Today I felt like trekking on down to the West Village. One of my favorite neighborhoods and former residence — briefly, but still.
I walked from Washington Square Park and cut southwest through the trendy portion and touristy areas. Where I ended up was the Starbucks on Hudson Street near Charlton. This portion of the Village is sometimes referred to as the Far West Village, and is a small business enclave within the neighborhood. If I couldn’t tell that by the well-sized business buildings, strategically placed lunch stops, and rushed footsteps hurrying the opposite direction from where I headed, it was made apparent by this location’s business hours.
It’s closes at 8pm each weeknight and is not open at all on Saturdays and Sundays. I was shocked at first. I mean, this location is large and beautiful. But who would be here to enjoy it on the weekends? Practically no body is here to enjoy it right now. Just like the Starbucks in the Financial District, there’s nobody that wants to stick around after working a full day’s work. If they need a pick-me-up after work, they’ll run in, but staying open past 8pm would be a poor business decision.
So here I thought I’d discovered my new weekend get-away to come and work on my computer in a large, vacant Starbucks, when all I really found was a tease. Still, its size, outlet availability, and the fact that it has two restrooms makes this a better location then most.
Today I decided to try out Starbucks’ Clover machine on an iced coffee. In case you haven’t heard of the Clover, it’s this coffee pressing contraption that is only available at select Starbucks locations. Like a traditional coffee press, it uses heat and pressure to extract the rich flavor from roasted coffee grounds. You can request to get most coffee based drinks with the Clover, and it really enhances the taste of the bean.
My iced coffee was made with the Starbucks Kenya roast, and I have to say it beats the hell out of a regular iced coffee from Starbucks. I usually drink my grande iced coffee with 2 Splenda,but only needed one for this guy. If you haven’t tried the Clover, I highly recommend it. You can use your Starbucks app to figure out which stores offer it and which don’t.
The Starbucks on Greenwich & 8th Avenue is just as impressive as the Clover. As far as design is concerned, it’s one of the best in the city. The exterior is nothing but glass panels that round out the street corner instead of creating a sharp angle. The interior has a dark wood theme throughout and large concrete columns with wooden shelves and seating arrangements built into them. Although it’s not the biggest location, and outlet availability could be better, this Starbucks makes up for it with style alone.
Welcome to the West Village — where avenues and streets are of no relevance and the stride of the average New Yorker slows down approximately 2 miles per hour.
When I first moved to NYC all of the different “Villages” confused me. West Village — East Village — Greenwich Village — what the hell is the difference?! Now I think I’ve finally straightened it out. Greenwich Village and East Village are two separate neighborhoods — splitting off in the center of Manhattan. The West Village is a smaller neighborhood that encompasses all of Greenwich village west of 7th avenue. And I hope you’re paying attention — there will be a quiz at the end of the year.
I have a sweet spot for this particular West Village Starbucks. One reason for this is because it is the closest location to the Christopher Street Piers — which I frequented over the summer. But mainly because on my first week in NYC I sat down at this location, starred out into the streets of my new home, and wrote postcards to some of my dear friends and family back home. I know: how stereotypical!
The point is that this Starbucks was the perfect location for doing that. Tucked away in the Village, this Starbucks gets much less of a crowd than most. Which is good because it is a small location, and it really couldn’t handle much more. But it has all the necessities and added West Village charm. My favorite feature is the small counter bar that acts as both a seating area and a divider between the barista line and lounge.
A great Starbucks to visit on a Sunday afternoon. And bring a postcard or journal while you’re at it.