It’s funny how I just keep stumbling upon unseen Starbucks day after day. Just when I think I’ve visited all the locations in a neighborhood, I find another. This one sits in the shadow of the Empire State Building on the corner of 29th and 5th Avenue. It straddles NoMad and Rose Hill on the avenue known for its expensive retailers and prestigious shops.
Inside the Starbucks, the crowd is pretty muted. The drink line was short; the seats were only half taken; and most of the patrons are plugged into laptops or iPads. Perhaps, the crowd is less dense than most because there is no public restroom to keep people here for extended periods of time. And I never get tired of watching people walk in then quickly walk out after they realize this public restroom is nothing but a mirage.
If this Starbucks was a little bigger (with a little more seating), it may make for the perfect cafe to spend some quality time in.
This weekend I did something I can’t say I’ve done in over a year: I spent an entire weekend without any Starbucks. This was not by choice but an inadvertent reality I had to face when visiting Provincetown, MA. Luckily, what this small town on the tip of Cape Cod lacks in Starbucks, it makes up with culture, beaches, bars and quirky shops to visit. This was my first time in Ptown, and I must say, I’m a huge fan. In a way, it’s the anti-New York, and I even enjoyed sampling the local cafes.
However, after a long weekend away from NYC, sometimes it feels good to return to the fast paced streets and active lifestyle of a New Yorker. At least there’s Starbuck here.
Today, I’m spending some time in a Starbucks on the corner of 27th and 6th Ave. This area is on the border of both Chelsea and NoMad, yet it hardly resembles either neighborhood. This strip of 6th Ave is inundated with quick service lunch restaurants to service the nearby business crowds of the Flatiron district.
The Starbucks itself is designed well, but tiny. It’s placed directly on the corner and constructed like the cutout of a circle. There’s no restroom, and — even worse — no seating. Yes, there are plenty of Starbucks in either direction on 6th Ave, but I still see no reason why 8-10 stools can’t be placed facing the window-bar.
Hurray for discovering a new neighborhood while simultaneously enhancing my NYC vocabulary! Welcome to NoMad — the neighborhood NOrth of MADison square park.
Madison Square park divides NoMad and the Flatiron district and consists of a tiny patch of grass, a bunch of trees, some great picture ops and a Shake Shack. From what I can gather from strolling around NoMad, it’s a less congested (less Asian) version of Koreatown. I passed by a lot of perfume shops, jewelers, delis and sports apparel shops on my way to the Starbucks on the corner of 26th street and Broadway. All in all, I wasn’t expecting much from this Starbucks.
However, when I entered I was forced to eat my words — well, my thoughts anyway. I don’t think I verbalized them.
Not only is this a large Starbucks, but it is a large Starbucks with a balcony of additional seating. It probably has the most variety of seating I’ve seen in a while, ranging from high top stools to small tables and random elevated padded seating blocks. It’s very eclectic but effective. Unfortunately the upstairs was just closing up when I arrived, but that fact that it’s open for most of the day is only an added perk. Most seating has available outlets nearby so those burdened with dying laptop batteries need not fear.
Also worth mentioning is the stylish decor throughout. Random coffee-related trinkets are shelved above the barista bar and espresso wood is everywhere you look. They’ve even got one of those coffee sack wall decorations hanging. All in all, I’m digging it.