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NYC Starbucks: 103rd & Broadway

29 Dec

103rd and Broadway Starbucks

Did you know that Broadway has the most Starbucks located on it when compared to any other avenue in New York City? By my count there are 36 individual Starbucks locations off Broadway, and they just keep on coming. I think the only thing that rivals the amount of Starbucks on Broadway is the number of Bank of Americas. Every other street there seems to be one on the corner beckoning me to make an ATM withdrawal. I’m not really complaining since it is my bank of choice, but the concentration of them on this single avenue is kind of weird. I’m only used to seeing Starbucks on most street corners. Well, that or Subways.

I’m currently sitting at the Starbucks on the southeast corner of 103rd and Broadway. After reviewing the new Starbucks just a few blocks south on 99th street, I couldn’t help pay this one a visit as well. It’s not really that I’m pressed for time — not anymore at least — but I just couldn’t help compare these two locations a mere four blocks away.

Although both are on Broadway and conveniently located near trains, this one definitely attracts a larger crowd. Perhaps it’s because this one actually has a public restroom for patrons to use. There’s also twice as much seating here and a little more room to spread out. But this Starbucks’ decor is also much more dated than its southern counterpart, and the lighting here is  very dim, especially on a rainy day like today with limited natural lighting.

I guess the moral of this story is that no matter what your likes and dislikes, Broadway has a Starbucks for you. Not at one that suits your interest, just walk a few blocks in either direction and you’re sure to find another.

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NYC Starbucks: 99th & Broadway

29 Dec

99th and Broadway Starbucks

The Starbucks on 99th and Broadway is the most recent addition to the Upper West Side and possibly Manhattan altogether. I only discovered this location last week and after paying it a quick visit I found it the Starbucks is only a few weeks young. And now I’m back to stay awhile and soak it in before the year is up and over.

Speaking of soaking… it’s presently pouring here in New York. Luckily, I was able to dive into this Starbucks just before it really started coming down. And I’m not the only one seeking shelter and a warm beverage until the rain lets up. Although I wouldn’t say this Starbucks is all too crowded, it is relatively small and fills up kind of fast. There’s just three barstools and one communal table to share with no public restroom — which is probably why the crowd doesn’t linger all too long. Thankfully, this location was beautifully designed with all of Starbucks latest and greatest decor such as in-wall refrigeration units and wood paneling throughout. So even if your visit is a short one, it can still be a pleasant one.

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NYC Starbucks: 75th & Broadway

22 Dec

75th and Broadway Starbucks

This time last week, it was snowing in New York City. Today it’s 70 degrees and I’m sitting at Starbucks drinking iced coffee. But never fear! Apparently this odd warm spell will be short lived, and we’ll all be forced to drink hot coffee by Christmas morning. Or maybe even some hot cocoa.

The Starbucks that I’m sitting at is an Upper West Side location that initially escaped my research. According to the baristas it underwent a remodel earlier this year, so there’s a chance it was closed down and unlisted for a while. I can’t say for sure what it looked like before, but I can say with certainty that it is a well designed Starbucks now. The decor is definitely its best attribute. On the walls hang a few framed photographs that portray people in metro areas enjoying Starbucks in various fashions. I’ve only ever seen these at one other Starbucks before, and they’re definitely more attractive than pictures of coffee beans and the roasting process. There’s also some pretty nifty looking lighting throughout. Above you can see the lighting ornament that hangs directly above the milk cart.

Apart from the decor, this Starbucks is average sized; it has a good amount of seating, one restroom, a consistently crowded lobby and a location that makes it convenient for a quick pick-me-up while Christmas shopping. Speaking of — that’s my mission for the rest of the day. Wish me luck!

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NYC Starbucks: 100th & Columbus

18 Dec

100th and Columbus Starbucks

The Starbucks on the corner of 100th and Columbus belongs to the small NYC neighborhood of Manhattan Valley. Essentially, this is where the Upper West Side meets West Harlem. Broadway is to the west, a small shopping district is to the south, Central Park is one block east, and Harlem is just north. The neighborhood — which was once called the Bloomingdale District — got its name because this area is a geographical depression. From Columbus Ave, I can literally see the street slope down to the south and rise back up to the north.

The Starbucks is at the northern edge of a small shopping area that contrasts greatly with the towering apartment buildings just north of 100th street. But then again, that’s gentrification for you. This location is not too big and not too small. It’s just the right size Starbucks with an adequate amount of seating on one side of the L-shaped interior. You can choose to sit at a low bar and gaze out the window and watch the southbound traffic. Or if you’re lucky enough, you can grab a seat at the long sofa with attached tables and power outlets. Most likely though, the fluctuating crowd will determine your seat, and you’ll take whatever is open.

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NYC Starbucks: 114th & Broadway

23 Nov

114th and Broadway Starbucks

Today my Starbucks journey took me on a stroll through Columbia University and to the Starbucks on 114th and Broadway that serves its student population.

After I decided to move to New York, there were three universities that I considered applying to for grad school: Pace, NYU, and Columbia. Although NYU won out, I was highly intrigued by Columbia. After all, it is an Ivy League and one of the oldest universities in the country.

Columbia is located in the small Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Morningside Heights — which is characteristically an Upper West Side/Harlem hybrid. Although I’ve been to Morningside Heights before, today was the first day I stepped foot on Columbia’s  campus. Whereas Washington Square Park functions as the commons area for NYU, Columbia has its very own partially secluded common area between Broadway and Amsterdam. It’s well maintained, beautifully decorated and grand as I would expect an Ivy League’s campus to be. Pictured above is the main library and a statue that sits on the staircase leading up to it.

After taking in the campus environment, I exited on Broadway and crossed the street to the Starbucks on the north side of 114th. Once inside, two things were very obvious: Columbia students thrive on Starbucks, and there’s simply not enough space to contain them all. When I was a student at Florida State University, I used to wait in a line 20-30 students long at the Starbucks in the center of campus. The only difference between that Starbucks and this one is that this Starbucks does not have the space to hold all the students/residents that want their coffee fix. Not everyone is looking to stay and have a seat — in fact, most do get their coffee to leave — but the seats this Starbucks does offer are mostly full.

Luckily, I came at the right moment and was able to get my own table on the cushioned sofa in the back. Once I sat down I could feel the impression of all those Columbia students that have sat here for countless hours before me. And it was this thought that inspired me to knock out a term paper that I’ve been putting off for half a semester. What better Starbucks to write it in?

So, even though the seated crowd is pretty fluid and the restroom line is not too bad, that barista bar line has not let up since I arrived 3 hours ago. Maybe Columbia  should look into putting another Starbucks somewhere on campus? It certainly worked well for FSU.

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NYC Starbucks: 76th & Columbus

3 Nov

76th and Columbus Starbucks

Today was a very special day in New York. It was the first ING New York City Marathon since Hurricane Sandy and The Boston Marathon bombing. Last year, the controversial cancellation of the marathon left a lot of would-be-runners upset, and I remember seeing them run up and down the streets of Manhattan as a symbol of solidarity despite the marathon’s cancellation.

The race actually runs right near my apartment on 1st Avenue, and after we stood watching it for a while, we walked around the blockades, through Central Park and into the Upper West Side to enjoy a beautifully chilly day in the city. The race literally snakes around Manhattan, so several areas are blocked off. We watched as friends and family members searched to congratulate their loved ones in the race. And lucky for me, the Starbucks on 76th and Columbus was within a few blocks from where runners could reunite with family. In fact, as my boyfriend and I walked into the Starbucks I got the pleasure of witnessing a man embrace his female partner who had just finished the race. You could tell she was exhausted beyond belief as she nearly collapsed in his arms as he tried to wrap his jacket around her.

So obviously because of the marathon this Starbucks was as crowded as a nightclub this afternoon. Literally, I you had to shuffle through line inch-by-inch and the option of sitting was simply out of the question. However, I have been to this Starbucks in the past, and I can say that I had no trouble finding a seat and the crowd was totally manageable. But it’s not everyday that 47 thousand marathoners take the streets of NYC.

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NYC Starbucks: 93rd & Broadway

18 Oct

93rd and Broadway Starbucks

What can I say? When I see the opportunity to hit up two Starbucks in one day,  I just can’t help myself. Besides, the Starbucks on 93rd & Broadway is mere yards from the Starbucks on 95th street. And I’m rarely on the Upper West Side so I figured two birds, one stone. Or should I say: two blogs, one day.

After visiting both of these UWS Starbucks, here’s my concluding advice: If you find yourself in the area, definitely visit the Starbucks on 93rd & Broadway over the one on 95th. Not only is it bigger, but it offers much more seating. It actually has two large seating areas and still is much less cramped than its sister store to the north. The seating is also more personal — tables-for-two instead of communal seating.

But the lines at both stores are equally sized. So I guess what I should say is that if you’re looking for a cup of Joe on the go, pick your poison. But if you’re looking to stay awhile, this Starbucks is your best bet.

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NYC Starbucks: 95th & Broadway

18 Oct

95th and Broadway Starbucks

I’ve witnessed a lot of bizarre scenarios in the past 10 months of Starbucks exploration. You’d be quite surprised what some people decide to do in a NY C coffee house. Just yesterday, I sat a few seats down from a woman who apparently came to Starbucks just to charge her iPhone and listen to her music without headphones. She sat there for at least 2 hours blasting the most random music so that half the Starbucks patrons around her were forced to move.

Today at the Upper West Side Starbucks on 95th and Broadway, I bore witness to a whole different type of noise. An argument.

Two middle aged women, who clearly have several years invested in their friendship, apparently chose Starbucks for the place to have their reunion after a short cold-spell where neither had talked to each other. What resulted was a 90 minute debate over who stopped talking to who, why they stopped talking, what an email said, when one should have called the other and whose more dependent on whom. To sum it up, obviously both were ignoring one another because they felt they were being ignored. Lucky me — I got to know these women very, very well.

Hearing these two women bicker about who should have called who and each of them equally justifying the importance of their decisions not to reach out to the other, reminded me very much of two of my best friends back in Florida. The three of us together were this unstoppable force of tomfoolery, intimacy, bonding and magic. We felt more like a coven than just friends.

Now, my two friends have stopped talking to each other over a series of miscommunications and hurt feelings. They are actively ignoring one another while at the same time expecting the other to reach out to them. Sound familiar? To me, it resembles the game of uncle. Both are in pain but neither will cry out because they want the other to give in first. And since I’m 2000+ miles away, my intervention capabilities are severely limited.

The moral of this story is that I’m somewhat relieved to hear these women rekindling  in Starbucks — after a few tears, they did end up making up — because it shows that there is hope for my two friends. Also, it proves that this behavior is not limited to gay men in their 20s — which is also a relief.

I know this does little to give you an idea for what the Starbucks on 95th & Broadway is really like, but I think you’ll find the description below to sum it up just fine.

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NYC Starbucks: 88th & Broadway

3 Oct

88th and Broadway Starbucks

I’m moving to the Upper West Side. It’s settled.

Well, not really — or at least not yet — but I keep finding all the best Starbucks in this neighborhood. Over the summer, I royally impressed by the large and expansive Starbucks on 86th and Columbus, and now just a few blocks away I’ve come across another Starbucks deserving of a 5-Cup rating. And for very similar reasons!

Take Broadway north 6 miles from yesterday’s Starbucks on Thames and you’ll arrive at the Starbucks on 86th & Broadway. What difference does 6 miles make? A whole lot of room. In fact, this Starbucks has an entire floor dedicated to nothing but lounging about and sipping coffee. There’s two sets of padded comfy chairs, tons of smaller tables, a long sofa and tons of power outlets for New Yorkers in need of a recharge. But aren’t we all?

The ground level of this Starbucks only has a small patch of seating, but that also works to its advantage. This way the crowd and service area of this Starbucks is completely separated from the seating. So your coffee talk with a friend isn’t constantly interrupted by a constantly flowing line of espresso deprived strangers. Even the restroom is downstairs. Perfecto.

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NYC Starbucks: 70th & Broadway

20 Sep

70th and Broadway Starbucks

When I first moved to NYC I would stop off at the Starbucks on 70th and Broadway early in the morning on my way to work. Even at 6am this Starbucks would have a strong line and a few people sitting here and there. And clearly, just over a year later, things haven’t changed. Except now I cross the park to get to this Starbucks.

Luckily today the summer weather is holding out and it’s a beautiful sunny day. So instead of waiting for the M66 bus — and I’m still convinced most NYC busses are fictitious — I saved myself $2.50 and took a leisurely stroll through Central Park. And in all honesty, its a brief walk from the upper east to the west and vice versa.

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