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Tag Archives: green tea

NYC Starbucks: 42nd & 9th

26 Jul

42nd and 9th Starbucks

I’ve passed by the Starbucks on 42nd and 9th avenue several times, and although never entering, I knew what I would most likely rate this Starbucks months ago. That’s because its exterior wall is nothing but paneled glass. Each time I passed, I could see exactly what was going on inside.

Essentially, this Starbucks is a small space with crowded tables, a consistent crowd and little room for much else. I could even tell there was no restroom just by a passing glance. Although it’s well enough removed from Time Square to not have a giant crowd shuffling by outside, it still attracts enough of a crowd. It’s close to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and just north of the traffic nightmare known as Hellsea.

I’m not saying grabbing a seat here would be impossible. Just prepare to wait a while — or arrive early. This bad boy opens up at 6am, Monday-Friday.

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NYC Starbucks: Worth & Lafayette

23 Jul

Worth and Lafayette Starbucks

I’m starting to appreciate the neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan the more I visit them. Not only are they older than the upper part of the island and rich with history, but they also have a more pleasing aesthetic Perhaps it’s the fact that they don’t obey the repetitive Manhattan grid of numbered streets and avenues. Down here streets run diagonal or even in circles, and they actually have names that have nothing to do with their placement. Sure it’s not logical or organized, but this lack-of-symmetry  allows for a more substantial presence for each of these beautiful buildings.

Today, I walked south from 14th street, past Astor Place, through SoHo and Chinatown (passing countless Starbucks on my way) until my feet had had enough and I came across a Starbucks that I had yet to venture into. The Starbucks I found was on the corner of Worth and Lafayette in an area of Civic Center called Foley Square. The Department of Health and the New York Supreme Court are both nearby, and the though the windows of the Starbucks you get a lovely view of Thomas Pain Park.

Inside the Starbucks, there is a small seating nook that is well-enough removed from the barista bar and line to still be considered nice and relaxing. It gets plenty of natural light and has a just enough seating to satisfy the few of us that actually want to stay and sit a while. Most people, however, seems to want to get their drinks to go. The line was consistently backed up to the entrance, and although the baristas kept it moving, there was always just as much people entering as there was leaving.

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NYC Starbucks: 33rd & 8th (Penn Station)

21 Jul

33rd and 8th Starbucks

I’ve decided to continue my July theme of Starbucks within renowned NYC landmarks. Today my journey takes me to one of the two Starbucks inside of Pennsylvania Station (aka Penn Station).

Although deep within Penn Station near the Long Island Railroad departure tracks, this Starbucks’ closest cross street is 33rd and 8th avenue. Penn Station takes up an entire city block from 31st to 33rd between 7th and 8th avenues; and although it is not as big as Grand Central Terminal — and not nearly as nice to look at — it still burdens quite the crowd (twice that of GCT). In fact — talks have long been in the works about how to redesign, restructure or simply relocate either Penn Station or Madison Square Garden to ease the nightmarish crowds. Although, as far as I know, nothing has been decided on.

Besides, this building is over 100 years old, so it’s got deep roots. Above you can see some black and white photography from the early 1900s that are hanging on the walls of this Starbucks.

Speaking of — after spending the weekend with family in small-town New Jersey (the reason I’m in Penn Station in the first place), it was great to climb up out from the train tracks and lay eyes on that familiar green shrouded siren right here in the station. This Starbucks may not be the easiest to get to for the average New Yorker, but I’ sure it has been a godsend to many a tired traveler.

This is a fully functional Starbucks — with distinct floor tiles, lighting, music and decor. All it’s lacking is a restroom. However, that’s not much of a flaw, since most patrons seem to take their coffee to go. Yet, the wooden benches used for seating certainly aren’t vacant –not when they have built in outlets for power-starved iPhone addicts and WiFi for those waiting on a train.

All in all, if you were to ignore the fast moving crowds with luggage outside the entrance, this would appear to be your average NYC Starbucks.

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NYC Starbucks: 56th & 6th

19 Jul

56th and 6th Starbucks

I feel bad for the Starbucks on 56th and 6th. Apparently it is the exact perfect distance between Central Park and all the other tourist attractions on 6th avenue to make it the ultimate tourist trap.

It’s not too small and it doesn’t really lack for seating, but — oh my — it is crowded. This is the kind of Starbucks that doesn’t get a moment of rest from sun rise to well after sun sets. Luckily there are two doors to keep the flow moving and no restroom so that there aren’t any additional crowds. That’s actually the first time that I’ve found a lack of a restroom to benefit a Starbucks, but really, this one just couldn’t support one.

I’d say grab a drink to go, unless you’re lucky enough to find a seat.

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NYC Starbucks: 48th & 3rd

17 Jul

48th and 3rd Starbucks

New York City has been undergoing a heat wave this week. Basically, this city has been transformed into a concrete oven that heats to 97 degrees and seems to stay that way ALL day. So these Starbucks Treat Receipts couldn’t come at a better time.

The Starbucks on 48th and 3rd avenue is a tiny rectangle with a small barista bar, a row of chairs against the front window. and one long cushioned bench with tables. The neighborhood of Turtle Bay is kind of off the beaten path (unless your heading to a train), so this Starbucks seems to only attract passersby, making the tiny seating area more than enough to hold the crowd.

Despite the fact that it’s small, closes earlier than most and doesn’t appear to have any power outlets, this Starbucks is still a welcoming reprieve from this NYC heat.

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NYC Starbucks: 28th & 7th

16 Jul

28th and 7th  Starbucks

I like my coffee with cream, splenda and hold the discrimination.

Currently there is a group of 12 deaf individuals that are suing Starbucks based on the actions of some baristas here in NYC. I’ve read several articles on the topic (like this one from Huffington Post), and I wish I could say I don’t believe the allegations to be true, but honestly I do.

As someone who’s visited over 100 Starbucks in Manhattan this year alone, I’ve witnessed lots of things. Mostly it’s inappropriate patrons, but at times the baristas can be a little less than pleasant. I can’t say I’ve ever witnessed any form of discrimination, though — mostly just burnt out employees that are probably in need of a 15 minute break. But what this group of patrons is accusing those baristas of is something else. It’ll be interesting to see where this case goes.

Ok. That’s enough of that. Let’s talk about the Starbucks on 28th & 7th. This Starbucks is in Chelsea directly across from the Fashion Institute of Technology. So far I’ve witnessed no one discriminating against anyone, despite the fact that this Starbucks is crowded with patrons. But I am keeping an eye out.

This Starbucks is a split level, with an elevated seating area connected by a staircase in the front of the store. There are two seating areas (one up, one down), plenty of scattered power outlets, and one restroom. The lighting is dim and the construction outside doesn’t allow much sun to seep through the windows. Luckily this Starbucks affords enough space for the giant crowd it attracts to spread out once they get their order. One helluva line though.

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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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NYC Starbucks: 57th & Lexington SWC

7 Jul

57th and Lexington SWC Starbucks

Recently, I’ve been interested in comparing Starbucks in Manhattan that are in extremely close proximity to other Starbucks (like on the same exact street corner).

Late last month, I visited a Starbucks on the northwest corner of 56th & Lexington, and now I’m sitting in a Starbucks just south of it on the same street corner.

The Starbucks on the north side of the street was tiny, triangular and could only fit a handful of patrons at once. This Starbucks doesn’t look like much from the outside, but I was surprised that it is actually fairly large. Well — not large — but deep. It’s very narrow, like a railroad apartment, and has just a tiny store front.

Also, this Starbucks gets bonus points for sharing an entranceway with a Psychic parlor. So you can get your caffeine fix and your palm read all in the same place. Or maybe go to the parlor first and they can predict what drink you’ll order.

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NYC Starbucks: 73rd & Columbus

12 May

Starbucks on 73rd and Columbus

If the neighborhoods of Manhattan were competing in a beauty pageant, I feel the Upper West Side would take it by a landslide. Not only does it border Central Park, but it has some of the prettiest buildings and unique architecture (take note of some of the street art and statuary I captured above). It’s less congested, and you can take your time to walk slowly and window shop without becoming a barrier to the go-getters of NYC.

As a gay man, I often tend to look at the city through a rainbow colored lens. The “gay scene” in Manhattan has been on a steady migration ever since the days of Stonewall (1969). Over the past 40 some odd years, the gays have been slowly working their way up the west side of the island. From the West Village to Chelsea to Hell’s Kitchen. You can see the remnants of this slow migration in slug-like trail of stereotypes: The Village houses the “old gays” while Chelsea is for the “muscle daddies” and HK is for “the youngins.”

Always being a forward thinking person, this train of thought has driven me to the conclusion that the Upper West Side will be the next big gay neighborhood within the next 20 years. The proof is in the past and present. As Chelsea bars begin to close and reemerge in HK, the same thing is bound to happen as rent in HK continue to rise. Also since the city was built up — with the northern neighborhoods being newer than the south — there is more room to spread out here.

Building on this stereotype even further, this inevitable migration of gay men with their expendable incomes will certainly lead to more Upper West Side Starbucks. I really hope you can read the jest in my voice here, people!

This Starbucks on 73rd & Columbus is a good example of why I have not grown bored of visiting Starbucks after Starbucks here in Manhattan. Every now and then I stumble upon one that is distinctive enough to keep me pushing forward on my coffee-colored journey.

This location is small but brewing with charm. It’s angled, glass-paneled walls and dark espresso decor attracted me immediately. Then I saw the little seating area separated by a mirrored half-wall and the adorableness factor of this location increased considerably. I believe this to be the first open mirror I’ve seen at any Starbucks so far. Although the restroom line runs long, I still recommend this as a homey and brightly lit Starbucks to spend some time in while on the Upper West Side.

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Reflection: April

2 May

April - Copy

 

You can tell it warmed up in the month of April just by looking above and seeing iced coffees and teas in most of my photos.

This month I reached a total of 14 unique Starbucks locations throughout Manhattan in 9 different neighborhoods. However, because of sheer density alone, most of the Starbucks I visited this month were in Midtown. Which makes sense, because if I had to give a rough estimate, I’d say 50-60% of the Manhattan locations belong to this large neighborhood.

This month I got the pleasure of visiting the one and only Starbucks located in the Lower East Side. But the most impressive Starbucks I came across in April has to be the Greenwich and 8th location. The swanky decor and plate glass walls made this one of the most aesthetically appealing locations I’ve seen on my journey. Unfortunately, this month I’ve encountered no 5-Cup locations, while I did stumble across two 1-Cup locations I’d recommend in a caffeine emergency only — both in the center of midtown on 42nd & 43rd street.

With a third of the year already spent. My plan is to kick it into high gear over the some. I’ll be searching for new neighborhoods and new drink combinations. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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