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Reflection: June

1 Jul

NYC Starbucks_June

 

Half the year has come and gone. I woke up this morning and starred July in the face with groggy eyes and disbelief. My caffeinated journey through the streets of Manhattan is at its midpoint. Half the time I feel like I just started this blog and the other half I it seems like I’ve been doing this thing all my life.

The month of June has been one of my favorite months in NYC, and it was also one of the most productive. The two most noteworthy occurrences: the creation of CitiBike and NYC Gay Pride.

CitiBike officially rolled out in the beginning of June. For those of you that aren’t familiar, it is a commuter bike service that now exists in Manhattan from 59th street down. There are tons and tons of locations and it allows you access to a bike for a certain period of time (30 or 45 minutes) so you can travel from one spot in the city to another. It’s perfect for getting across town. I tested the service with a week pass and then caved and bought a year’s membership. Although it has it’s kinks (broken stations, empty stations, and overall poor computer technology), I love the fact that I can get around the city swiftly without having to go underground. Plus I get a little bit more fitness in my day.

June — if you didn’t know — is Pride Month. And the last weekend of the month, NYC celebrates with a huge parade that puts all others to shame. This year’s was exceptionally special because not only was it my first time seeing it, but it also took place the same week that the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and found Prop 8 in California to be unconstitutional. The parade was roughly 5 hours of high energy, pride-filled joy. My boyfriend and I gathered at a friend’s party on the corner of Christopher and Gay streets and watched out the windows the entire time as the parade passed by. I couldn’t have asked for a better view. Later that evening a bunch of us went to a pier dance party where Whoopi Goldberg introduced Cher, and she sang her new single. All in all, it was the most proud I’ve felt in years.

June was also a big month for this blog. I was able to visit 20 different NYC Starbucks locations. That’s the most I’ve ever gotten to in 1 month! While I did visit 3 different Starbucks that earned a rating of 1-Cup, I also found another 5-Cup location at the corner of 58th & Madison. I also decided to get the blog its own Facebook page. So if you’re reading this you should totally check it out and ‘like’ it.

Check out the gallery of the 20 Starbucks locations I rated in June and stay tuned for the July Starbucks to start rolling in.

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Reflection: May

3 Jun

May - Bright

My journey continues as spring turns into summer.

I arrived in NYC last year in August and got a taste of the fierce summer heat. Now that it’s officially June and we just had our first peak of 90 degree weather, I’m starting to prepare myself for the scorching heat once again.

May was a month of agreeable weather (if slightly burdened by rainstorms) and that might have caused me to slack a little on the blog front. It also definitely caused me to visit more Starbucks located near Central Park. What can I say? I’m taking every opportunity I have to enjoy the weather.

Although I only visited 12 Starbucks in the month of May, the quality of locations seemed to improve. Of the 12, half of them were 4-Cup Starbucks, and only two received a 2-Cup rating. There were also no 1-Cups. Of the eight different neighborhoods I visited, I discovered one new one: Civic Center (which sounds more like a building then a neighborhood, but still…). I also got the chance to visit a brand new location within a week of its opening: 63rd & Lexington. This location was probably the most impressive of the month and is also a convenient addition since I walk by that area most days.

The summer months of June, July, and August await, and with a short hiatus from classwork, I plan to dedicate more of my time to the exploration of NYC through its favorite guilty pleasure.

Reflection: April

2 May

April - Copy

 

You can tell it warmed up in the month of April just by looking above and seeing iced coffees and teas in most of my photos.

This month I reached a total of 14 unique Starbucks locations throughout Manhattan in 9 different neighborhoods. However, because of sheer density alone, most of the Starbucks I visited this month were in Midtown. Which makes sense, because if I had to give a rough estimate, I’d say 50-60% of the Manhattan locations belong to this large neighborhood.

This month I got the pleasure of visiting the one and only Starbucks located in the Lower East Side. But the most impressive Starbucks I came across in April has to be the Greenwich and 8th location. The swanky decor and plate glass walls made this one of the most aesthetically appealing locations I’ve seen on my journey. Unfortunately, this month I’ve encountered no 5-Cup locations, while I did stumble across two 1-Cup locations I’d recommend in a caffeine emergency only — both in the center of midtown on 42nd & 43rd street.

With a third of the year already spent. My plan is to kick it into high gear over the some. I’ll be searching for new neighborhoods and new drink combinations. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Reflection: March

1 Apr

march - Copy

A quarter of the year has come and gone and I still find myself wanting to write 2012 whenever I mark the date. I’ve been in NYC for 8 months now, and I have only 9 months left of my bizarre journey through the Starbucks of Manhattan. But I’ve encountered a problem… The Starbucks seem to be multiplying. First one of my colleagues joyfully informed me of the opening of one near her apartment on 28th and Lex. Then I spot one myself sprouting up on top the F-Train stop on 63rd and Lex. Who can say how many new ones will pop up before the year’s end. Clearly my original calculation of 201 needs to be adjusted.

But where do I stand so far… In the month of March I visited 16 locations in 11 different neighborhoods. Although I did better this month than I did in February, I still find myself falling short of my goal. 1/4 of the year is already over, and I’ve visited a total of 44 unique Starbucks locations. But at this rate, I’ll only get to 176 by the year’s end. Here’s hoping that the warming weather will make me a more devoted wanderer of the streets of Manhattan.

My favorite Starbucks of March has to be the TriBeCa location on Leonard and West Broadway. Not only did it open my eyes to a new neighborhood in the city, but it was the only Starbucks this month to receive 5-Cups. My least favorite, not surprisingly, was a Midtown location. The Starbucks on 43rd and 6th was too cramped and lacked the accommodations to receive anything more than 1-Cup.

So there we have it. 44 down… who know exactly how many to go.

Reflection: February

1 Mar

february_edit

In the month of February I visited 10 different Starbucks in 10 neighborhoods — 7 of which were new neighborhoods entirely. Continue reading

Reflection: Starbucks at the Met?

20 Feb

Starbucks Is a Work of Art.

This weekend I set out to to explore a piece of New York City apart from Starbucks: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, while I was at the museum I just happened to stumble upon a little piece of Starbucks:

metstatue

 

What’s a Siren, and Why Is It on my Coffee Cup?

This particular statue, titled “Siren”, was made in the 16th century in Rome. While there a many statues depicting these creatures, this one appears to be the most similar to the original Starbucks Coffee logo, with twin tails and a hand holding each. Of course the logo has gone through several changes since its inception, but if you look up the original — or you’ve been drinking coffee long enough to remember — you’ll find the resemblance to be uncanny.

Now why would Starbucks choose this hideously beautiful creature to be their mascot to the world? Well let’s think about this. A siren is a mythological creature that was said to entice sailors with a melodic song only to leave them ship wrecked on jagged rocks and thrust into the sea. How many of us hear the call of coffee in the morning? Despite the consequences of caffeine or the health risks of added sugars and the pastries that so often accompany it, we cannot seem to turn ourselves away.

So here I am in New York City, walking to work — or wherever — when I happen to spot that oh’so familiar logo on the side of a building.   Just like hearing the siren’s call, I cannot help but head that direction. And clearly, I’m seeing Starbucks wherever I go in this city.

If you’d like more information on the relationship between Starbucks and the siren, you can check out this detailed video I found. It discusses the history of the logo and the mythology behind the siren.

Reflection: January

2 Feb

On Blogging, Drinking, and Judging

january_edit

January has come and gone, and my first month of blogging, drinking, and judging has been interesting in so many ways, filled with surprises, delights, and — yes — 18 different Starbucks in 14 different neighborhoods.

Continue reading

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