Did you know that Broadway has the most Starbucks located on it when compared to any other avenue in New York City? By my count there are 36 individual Starbucks locations off Broadway, and they just keep on coming. I think the only thing that rivals the amount of Starbucks on Broadway is the number of Bank of Americas. Every other street there seems to be one on the corner beckoning me to make an ATM withdrawal. I’m not really complaining since it is my bank of choice, but the concentration of them on this single avenue is kind of weird. I’m only used to seeing Starbucks on most street corners. Well, that or Subways.
I’m currently sitting at the Starbucks on the southeast corner of 103rd and Broadway. After reviewing the new Starbucks just a few blocks south on 99th street, I couldn’t help pay this one a visit as well. It’s not really that I’m pressed for time — not anymore at least — but I just couldn’t help compare these two locations a mere four blocks away.
Although both are on Broadway and conveniently located near trains, this one definitely attracts a larger crowd. Perhaps it’s because this one actually has a public restroom for patrons to use. There’s also twice as much seating here and a little more room to spread out. But this Starbucks’ decor is also much more dated than its southern counterpart, and the lighting here is very dim, especially on a rainy day like today with limited natural lighting.
I guess the moral of this story is that no matter what your likes and dislikes, Broadway has a Starbucks for you. Not at one that suits your interest, just walk a few blocks in either direction and you’re sure to find another.
This time last week, it was snowing in New York City. Today it’s 70 degrees and I’m sitting at Starbucks drinking iced coffee. But never fear! Apparently this odd warm spell will be short lived, and we’ll all be forced to drink hot coffee by Christmas morning. Or maybe even some hot cocoa.
The Starbucks that I’m sitting at is an Upper West Side location that initially escaped my research. According to the baristas it underwent a remodel earlier this year, so there’s a chance it was closed down and unlisted for a while. I can’t say for sure what it looked like before, but I can say with certainty that it is a well designed Starbucks now. The decor is definitely its best attribute. On the walls hang a few framed photographs that portray people in metro areas enjoying Starbucks in various fashions. I’ve only ever seen these at one other Starbucks before, and they’re definitely more attractive than pictures of coffee beans and the roasting process. There’s also some pretty nifty looking lighting throughout. Above you can see the lighting ornament that hangs directly above the milk cart.
Apart from the decor, this Starbucks is average sized; it has a good amount of seating, one restroom, a consistently crowded lobby and a location that makes it convenient for a quick pick-me-up while Christmas shopping. Speaking of — that’s my mission for the rest of the day. Wish me luck!
I really was not expecting to find very many great Starbucks left in Manhattan this close to the year’s end. Yet, here I sit at the beautifully designed Starbucks on the border of Stuyvesant Town and Kips Bay. This Starbucks can’t be more than a few weeks old, and its size, design, decor, seating and overall newness really do make for a perfect Starbucks in the city.
My favorite attribute has to be the chain screen panels that separate the seating area from the hall and the bar. But other great features include the hanging lighting, the wood paneled walls and the hanging pictures. And the closest thing to a flaw this Starbucks has is its location. This area on 1st ave is at least 10 blocks from everything and a long walk to public transportation that’s not a bus. Fortunately there is a Citi Bike just out front. How do you think I got here?
Just a stone’s throw away from Macy’s Herald Square — in the thick of Penn Station traffic — is a the small Starbucks at the base of the towering skyscraper of 1 Penn Plaza. It’s semi-removed from the street and a few yards from the exterior plaza on the corner of 8th avenue. Technically, this Starbucks is neither on 7th or 8th ave, but I eye-balled it closer to 8th.
Although this Starbucks looks like it has the potential to be quite sizable from the outside — with its long window paneled exterior — it’s really just a trick of the eye. This Starbucks is another small shallow shotgun style store. There’s a few stools lining the glass walls and an entrance into the office space of 1 Penn Plaza, but that’s nearly it. No restroom, no distinct seating area, and no need to hang around for longer than you need to.
After nearly seven hours of Black Friday shopping in NYC, my body feels like it just went through a trauma. My feet are swollen like a pregnant woman’s and my back is sore from carrying the baggage I inevitably picked up. Still — it was kind of worth it. And I got to visit a Starbucks along the way.
While most retail stores — and practically everywhere near Times Square — were much more crowded today than usual, I can assuredly say that the Starbucks on 42d and 8th avenue sees this kind of crowd daily. This location is connected to the Regal Cinemas and stays open later than most Starbucks in the city to keep late-night movie goers and passers- by caffeinated.
Inside, this Starbucks is average sized — maybe a little big by Midtown standards — and has a heavy crowd flow. Obviously, it houses as lot of tourists, but it also has a decently sized seating area and a few random bar stool to maintain the crowd. But its most distinctive characteristic is its elaborate decor. Even the Starbucks logo outside is louder than most, but then again, in this neighborhood, your signing needs to be over-the-top to stand out from the hundreds of other flashy and eccentric marketing ploys.
My favorite piece inside the Starbucks is a large eclectic wall mural that takes up most of the wall near the street entrance. It contains random colors, various siren sketches and different quotes about coffee, nature, mermaids and other random stuff. Most of the mural and some of the quotes are pictured above, but my favorite is as follows:
“Come into the water,” the Siren said. “Without water there would be no life. It is water that brews our coffees. Many humans are convinced you know, that there is no life before coffee.”
And — yes — clearly, I am one of those humans. Especially on Black Friday, there would be no life in me without coffee.
Today my Starbucks journey took me on a stroll through Columbia University and to the Starbucks on 114th and Broadway that serves its student population.
After I decided to move to New York, there were three universities that I considered applying to for grad school: Pace, NYU, and Columbia. Although NYU won out, I was highly intrigued by Columbia. After all, it is an Ivy League and one of the oldest universities in the country.
Columbia is located in the small Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Morningside Heights — which is characteristically an Upper West Side/Harlem hybrid. Although I’ve been to Morningside Heights before, today was the first day I stepped foot on Columbia’s campus. Whereas Washington Square Park functions as the commons area for NYU, Columbia has its very own partially secluded common area between Broadway and Amsterdam. It’s well maintained, beautifully decorated and grand as I would expect an Ivy League’s campus to be. Pictured above is the main library and a statue that sits on the staircase leading up to it.
After taking in the campus environment, I exited on Broadway and crossed the street to the Starbucks on the north side of 114th. Once inside, two things were very obvious: Columbia students thrive on Starbucks, and there’s simply not enough space to contain them all. When I was a student at Florida State University, I used to wait in a line 20-30 students long at the Starbucks in the center of campus. The only difference between that Starbucks and this one is that this Starbucks does not have the space to hold all the students/residents that want their coffee fix. Not everyone is looking to stay and have a seat — in fact, most do get their coffee to leave — but the seats this Starbucks does offer are mostly full.
Luckily, I came at the right moment and was able to get my own table on the cushioned sofa in the back. Once I sat down I could feel the impression of all those Columbia students that have sat here for countless hours before me. And it was this thought that inspired me to knock out a term paper that I’ve been putting off for half a semester. What better Starbucks to write it in?
So, even though the seated crowd is pretty fluid and the restroom line is not too bad, that barista bar line has not let up since I arrived 3 hours ago. Maybe Columbia should look into putting another Starbucks somewhere on campus? It certainly worked well for FSU.
One day last month I was walking down 8th Avenue from Columbus Circle — probably thinking about how cold it was getting outside or pondering what I was going to be for Halloween — when I passed by an blatantly brand new Starbucks on 57th & 8th. Not another one! was my first thought. My second being: OMG, look how small it is!
Obviously, I’m the last to complain about more Starbucks popping up in NYC, it’s just that at times it feels like I’ll never be able to visit them all if I can’t keep track of where and when they appear. Luckily, I stumbled by this one by chance. So I quickly made note of it and promised to come back one day. And today is that day.
The reason my second thought was on the size of this Starbucks is because it is perhaps the smallest in Manhattan. Literally I could see the Starbucks in its entirety just by casually passing by on the street. I’m torn whether the Starbucks on 42nd & 6th is a tiny bit smaller or not. Since I’m not about to break out a measuring tape, I’ll call it a tie.
This Starbucks has no seats. No restroom. No available power outlets. But, ironically it does offer Google WiFi. When I arrived there was a young woman perched in the corner, half-sitting on a ledge, typing away on her laptop. She left. So can you guess where I’m at now? Yep — that very same ledge. Obviously, this Starbucks isn’t meant for loitering, but it just goes to show that its meager size won’t stop New Yorkers from lingering.
Today I pretended to be a professional working in the field of internet security just so I could sneak a peek at one of NYC’s most isolated Starbucks. I’m referring to the small Starbucks stand inside the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center off of 11th Avenue in Midtown. What you see pictured above is an enormous glass plated convention building right near the Lincoln Tunnel to Jersey.
I’ve been staring at that one isolated dot on the Starbucks App for quite some time — wondering exactly what was all-the-way out there on 11th avenue besides gas stations and drive-thru McDonalds. And as I approached the massive convention center on my Citi Bike, it seemed weird that I’d never spotted this building before. Albeit it is in Hellsea — the neighborhood of traffic jams and construction — but it’s also right up against the West Side Highway in an area I’ve biked up and down countless times. How’d I miss the giant glass building?
Once I parked my Citi Bike at the corner of 34th and 11th — very convenient, btw — I followed someone with a conference badge that looked like he knew where he was going. Once inside I was surrounded by hundreds of ISC East convention-goers. I had done some research of the conference and found out that it was all about internet security and cutting-edge programs to keep businesses and programs safe. So, not exactly my cup of tea, and clearly I did not take the steps to register to attend. So I walked around and tried to look like I belonged. First I stumbled upon a small food stand that was serving coffee out of white Starbucks cups as well as some sandwiches and pastries. An amateur may have been fooled by this, but I knew this was no corporate or licensed Starbucks, just as I knew I there was one in the building somewhere, and I was going to find it.
So I continued to wonder until a security guard asked me for my conference badge. I played dumb and asked her where the Starbucks was, but she didn’t know. Finally I found two gentleman with authentic Starbucks drinks in their hands and they informed me the Starbucks was on the other side of the building. So I cut around the registration line, bypassed more security guards, breezed by several construction teams — the convention center is apparently under renovations — until I finally spotted the Starbucks branded coffee stand in a mostly deserted area of the building. There was no line — even though stanchions were set up — and the baristas were eager to take my order. I then found a small cafeteria/seating area one floor down from the Starbucks and sat for a moment to enjoy my iced coffee before vacating the Javits Center entirely.
Obviously, this is not the kind of Starbucks that any normal tourist or NYC resident will be interested in visiting. It’s far too isolated from the rest of Manhattan and not easily accessible to anyone not going to a convention of some sort. Still, it is a licensed Starbucks and I had to see it for myself.
The Starbucks on 52nd and 6th Avenue has alluded me for quite some time. This Starbucks’ technical address is 1290 Avenue of the Americas (aka 6th Ave), which is a large office building. The Starbucks App shows this store to be on the west side of 6th Avenue, but the address belongs on the east side. Previously, I’ve walked up and down the avenue from 49th-53rd street and come up short. Once I even asked one of the security guards at Radio City Music Hall for direction, and she guided me into the Rockefeller subway concourse, where I discovered an entirely different Starbucks altogether. And when calling the phone number listed on the app, I never got an answer.
Honestly, I was beginning to think either this Starbucks didn’t exist or it was hidden in the depths of the office building and off-limits to the general public. Then, I decided to explore a little further and found it off of 52nd street on the backside of the 1290 building. It has its own independent entrance and everything, but since it is still technically connected to the office building, it is given a 6th Avenue address. Only in NYC!
Thankfully, the Starbucks App allows you to “Improve Store Info.” Once inside, I submitted a request to change the pin location for this Starbucks. Across the street and down the road is just no good. However, I soon found that there are plenty of New Yorkers and tourists alike that have absolutely no problem finding this Starbucks. I arrived in the mid-afternoon and this location was popping — to say the least.
Still, I was able to find a seat on the long cushioned sofa near the door. This Starbucks also has a few high tops in the back corner, but that’s really where its accommodations end. I’d say its most prominent feature is the the espresso themed photography hanging on the walls.
One of the inevitable pangs of living in New York is being stuck in a Starbucks restroom line with a homeless person inside. You can literally be waiting 15-20 minutes while someone bathes, changes clothes, shoots up drugs, talks to themselves… you name it. I feel I’ve been pretty fortunate in my journeys at having avoided this situation; however, today I was not so lucky. I knew I’d be waiting a while in line at the Starbucks on 42nd and 3rd when I heard the toilette flush every 20 or 30 seconds for two-minutes straight. Five minutes later, I was still waiting. Clearly, I wasn’t surprised when the homeless man staggered out. I simply held my nose and dived in after him.
Other than my restroom wait — which can happen at an Starbucks in the city — I found the 42nd & 3rd Starbucks to be welcoming enough. It has plenty of space. It’s well lit. And I caught the line in a lull and barely had to wait. Most of the seating was taken, but it’s not because the crowd was abnormally large. It just seems that there is not enough seating to fill this spacious Starbucks. 10-20 more seats could easily be strategically placed throughout. But then maybe they’d have to put in a second restroom.