I was actually on my way to a different Starbucks in FiDi when I passed by the Starbucks on Murray and Church. I had to do a double-take to make sure I hadn’t already been to and rated this Starbucks before. Am I losing track of where I’ve been? Maybe… After all, I’ve been to over 170 Starbucks. Deja vu at this point is to be expected.
Once inside the Murray and Church Starbucks, I knew for sure I hadn’t seen this location before. On one of the seating area walls is a long framed picture that represents Lower Manhattan (pictured above). I’ve seen a few similar pictures at Starbucks throughout the city, but this one was definitely unique.
This Starbucks is definitely a good size and is well equipped with seating. The restroom line was much longer than the coffee line, and I had no problem finding a seat at the communal table. Unfortunately, the WiFi was atrocious. At first I thought it was down, but after 10-minutes of playing around with it, my computer finally connected. Still… the connection was so slow I didn’t stay online for more than five minutes before giving up.
Time was I would go to Starbucks and do a variety of different activities: read, write, type, talk, etc…
During my undergrad, I took an entire online course in a Starbucks sitting area. After graduating, I took up astrology and bought and read several books on the subject in my favorite cafe. I studied for my GREs there and used it as a meeting place for several social engagements.
Now, it seems I go for the sole purpose of this blog. Sometimes I’m able to squeeze in some work — or heaven forbid, read a book — but mostly I’m scoping out the place/neighborhood. If this sounds like a complaint, it’s because it is. Luckily, I still have plenty of time to change my way and go back to why I fell in love with Starbucks in the first place.
The Starbucks I’m currently occupying is just south of Canal Street in a cross-section of Chinatown and TriBeCa; although characteristically, this neighborhood (and the Starbucks within) resembles SoHo much more than TriBeCa.
On the outside, the Starbucks on Walker and Broadway is covered in construction sheeting and swarming with crowds. On this inside, it is still pretty much swarming with crowds but much more visually appealing. Although dimly lit, this Starbucks has its perks, like exposed brick walls, tons of seating, and plenty of power outlets available for power hungry New Yorkers. Thankfully, this Starbucks is quite large because there are plenty of tourists beating down the door — even though most seem to come just to use the restroom.
Anyone who’s ever visited New York City knows Duane Reade. The city practically runs on this hybrid pharmacy and convenience store. With over 150 locations in NYC, you see almost as many Duane Reades as you do Starbucks. And today I happen to be sitting at the Starbucks in Lower Manhattan between Duane street and Reade street. My first thought: Oh, now the name makes sense!
Duane Reade has been around since the 60s and is unique to New York — even though it was recently purchased by Walgreens. The original Duane Reade and its warehouse started right here on this street corner on the borders of Civic Center and TriBeCa. The rest is history.
So there’s your brief history of NYC’s most frequented convenience store — now its most frequented coffee house.
The Starbucks on Reade and Broadway isn’t the cleanest. It isn’t the biggest. And it’s AC doesn’t even seem to run as well as other locations. But there is something about this Starbucks that is uniquely New York. Actually, the fact that it’s small, dirty and old-looking is probably why it’s so charming. The high ceilings, tall windows with paint chipping off the panes, and narrow passageways make this Starbucks feel like home. Home for a New Yorker, that is. Continue reading
So far TriBeCa has been one of the most impressive neighborhoods I’ve visited — at least as far as Starbucks is concerned. Don’t get me wrong. The neighborhood is beautiful. I love the low buildings here that are contrasted by the towering skyscrapers of the nearby Financial District. And there seems to be an endless possibility of cafes, restaurants and trendy bars to jump in and out of. I’m making a note to come back here on a day when I have time to visit more than just Starbucks.
But, then again, the Starbucks is worth the visit. This location on Chambers and West Broadway is large, sunny and conveniently located over the red line. Luckily most of the business men and women are tucked away in their offices right now and the Starbucks is only lightly occupied. It’s most distinguishing feature is this small square seating room in the corner. It has faded mirrors on the walls, an old L-shaped bench occupying half of it, and large paneled windows that fill it with light.
Although there’s currently construction outside on the street, it doesn’t affect the ambiance of this delightful Starbucks.
I’m back with another NYC geography lesson. Today’s topic: TriBeCa. Another one of Manhattan’s abbreviated neighborhoods, TriBeCa stands for the “TRIangle BElow CAnal street.” Seriously, who comes up with these things, and how do they catch on?
Anyway — this neighborhood is literally an upside-down acute triangle, with Canal Street as the base, West Street and the Hudson on the west, and Broadway on the east. Just north of the World Trade Center and the Financial District (FiDi), TriBeCa consists of a lot of residential lofts with inviting restaurants and shops below. TriBeCa also houses many celebrities. A few of the most noted include: Beyonce & Jay-Z, Meryl Streep, Jon Stewart, Justin Timberlake, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The Starbucks on the corner of Leonard and West Broadway is directly in the center of the triangle that is TriBeCa. And I must say — this is another of the elite Starbucks of the city. I think what is most impressive about this location is the plentiful supply of seating and relatively few occupants. Usually the weekends slam Starbucks with crowds — regardless of the neighborhood — but this location is less than half full — or is it half empty?
More-so than any other Starbucks, I can imagine myself coming here to really knock out some work. The benches and walls are equipped with power outlets, and the the exterior is made up of paneled glass which fills the room with natural light. Although there are an estimated 130 other Starbucks between my apartment and this particular location, the environment this one provides might be worth the trip.