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Tag Archives: Broadway

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: Thames & Broadway

2 Oct

Cedar and Broadway Starbucks

What I wouldn’t give to see New York City in its early days — I’m talking 18th or 19th Century. And today my adventure took me to a Starbucks location that has been a coffee house for over 200 years.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Starbucks on the corner of Thames and Broadway in downtown Manhattan. From the exterior architecture alone, I could tell I was going to like this Starbucks. It looked anything but typical, and when I walked inside I got an eyeful of New York themed artwork, dark wood paneling and crowded tables for two. I also spotted this large peculiar box that I soon realized was an elevator for the disabled to access the barista bar, which is a few steps elevated from the seating area — thanks American with Disabilities Act!

Once I ordered my drink, I came across a large painting on the far back wall of the Starbucks (above). Depicted is what looks like a cafe during colonial times, and it was labeled Burns Coffee House: 1763. Of course, I did my research and found out that this Starbucks is in the very spot that Burns once stood. It makes me wonder how a coffee house operated in the 1700s. I doubt they had iced coffee.

So despite the fact that this Starbucks is sort of small, kind of dark, and has no public restroom, I’m giving it a 4-Cup rating because of it’s history and uniqueness.

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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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NYC Starbucks: Liberty & Broadway

18 Sep

Liberty and Broadway Starbucks

Here’s a tip from a guy who’s visited his fair share of Starbucks: If it closes at 6pm and isn’t open on weekends, it may not be ideal for all your coffee house needs. In other words, it’s there just for the money, honey.

The Starbucks on Liberty and Broadway in the Financial District exemplifies my point exactly. Essentially it’s a one-store food-court that services the lobby of One Liberty Plaza. I’m sure the business people in the building appreciate it, but it lacks the cafe ambience that most seek.

Don’t get me wrong… there are tables and chairs. But they are those you would expect to find in a hospital cafeteria: cold, hard and metallic. But — in all honesty — this Starbucks really wasn’t meant for lounging. Nor are most buildings within the Financial District. It’s simply designed to give hardworking New Yorkers the fuel to get them through the day.

In other news, I thought I’d comment on some Starbucks related news I saw circulating both social and traditional media today: Starbucks vs. Guns.

If you’re too lazy to read the New York Times article I linked to above, the basics are as following: 44 States have an “open gun policy” that allows registered gun owners to bear arms in public places (like coffee houses). Starbucks, obviously, tries to abide by state laws, so gun-enthusiasts (is that even a thing?) have been staging “Starbucks Appreciation Days” and openly bringing guns to Starbucks locations across the nation to celebrate. Clearly, this is distracting at least emotional scarring at worst. Today Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz released a statement asking customers to leave firearms behind when they come for their lattes. And now gun-owners everywhere are angry and caffeine deprived because they can’t imagine standing in line for their coffee without feeling the weight of their beloved firearm at their side.

My opinion: Seriously?! You’re mad because you can’t wave your gun around at a Starbucks and scare people?

Why would someone need to openly reveal a gun at a coffee house? Thank God New York is one of the six states that doesn’t allow this because I can guarantee you — after what I’ve seen — there’d be some people shot in a NYC Starbucks. I’m all for human rights. But they need to make sense. If you want to go to Starbucks with a licensed gun, keep it concealed, and no body will be the wiser.

I’d love to hear some other opinions from Starbucks and/or gun enthusiasts.

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NYC Starbucks: 111th & Broadway

15 Sep

111th and Broadway Starbucks

Today is my first day exploring the neighborhood — and Starbucks — of Morningside Heights, Manhattan.

Apparently there is debate as to which larger neighborhood Morningside Heights belongs to — either the Upper West Side or Harlem. Characteristically, I see more UWS here than Harlem — lots of strollers and dogs on lead. This neighborhood is also nicknamed Academic Acropolis, due to the fact that several university campuses  call it home, including Columbia of the Ivy League.

Before examining the Starbucks on 111th and Broadway, I even took some time to walk the long and narrow Riverside Park, which is perfect for joggers and families alike. There’s also tons and tons of benches in case you want to take a book and a sandwich and have one of those typical park bench moments.

The Starbucks itself is large and in charge. Sure, it’s crowded and filled with studying students, but there’s plenty of seats to go ’round. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the WiFi bandwidth. Certainly no video streaming here. There’s also no oven (random?). So, no breakfast sandwiches or toasted bagels. Sorry guys!

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NYC Starbucks: 45th & Broadway SEC

14 Sep

45th and Broadway Starbucks

Just yesterday I was pleasantly surprised by a Midtown Starbucks on 53rd & Lexington that was both welcoming and spacious. Today, I’m thrown deeper into bewilderment as I sit at a Time Square Starbucks that is neither crowded nor small.

The Starbucks on the corner of 45th and Broadway is just a few steps away from what is arguably the heaviest tourist crowd in the country, yet sitting inside you would never suspect it. Sure, the crowd ebbs and flows, but there always seems to be an available chair or two. There’s even a set of comfy chairs in the front seating area. My only theory is that this Starbucks is protected by the fact that it is on 45th and not Broadway itself. Most caffeine craving sightseers simply never hear the siren’s call.

I could spend more time theorizing over why this Starbucks is the way it is. But I’d rather just take some time to enjoy it while I sip my Chocolate Chai Tea Latte.

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NYC Starbucks: Walker & Broadway

7 Aug

Walker and Broadway Starbucks

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.

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NYC Starbucks: Reade & Broadway

18 Jul

Reade and Broadway Starbucks

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

NYC Starbucks: Stone & Whitehall

9 Jul

Stone and Whitehall Starbucks

Today I did something I’ve been wanting to do all summer. I got on a Citi Bike and rode around the city with no particular destination in mind. No work, no gym, no particular Starbucks — just riding to see what I see. I started in the Upper East Side (or as close to the UES as Citi Bike gets, which is 59th & 2nd), then biked through Midtown-East, the East Village, cut through SoHo, Little Italy, City Hall and into the Financial District.

I ended my joy ride at Bowling Green Park and the end of Broadway. Bowling Green is actually the oldest park in NYC and was constructed in 1733. Surrounding it now is the National Museum of the American Indian, some tall office buildings, a Chipotle, and — of course — a Starbucks.

The Starbucks is on the corner of Stone Street and Whitehall Street, just south of the park that divides Broadway in two. It’s right on top of an R-train stop and not far from the 4/5 station. When I first attempted to enter, the line was literally 2-3 people out the door. As I sit in the back right now, I can see the line has once again breached the door. I see this a lot in the mornings, but this is 3pm on a Tuesday. Clearly, the park and the museum drive lots of tourist traffic.

There is a small seating area in the back of the Starbucks where I currently sit with a handful of other patrons. Some are business men, some tourists and some (like me) are just typing away on laptops. No restroom though — so sitting at this Starbucks has a time limit — or should I say bladder limit?

Overall, I’d say this a good Starbucks to get a quick pick-me-up at and then take it to the Bowling Green Park.

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