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Tag Archives: Herald Square

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: 34th & Broadway (Macy’s 6th Floor)

1 Dec

34th and Broadway Starbucks Macy's 6th Floor

Macy’s. A joy to some. A burden to others.

The Macy’s at Herald Square is a lot of things. It’s currently the world’s largest department store. It is the company’s flagship store. It is a New York landmark and central part of a national Thanksgiving tradition.

It’s also one of the first buildings I entered when I first visited New York. What can I say? I was simply drawn to it. I mean — come on — with 10 complete levels of shopping, it’s any gay man’s dream store. The massive department store was actually located directly across from the hotel that my friends and I were staying at, and it caused many directional conundrums. Everywhere I went in the area of Herald Square I saw Macy’s. I’d think I was close to my hotel, when really I was 2-blocks away.

But Macy’s can also be a total stressor — especially around the holidays. When you’re trying to find that special something for that certain someone, and thousands of others are in the same department store doing the same, it can be a complete nightmare. Take this morning for instance — I arrived at Macy’s around 9:40am and realized the store doesn’t open until 10am today. However, there was already a sizable crowd waiting at each and every entrance. And it just kept on growing. Once the doors opened, everyone plunged in and scattered for the good sales or to see Santa on the 8th floor. I — however — just laid back, took it all in and casually strolled to the first of four Starbucks I plan on visiting today.

Yes. There are four Starbucks in this Macy’s alone: one on the 1st floor balcony and one on the 3rd, 5th and 6th floor. In fact, there are more here than in Grand Central, Penn Station or any other New York building. And why not? WIth all that stressful shopping, people need a pick-me-up – or two, or four.

In order to efficiently visit all of the Macy’s Starbucks, I decided to start from the top down and made my way to the 6th floor location. Something worth noting is that after the 5th or so floor the escalators in Macy’s turn from metal to wood. You can see the wooden escalator pictured above. I’ve never seen anything like it. Anyway… on to the Starbucks.

The 6th floor Starbucks is located in the bedding department. There are no seats or separating walls for the Starbucks. It is simply tucked into one of the walls. When I arrived there was no line — but I can tell you from experience, that even though this Starbucks is the highest in Macy’s it can still generate quite the crowd. So I simply ordered my eggnog latte, paused a moment to fully take it in and then moved on. I’ve got more ground to cover!

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NYC Starbucks: 35th & 7th

19 Oct

35th and 7th Starbucks

There is one aspect of each Starbucks that you can’t easily predict by simply looking at it. The quality of its WiFi. Sure you can always log on — unless of course the Starbucks’ Internet is actually down, which happens — technology isn’t perfect. But some Starbucks tend to give me flashbacks to the days of AOL and webpages loading in increments over a minute and a half. Yea, nobody misses those days.

Of course there are some telling signs that the WiFi may be less than impressive: a small location with no seating, a large crowd with lots of laptops, or conversely a large crowd with no laptops at all. Still… you’ll never really know until you attempt to log on.

The Starbucks on 35th & 7th is one that I had a sneaking suspicion from the moment I walked in that the WiFi would be slower than most. Maybe it’s because this is a Midtown Starbucks or because it’s heavily crowded, but somehow I knew the WiFi would be touch and go. What does that mean? Basically — no Youtube videos and Google image search will make you want to punch a baby, which I don’t endorse.

Other than the WiFi, this Starbucks is a mixed bag of lots of good and plenty of bad. It’s in a popular location, much larger than most, has great decor and stays open later than most. Unfortunately, Newton proved long ago that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Meaning this attractive Starbucks in a popular area of NYC can’t help but be bogged down by a huge crowd. Or maybe Kevin Costner said it best in Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.”

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NYC Starbucks: 35th & 5th

14 Oct

35th and 5th Starbucks

Today I’m drinking a tall iced coffee at the Midtown Starbucks on 35th & 5th Avenue. I can’t remember the last time I’ve ordered anything smaller than a grande. Then the other day I realized something; I hardly ever finish my drinks. If I get a venti I drink three-fourths of it. If I order a grande, I only drink most of it. So what difference does 4 ounces make? About 44 cents.

This Starbucks is one of those railroad stores — long and narrow. In fact, it’s so long it almost looks like a hallway. Even the tables and barista bar are pushed off to the side to make room for the through-traffic — which there is a lot of. Want to guess what’s at the end of the hall? That’s right, the single restroom.

At least it’s big enough to handle the massive crowd the comes through it, and being just one block north of all the 34th street retail shops, most guests come with 2-3 enormous shopping bags swinging at their sides. It’s enough to make most New Yorkers run the other way.

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NYC Starbucks: 36th & 6th

5 Sep

36th and 6th Starbucks

Today is Rosh Hashanah. It’s the Jewish New Year. It amazes me how ignorant I was to Jewish culture before moving to New York. It’s not that there weren’t Jews in Orlando, Florida, but there wasn’t such a cultural presence as there is here in NYC. I was reminded of my ignorance once again this week as Rosh Hashanah drew near and I had to ask why some people wouldn’t be into work.  Obviously, I’m still adjusting to life here in the city.

Besides being Rosh Hashanah and the week of Labor Day, it is also the first week of the fall semester at NYU. And to top it all off, I’ve come down with a cold. Luckily, Starbucks is an essential part of my “get well soon” treatment. Well… Tazo Green Tea is, at least.

So here I stand in the Garment District Starbucks on 36th and 6th Ave getting my blog on before my evening class in NYU’s Bryant Park classroom building. Why am I standing you ask? Obviously — it’s because there are no seats at this Starbucks. It’s one of those mini Starbucks that fit in so well in Midtown, Manhattan. It’s small. It’s compact. And it’s designed in a way to keep the crowd moving.

The only thing this Starbucks is missing is a revolving door.

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NYC Starbucks: 33rd & 6th (Manhattan Mall)

29 Jul

33rd and 6th Starbucks

New York City is known for some of the best shopping opportunities in the country. However, one thing NYC is not known for is its malls. After all, this isn’t Minnesota. Where other cities rely on malls to bring the people and retail chains together, here in Manhattan, clothing stores and specialty shops can thrive without the confines of a shopping mall.

However, there is at least one mall on the island of Manhattan that I’ve stumbled upon, and that mall, of  course, happens to have a Starbucks in it.

The Manhattan Mall is just south of Herald Square and rests in the shadow of the gigantic Macy’s. It consists of your typical, run of the mill mall stores like Victoria’s Secret, JC Penney’s, Express and Aeropostale, but is lacking the typical mall food court. The mall is typically flooded with Midtown tourists and a younger crowd of high school mall-rats with nothing better to do — oh the memories!

The Starbucks is located on the first floor near the entrances on both 33rd and 6th Avenue. Unlike some mall Starbucks that I’ve seen in my day, this one doesn’t have a seating area or separate lobby at all. It was literally built directly on top of the mall tile below the escalator to the second floor. It almost looks like a pop-up Starbucks — like they could clear out at any moment without a trace of ever being there.

I would say I’d only recommend this Starbucks to someone up for some serious mall shopping, but then I really wouldn’t recommend coming to Manhattan to shop at a mall.

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NYC Starbucks: 33rd & 5th

2 May

33rdand5th

Everyone’s heard of Chinatown, but what about Koreatown?

Koreatown is a small Manhattan neighborhood in Midtown. It is just south of the giant Macy’s at Herald Square. This ethnic enclave is only three streets long, but it is simply brimming with culture. Last year I was led to this neighborhood blindly and told to expect one of the best meals of my life. That’s when I was introduced to Korean BBQ and was certainly not disappointed. Traditional Korean BBQ involves a charcoal grill built into your table as fresh meats and veggies are prepared for you table-side. Hibachi is child’s play compared to Korean BBQ. I highly recommend trying it.

But anyway, this blog is about Starbucks, right?

The Koreatown location at 33rd and 5th is a sizable location with just enough seating to quell the masses that pass through its doors. The decor is fairly simplistic and the furnishings are basic, but seating accommodations alone make this an above average location. I’d say come with a friend, a few friends, or just solo. You’ll be able to find a seat within minutes of entering.

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NYC Starbucks: 31st & 6th

13 Mar

31stand6th

The Starbucks on 31st and 6th is actually the first location I ever visited in New York City. The image on the banner of this blog was taken here in December of 2011 when I first visited the city.

We arrived very late on a Wednesday, and the following morning I woke up well before my friends. Getting a glimpse of the city from our hotel room on the 14th floor of the Hotel Pennsylvania made exploring NYC irresistible. So I descended into the city solo, while my friends slumbered. I walked aimlessly around crowded Midtown in the peak hours of business foot-traffic until I spotted this Starbucks. I think at that moment I knew that the rest of my visit would be spent finding a way to make this city my future home — and that’s exactly what I did.

Unfortunately, this Starbucks has not remained as I left it. The exterior is now burdened with one of those construction awnings. If that would have been the case in December of 2011, I may have missed this location entirely. But don’t let the lousy exterior full you — the interior of this location is beautifully decorated. It also has a decent amount of seating to help tackle the crowds that poor in. It is larger than most Midtown locations, and the design pushes the line toward the back to help eliminate congestion.

I definitely don’t remember the first Starbucks I ever stepped foot in, but this location is unforgettable.

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NYC Starbucks: 38th & 7th

4 Mar

38thand7th

I would be curious to see the ratio of hot coffee vs. iced coffee based on geography and season. When I lived in Florida I only drank iced coffees. Well, that’s not entirely true. I also drank iced lattes, iced mochas, iced teas, and the occasional frapuccino. In-fact, I was never a “big coffee drinker” until I discovered it over ice. Now, I find myself cringing at the thought of adding any unnecessary ice to my life. I’ve become accustomed to my hot coffee to fight the morning chill. I would suppose the percent of iced beverages in a Canadian Starbucks is significantly less than a Southern California location.

Such are the things a true Starbucks addict is able to ponder.

I’m currently sipping my hot coffee at a Starbucks in Midtown. Technically, this Starbucks is in the Garment District, but since it is so close to the intersection of Broadway and 7th Ave it mostly resembles the Times Square and Theatre District locations. Space is tight. The lines are long. And the morning rush never seems to end. But this Starbucks does have one added perk. Directly beyond the barista bar is a staircase leading to a small seating area that looks over the ruckus of Midtown coffee-traffic.

Little perks such as these are an excellent reminder that Starbucks is just as much a cafe as it is a fast-food chain.

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NYC Starbucks: 34th & 5th

17 Jan

34thand5th

Everybody has heard of the Empire State Building — but how many of you are familiar with the Starbucks at the base?

Yes, Starbucks has even infiltrated one of the most grand and iconic structures located in Midtown Manhattan.

Midtown certainly wins the award for most congested neighborhood in the city. Blending tourism with the white-collar workday, the Midtown foot traffic is enough to turn even the most tranquil person into a maniac. My daily trek through Midtown often reminds me of my old days of driving on I-4 in Florida: zigzagging and weaving through the slower traffic to get where I need to go.

This particular stretch of 34th Street houses some of the biggest retail flagships, from Aldo to Zara, and just a block away from Herald Square and Penn Station. But luckily, this Starbucks comes fully prepared to tackle the enormous crowds that the tourist sites of midtown bring. A split-level cafe, this location offers plenty of room for those just passing through or those looking for a seat. A passerby can get in and get out, while someone looking to take a seat need only to walk down to the lower-level. There exists the largest seating area I’ve seen at any Starbucks to date.

It is also noteworthy that this is the first location that has a revolving door to help control the masses of in-comers and out-goers. Also, two gender-specific bathrooms and an army of baristas help quell the lines that would otherwise force themselves out the door and into the street.

So — if you can cut through the masses of people outside — this is a promising Starbucks to utilize.

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