnyc February 2, 2013 at 2:22 PM #

    I love your blog. It’s super creative!

  9. My Crazy NY Post-Grad Life July 29, 2013 at 11:27 PM #

    Okay, I’ve been to my fair share of Starbucks in NYC, the one on 43rd and 3rd is good during busy times – they take your order when you’re still in line so you don’t have to wait as long! VERYYY efficient if I do say so myself!

    <3, Charlotte

  10. pollynyc7 September 23, 2013 at 9:02 PM #

    I think this is amazing! I have been all over the country and parts of the world and Starbucks always gives me a feeling of home! Starbucks is all about the experience and when its good it puts me in such a happy place. That being said, when its bad, I want to scream! 😉 I have actually not been very impressed with the Starbucks in New York so I am relying you to find me a couple of good ones in this crazy city!=)

  11. chely October 14, 2013 at 2:50 AM #

    Can I say something? I dont know about America, but in Argentina I love the special “dulce de leche” frappe, Starbucks. Food options in Starburcks in Argentina are OK, little expensive, i prefer the food delicacies of Starbucks in the airports in India, really tasty!

    • Harlequin Boy October 14, 2013 at 10:24 AM #

      What kind of food do the Starbucks in Argentina have? I can’t say I’ve ever been in an airport in India, but I do know that most airport Starbucks are just licensed stores owned by another company so the food tends to be much different.

  12. Brittany November 19, 2013 at 7:31 PM #

    What a fun idea! HA!

  13. Ektor Manerakis December 16, 2013 at 9:42 AM #

    That is awesome dude! I lived in Manhattan between 2004-2010 and just a block from the 96th & Madison Sbux. I frequented there daily. The memories and the people I met there are without a doubt one of the best parts of my life in NY. I gathered myself a number of photos of that place and other Sbux around the city, so really stoked to see you did what I never got around to. Keep it up!

  14. Simon Stevens January 18, 2014 at 3:34 AM #

    Fantastic blog! Thank you. I spent 2 weeks in NYC during October 2013, a working holiday from Yorkshire, England. My friends think I’m silly for spending so much time in the coffee shops of Manhattan and Brooklyn but I loved it. Now that your Starbucks mission is complete, I can heartily recommend the independent shops, and small chains like Joe’s and Oren’s. My favourite is Kaffe 1668 on Warren & Greenwich. It’s opposite a B&N where you can buy the New York Coffee Guide… further inspiration for the feet to wander! I hope you continue to enjoy exploring NYC and living the dream.

  15. Darren Paxton (@darren_paxton) June 28, 2014 at 9:23 AM #


    Just wanted to add my SUPPORT for your blog,found it by accident when searching for info on the seated area outside Macy’s herald Square.

    Somewhat dejected that the first comments you have listed are from what I would only regard as ‘elitist’ people. If they dont like, they shouldn’t feel compelled to say so & instead let those who are interested enjoy the blog.

    I’m heading to NYC this Christmas and I know of a few Starbucks but I’ll be looking through your recommendations to see if there are any hidden gems.


    • Harlequin Boy June 28, 2014 at 10:13 AM #

      Thanks Darren for the kind words. I hope you find the blog useful for when you’re here this Christmas!


  16. Abby October 13, 2014 at 4:51 PM #

    Are you sponsored by Starbucks?

    • Harlequin Boy October 13, 2014 at 9:59 PM #

      Hi Abby, no I was never sponsored by Starbucks. I completed this last year as a personal project.



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