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NYC Starbucks: 47th & 6th

30 Apr

47thand6th

Since moving to New York, I’ve seen Starbucks attached to a lot of random places. Starbucks in hotels, Starbucks attached to a bank, and Starbucks attached to large office buildings. But this location is truly unique because it is attached to the official NHL store here in NYC.

Get excited hockey fans! You can now grab yourself a shot while you browse your favorite team’s novelty merchandise. When I first passed by the NHL store with the Starbucks logo in the window, I assumed it was some sort of trick – like a coffee maker behind the service counter where they’d hand out cups to those that ask. But no. Attached to this hockey retailer is a legitimate (and supposedly corporate owned) Starbucks.

This location is working with a theme of bright blues and reds and consists of metal chairs for seating. It has a long bar for window seating and a small bench with individual tables tucked into it. There’s a long hockey mural on the wall (pictured above) and a giant NHL poster on an adjacent wall. Even though I have no interest in professional hockey what-so-ever, I appreciate the uniqueness of this location. Unfortunately, the blasting AC makes these metal chairs as cold as an ice hockey arena.

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NYC Starbucks: 43rd & Broadway

17 Apr

43rdandBroadway

Today my Starbucks adventure took me back to one of the many Time Square locations.

Unfortunately, this one does not have much to brag about — in fact, it doesn’t have much at all. Literally, this Starbucks is nothing but a small room with a barista bar, milk station, and a swiveling line. No tables, no chairs, no restroom. Just coffee, tea, and baked goods. There were literally people sitting on the window sills. 

I’ll say one thing about Starbucks like this — they’re kind of a necessity. They’re not glamorous. They’re not meant for lingering. But without them, the nicer & larger Starbucks that are close by would be frequented by even more people. They’re both a blessing and a curse. 

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NYC Starbucks: 47th & 8th

9 Apr

47thand8th

I woke up this morning to a forecast of 80 degree temperature sweeping into Manhattan. It’s now 81 degrees outside, so I’ll keep this entry short and sweet.

The Starbucks on 47th & 8th is one I usually avoid because it’s always brimming with patrons and generates quite the line during rush hours. I know this because it’s only a block away from my apartment. I swear I didn’t chose my apartment based on this, but I can step out of my building and walk only 1 block in three different directions and find a Starbucks — it’s just the nature of this neighborhood.

Today this location is the emptiest I’ve seen it. And I’m guessing it’s because of this unusually beautiful weather we’re having. I came in and grabbed a seat right away. The lines are still long but people are taking their drinks into the streets, the parks, and any other place they can enjoy this heat spell before tomorrow’s forecast of rain.

And that’s exactly what I’m about to do.

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NYC Starbucks: 43rd & 6th

26 Mar

43rdand6th

If you had to choose between a Starbucks that offered WiFi or a Starbucks that offered a restroom, which would you choose?

What if you didn’t have a choice, and the Starbucks you were in had neither? That was my predicament at the Starbucks on 43rd and 6th. I wanted to stay — I really did — but there wasn’t anything to keep me there. I will say that in this Starbucks’ defense, it appeared the WiFi issues were only temporary, but neither my phone nor my laptop could gain access. Internet and technology fail all of us from time to time, but usually that’s when I pack up my things and head to Starbucks as Plan B.

I’m definitely noticing a pattern with the Midtown locations. They are the necessity Starbucks. They have your coffee, your tea, your breakfast sandwich or lunch pack, but when it comes to comfort or commodity — they come up lacking. Of course you can’t blame Starbucks. If only opened the nice comfortable locations, then they would be swarmed with patrons. Midtown is brimming with businesses, so the necessity Starbucks are just the supply to the neighborhood’s demand.

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NYC Starbucks: 38th & 7th

4 Mar

38thand7th

I would be curious to see the ratio of hot coffee vs. iced coffee based on geography and season. When I lived in Florida I only drank iced coffees. Well, that’s not entirely true. I also drank iced lattes, iced mochas, iced teas, and the occasional frapuccino. In-fact, I was never a “big coffee drinker” until I discovered it over ice. Now, I find myself cringing at the thought of adding any unnecessary ice to my life. I’ve become accustomed to my hot coffee to fight the morning chill. I would suppose the percent of iced beverages in a Canadian Starbucks is significantly less than a Southern California location.

Such are the things a true Starbucks addict is able to ponder.

I’m currently sipping my hot coffee at a Starbucks in Midtown. Technically, this Starbucks is in the Garment District, but since it is so close to the intersection of Broadway and 7th Ave it mostly resembles the Times Square and Theatre District locations. Space is tight. The lines are long. And the morning rush never seems to end. But this Starbucks does have one added perk. Directly beyond the barista bar is a staircase leading to a small seating area that looks over the ruckus of Midtown coffee-traffic.

Little perks such as these are an excellent reminder that Starbucks is just as much a cafe as it is a fast-food chain.

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NYC Starbucks: 54th & Broadway

12 Feb

54thandbroadway

I have seen this particular Starbucks at glance every now and then since it is on the same cross-street as my gym, so today I figured I’d enter for the first time before going to a spinning class (yes, I spin — don’t judge).

One of my reasons for avoiding this location for so long is that fact that it has a sarcophagus of construction poles surrounding it — an unfortunate aspect of New York City that every business or apartment seems to be burdened with from time to time. But today I decided to submerge myself in the jungle-gym like construction of nuts and bolts to see the Starbucks that lie beyond — anticipating a buried treasure of some sort.

And unfortunately I was disappointed to find no treasure. As well as no bathroom. No room to move. And no seating. Well, I take that back, there was seating, it was just very limited. After waiting in line I snagged a bar seat just as its former occupant vacated. One thing I found interesting is that there were two mini-square tables in the middle of the floor with no chairs attached to them at all — which begs the question: what’s a table without a chair?

My overall assessment is that this is a Starbucks of necessity only. Come to get your coffee then get on your way. I’m noticing this to be a trend with some of the Midtown locations.

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NYC Starbucks: 41st & Broadway

29 Jan

41standbroadway

Today I received a special package from the Regional Vice President of the NYC Starbucks: a Starbucks Coffee Passport.

This tiny booklet is designed to allow those with a passion for Starbucks coffee to get an in-depth view of how their brew is created, differentiate between the different types of roasts,  as well as record their thoughts and opinions in the Coffee Tasting Guide. I must admit, I’m very honored to have the support of Starbucks as an organization when it comes to what I’m doing here on this blog. Although I won’t allow this to dictate my opinions of the Starbucks I encounter here in NYC, it’s a good feeling none-the-less.

Speaking of — I’m currently squatting at another Times Square location. This is a location I’ve been to many times before, since it’s placement to the Times Square subway line is so convenient. It is probably the most cramped location in the city, but at the same time,  the space is filled with plenty of seats for those looking to rest their feet a bit — so it’s useful clutter, at least. In fact, I’ve never really needed to wait for a seat; waiting for the restroom on the other hand, well that’s a different story.

The doors are open til 12am nightly, so come and see for yourself.

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NYC Starbucks: 42nd & 6th

28 Jan

42ndand6th

Yes, two in one day — And if you’re judging me, so be it, because I know I’m not the only New Yorker out there who measures their days by the cups of coffee they drink. Also, I’m on a deadline!

In actuality, I simply found myself in the Starbucks located on 42nd & 6th and couldn’t resist writing and reviewing it tonight. This location is unique to me for several reasons. It is the smallest Starbucks I’ve ever entered. It has no seating. It has no restroom. And — for some reason — I can’t hold any of those things against it, because it is one of the fastest locations when it comes to service.

In all honesty, this Starbucks reminds me of my first NYC apartment in the Upper West Side. All there was to it was a small triangular living-room/kitchen combo that we were able to squeeze a futon and a table into. This Starbucks contains a barista bar and a station to fix your drinks at, and that is all. You exit where you entered, so the crowd shuffles in an acute circular motion before being thrust back into the streets.

The closest Starbucks in proximity to Bryant Park (and the B/D/F/M trains), this location receives quite the crowd. Very close-by are other landmarks such as Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and the New York Public Library. Also, here’s a piece of trivia for you: the icon of this blog  is the Starbucks logo from this location, and the building in the background is the NYC headquarters to Bank of America.

I like this location because it gives no misconceptions. If this Starbucks could talk, it’d say the following: “No, you’re not sitting. No, you can’t use the restroom. Get your coffee, and go sit in the park or ice-skate or something. Oh, and have a nice day!”

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NYC Starbucks: 47th & Broadway

26 Jan

47thandBroadway

Times Square — synonymous with towering skyscrapers, bustling crowds, Broadway shows, flashing lights — and dozens of Starbucks.

If NYC is in fact The City that Never Sleeps, then Times Square is one giant nightlight. Whether it be midnight or 5am, if you take a stroll around the cross-section of Broadway and 7th Avenue you’re bound to be bathed in the bright lights of the city.

It is indeed the most iconic landmark in the city and arguably an international reflection of America itself, but for a New Yorker Times Square is definitely an area you’ll go out of your way to avoid if you have the choice. Once Broadway shifts from a trafficked street to a painted blue concourse of pedestrians (at this very street corner, actually) it can seem like quick sand to those of us just passing through. Stuffed with gaggles of tourists, giant dancing Disney characters, and over-anxious solicitors selling tickets, the area makes those of us simply looking to catch a train or get to work bite our lips and hold our tongues.

One perk: there are Starbucks everywhere! And the one on 47th & Broadway seems to be the grandest of them all.

Positioned directly across Broadway from the TKTS booth — where anyone can pick up discounted theatre tickets day-of — this location clearly aims at being a landmark in itself. Upon entering and taking in my surroundings, I was immediately impressed. Placed directly in front of the entrance-way is a large multi-screen digital display, where live-tweets to #Starbucks flash on the screen. Below this are are several interactive touch screen monitors allowing visitors to browse through a New York Times archive of news and images of Times Square throughout the 20th century. Other amenities include a gift shop for a variety of merchandise, a bar exclusively for grinding coffee, and long-glass walls lined with counter-tops allowing you to take in the bright lights of the area.

Clearly not designed for those who wish to sit down and enjoy their coffee, this Starbucks clearly caters to the masses that are looking for a quick reprieve and a warm beverage before jumping back out into the torrents of sightseers. But, hey! Why not stop by on your way to a Broadway show?

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