I really was not expecting to find very many great Starbucks left in Manhattan this close to the year’s end. Yet, here I sit at the beautifully designed Starbucks on the border of Stuyvesant Town and Kips Bay. This Starbucks can’t be more than a few weeks old, and its size, design, decor, seating and overall newness really do make for a perfect Starbucks in the city.
My favorite attribute has to be the chain screen panels that separate the seating area from the hall and the bar. But other great features include the hanging lighting, the wood paneled walls and the hanging pictures. And the closest thing to a flaw this Starbucks has is its location. This area on 1st ave is at least 10 blocks from everything and a long walk to public transportation that’s not a bus. Fortunately there is a Citi Bike just out front. How do you think I got here?
Having visited well over 100 Starbucks in Manhattan this year, I’ve had my fair share of interesting experiences. NYC is an ‘interesting’ city — after all — filled with ‘interesting’ people. But what I witnessed today at the Starbucks on the corner of 23rd and 3rd Avenue, has got to be the craziest. I mean, most ‘interesting.’
An older gentlemen came into the Starbucks with one of those reusable plastic grande cups — stained and battered. Although he didn’t quite look homeless, he certainly smelled homeless. How do I know? Well, of course he sat directly across from me at the same table. In the short time I was there, I witnessed him harass the baristas — apparently attempting to give them a laptop he claimed had a virus on it — unload his bag of colored markers and half smoked cigarettes onto our table, and walk around the tiny Starbucks talking to no one in particular.
It’s my theory that NYC makes people crazy. It has a degenerative effect on people’s social skills and literally changes how people act, how they communicate, and how they go about their days. Eccentric may be a more politically correct way to describe the behavior I witness. But I think these habits get worse the longer someone lives in the city. After all, there’s so many people living on this tiny island, that crazy tends to blend in. It makes me wonder how I’ll act 5 years from now?
All that being said, I’d like it to be known that I already concluded this Starbucks was only worth 1-Cup long before Mr. Eccentricity showed up. Reason being: It is way too small, way too crowded and offers very few seats. Perhaps if it were more conveniently located or actually offered a restroom it would have received a higher score. But then again, if so, it may attract more kookie characters.
That’s all for the moment. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to wipe off the banana smoothie that my table-mate splashed onto my laptop.
Somewhere between Kips Bay, NoMad, Rose Hill and Gramercy exists the stylish Starbucks on 24th and Lexington.
Although currently covered up with construction piping, once inside, you’ll find this Starbucks has a certain aesthetic that’s both bright and clean. No, it’s not a big Starbucks. Nor is it in the most convenient location. But it was well thought-out and executed.
This Starbucks has two items that are unique to this location — from what I have seen so far, anyway. First is this split level communal table made out of sanded maple wood. It almost looks like a carpenter’s workstation and can sit 8-10 patrons easily. I’d also like to draw attention to the mural you see pictured above. It’s totally NYC in the fall, which is very appropriate since summer is slipping away.
Speaking of — I’m going to go out and enjoy this warm weather while I still have time.
There is something special about the Starbucks on 28th and Lexington.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first, but I’ve chocked it all up to the ‘newness’ of this location. This is another of the recently added NYC Starbucks locations that are popping up in 2013. And this one is definitely the best one that I’ve seen so far.
It’s not the biggest, not the least crowded and not in the best neighborhood. But it is indeed one of the best. All in all, its design and style are what give it so much character. The interior is shaped like perfect square with a minimally invasive barista bar and a cooler built into one of the walls. The rest is all seating — seating as varied as the colors of the rainbow. There are padded sofas, raised communal tables, tables-for-two, coffee tables (duh!) and even tables with wheelchair access. There are even two trendy looking benches built into the exterior walls of the Starbucks.
In other news, the Treat Receipt has officially returned to Starbucks as of today, and they will be offering them until August 18th. Hurray! So, I definitely don’t need another reason to follow up my morning cup of coffee with an afternoon iced beverage, but it sure does save some cash.
The Starbucks on 34th & Park Avenue is massive and defintely has 5-cup potential, unfortunately there are just a few factors holding it back.
One of those factors is that when standing on the street corner, you can barely tell it is there. Not only is it well removed from the street (tucked into what I believe to be an office building) but it is also completely surrounded by construction webbing. I may have passed it up completely if it weren’t for my trusty Starbucks app reassuring me that it was there. Also, when entering the location, you immediately see a blocked off staircase to what would be a really cute balcony — I think it’s a break room now.
But all that negativity aside, this really is an impressive Starbucks. There’s enough seating to warrant 2 restrooms, and there are three divided seating areas to choose from. Outlets are also strategically placed near most seats, so those doing computer work (or with a dying cell phone) can rest assured.
Oh — and I tried the Starbucks cheesecake brownie (a moment of weakness!) during my visit. Delicious!
Today I sit in the neighborhood of Kips Bay. Just east of the mob scene known as Herald Square, Kips Bay could not differ more. Honestly, when I think of Kips Bay a yawn usually escapes my mouth.
This is a residential neighborhood with few transportation options. The easiest way in and out of Kips Bay is the bus system, and if you’ve ever attempted to take an MTA bus in NYC you know that “easy” isn’t the best word to describe the experience. Personally I prefer walking — which is usually what happens anyway after waiting 10-15 minutes for a bus that never shows up.
The neighborhood’s lack of train transportation may be what allows it to be a relatively peaceful and easygoing part of New York. Of course if the 2nd Avenue subway ever arrives — a work in progress since 1929 that has earned the nickname “The Line That Time Forgot” — then maybe Kips Bay will begin to resemble its neighbors to the west.
The Kips Bay Starbucks on 32nd and 2nd resembles its surroundings in the fact that it has a light crowd. A decent amount of seating lines the long windowed wall, and there is at least one or two free seats at any given moment. The crowd is subdued. Everyone has a book, laptop, or smart phone in front of them. And neither the coffee line or restroom line draws attention.
Unfortunately there is no comfy seating. In fact, it’s wood all around. Whether you’re seating on one of the wooden chairs or the wooden bench that lines the wall. Or you can lean against the wooden barista bar while you admire the large wooden plaque on the wall that speaks to Starbucks’s environmental good doings.
All in all, this Starbucks provides a great environment — it’s just transportation that it’s lacking.