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Tag Archives: espresso

NYC Starbucks: 34th & Broadway (Macy’s Balcony)

1 Dec

34th and Broadway Starbucks Macy's Balcony

The balcony Starbucks at Macy’s Herald Square is definitely impressive. It actually got renovated this year and was closed for several months. But obviously Macy’s and Starbucks made sure it was all shiny and new before the holiday season.

The balcony floor is also know as floor one and a half, and it overlooks most of the women’s perfume and jewelry department, which is by far the busiest section of Macy’s all year round. Luckily, the renovation seems to have added more seating and more style to this Starbucks. Now there are cushioned seats, mini tables, and dividing wall units that do a descent job at separating the Starbucks lounge from the crazy crowds.

And yes — the crowd is crazy. I’ve waited in line at this Starbucks for over 15-minutes in the past. But fortunately today I caught it at a good time and waited only 2-3.

I thought this location was the only one in New York to offer what Starbucks calls their “Evening Menu” that includes champagne; however, the barista informed me this is not the case. He said there was another Starbucks on the 2nd floor of Macy’s that is known as the Herald Square Cafe, and I could get champagne and wine up there.

Here, I thought there were only four Starbucks in the Macy’s Herald Square, but technically there are five. So clearly my exploration of Macy’s is not over just yet.

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NYC Starbucks: 34th & Broadway (Macy’s 5th Floor)

1 Dec

34th and Broadway Starbucks Macy's 5th Floor

After visiting Macy’s 6th floor Starbucks, I simply had to take one escalator down to the 5th floor woman’s department to find the next one. And I have to admit, these two Starbucks are strikingly similar. They are the same exact size. Neither offers seating. And they are both located up against a wall that separates one department from another. The only perceivable difference is that this 5th floor Starbucks is surrounded by woman’s clothing and not bedding.

I simply ordered my double shot of espresso, took in the scene and continued on my way. There are grander Starbucks inside this Macy’s to visit. I know that for a fact.

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NYC Starbucks: 26th & Broadway

20 Jun

26th and Broadway Starbucks

Hurray for discovering a new neighborhood while simultaneously enhancing my NYC vocabulary! Welcome to NoMad — the neighborhood NOrth of MADison square park.

Madison Square park divides NoMad and the Flatiron district and consists of a tiny patch of grass, a bunch of trees, some great picture ops and a Shake Shack. From what I can gather from strolling around NoMad, it’s a less congested (less Asian) version of Koreatown. I passed by a lot of perfume shops, jewelers, delis and sports apparel shops on my way to the Starbucks on the corner of 26th street and Broadway. All in all, I wasn’t expecting much from this Starbucks.

However, when I entered I was forced to eat my words — well, my thoughts anyway. I don’t think I verbalized them.

Not only is this a large Starbucks, but it is a large Starbucks with a balcony of additional seating. It probably has the most variety of seating I’ve seen in a while, ranging from high top stools to small tables and random elevated padded seating blocks. It’s very eclectic but effective. Unfortunately the upstairs was just closing up when I arrived, but that fact that it’s open for most of the day is only an added perk. Most seating has available outlets nearby so those burdened with dying laptop batteries need not fear.

Also worth mentioning is the stylish decor throughout. Random coffee-related trinkets are shelved above the barista bar and espresso wood is everywhere you look. They’ve even got one of those coffee sack wall decorations hanging. All in all, I’m digging it.

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NYC Starbucks: 57th & 8th SWC

10 May

57thand8th

The Starbucks on 57th & 8th is the emptiest location I’ve seen since beginning this blog. Yes it’s 9pm on a Friday night, but still… there are plenty of Starbucks here in Manhattan that have long lines at this very moment.

This Starbucks’ eerie emptiness is probably due to its vague placement on the NYC grid. It’s right near Columbus Circle but just south of it. It’s a few blocks from the Theatre District but several other Starbucks are much more convenient for the Broadway-goers. And it’s pushed a little too far north to attract any of the crowds from Hell’s Kitchen.

This is all bad for business — but for patrons that need a place to sit and study/read/write/etc, this Starbucks is prime caffeinated real-estate. If only it had a few more power outlets…

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NYC Starbucks: 23rd & 8th

4 May

23rdand8th

Starbucks is having another Frapuccino Happy Hour from May 3rd-12th. This basically gives anyone with a midday sweet tooth the benefit of enjoying any of their blended frapps for 1/2 from 3pm to 5pm. They started doing these a few years ago, and have periodically brought them back because — obviously — we just can’t get enough.

While I never drink their frappuccinos on a day-to-day basis, I always get at least one whenever a happy hour rolls around. SO despite the fact that swimsuit season is right around the corner, here I am sipping down a Java Chip Frapp. I may tell myself that this is for blogging purposes solely or that I’m being fiscally responsible, but honestly this is just an excuse to enjoy an old guilt pleasure. Never tried a frapp? You have until May 12th to sample one for 1/2 off.

While I thoroughly enjoyed my frappuccino, the Starbucks on 23rd and 8th was a little less impressive. A smaller than average location, this Starbucks’ only uniqueness factor is a wall morale across from the barista bar. Other than that, we have ourselves a few small tables and the typical unisex restroom. Usually most Starbucks above a train station are “strictly business” but this one seems to be more bland than most.

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Reflection: March

1 Apr

march - Copy

A quarter of the year has come and gone and I still find myself wanting to write 2012 whenever I mark the date. I’ve been in NYC for 8 months now, and I have only 9 months left of my bizarre journey through the Starbucks of Manhattan. But I’ve encountered a problem… The Starbucks seem to be multiplying. First one of my colleagues joyfully informed me of the opening of one near her apartment on 28th and Lex. Then I spot one myself sprouting up on top the F-Train stop on 63rd and Lex. Who can say how many new ones will pop up before the year’s end. Clearly my original calculation of 201 needs to be adjusted.

But where do I stand so far… In the month of March I visited 16 locations in 11 different neighborhoods. Although I did better this month than I did in February, I still find myself falling short of my goal. 1/4 of the year is already over, and I’ve visited a total of 44 unique Starbucks locations. But at this rate, I’ll only get to 176 by the year’s end. Here’s hoping that the warming weather will make me a more devoted wanderer of the streets of Manhattan.

My favorite Starbucks of March has to be the TriBeCa location on Leonard and West Broadway. Not only did it open my eyes to a new neighborhood in the city, but it was the only Starbucks this month to receive 5-Cups. My least favorite, not surprisingly, was a Midtown location. The Starbucks on 43rd and 6th was too cramped and lacked the accommodations to receive anything more than 1-Cup.

So there we have it. 44 down… who know exactly how many to go.

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: 16th & 8th

11 Mar

16thand8th

It is another beautiful day out in New York City. So I decided to pay a visit to the neighborhood that has become my favorite area to go shopping, have lunch, or just simply walk around. You guessed it — welcome back to Chelsea.

The Starbucks on 16th Street and 8th Avenue was designed with NASCAR fans in mind. It functions like a racetrack, and is the perfect pit stop on your way to and fro. You walk in and steer to the left wear you order at the barista bar. Progress forward and pick up your drink at the end of the row. Need to use the restroom? Merge right. If not, then make a U-turn and face the creamer station. From there your back where you started and a few steps from the door.

The good thing about Starbucks such as these is that they are perfect for grabbing a quick cup on the go. The downside is that they don’t make the best sitting locations. Yes — there are stools lining walls here, but they’re condensed and highly populated. Since this one is directly on top of a subway terminal, it is clear who Starbucks was catering to when they opened this location.

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NYC Starbucks: 60th & 1st

9 Mar

60thand1st

Today I woke up to spring. Yesterday may have consisted of snow, rain, and dreary skies. But today spring decided to pay Manhattan a visit for the first time in 2013.

I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to spring with such zeal. In Florida, spring was a simple reminder that summer was on its way. Meaning: stay indoors and crank the AC. But here in New York, I can feel the city’s eagerness for the bloom of spring — which is ironic considering our lack of greenery.

To further brighten my day, I decided to sample the latest addition to the Starbucks espresso family: The Hazelnut Macchiato. Like its sister-drink, the caramel macchiato, you can get this one hot, iced, or skinny. Not only are the macchiatos the most visually appealing drinks, but they are delicious and pack an espresso punch. Although I still prefer the caramel to the hazelnut (I think it’s the vanilla syrup) I appreciate the expansion of the macchiato family. Next, I’d like to see a mocha macchiato variant.

The Starbucks on 60th and 1st Avenue seems to defy neighborhood placement. It is north of Sutton Place — south of Yorkville — East of Lenox Hill — and is west of the East River and Roosevelt Island. All of these areas are relatively small sub-neighborhoods. So I guess we can just say this is another generic Upper East Side Starbucks. Which would explain its superior accommodations.

One of the most charming aspects of this location is that it is slightly tucked in form 1st Avenue, and rows of outdoor chairs have been staggered on the sidewalk – a  concrete version of a park-bench, so to speak. This, combined with the natural lighting and studious crowd, makes it an excellent Starbucks to take a load off at.

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NYC Starbucks: Leonard & West Broadway

3 Mar

leonardandwestbroadway

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.

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