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Tag Archives: iced latte

NYC Starbucks: 96th & Madison

13 Oct

96th and Madison Starbucks

The lines between most Manhattan neighborhoods often blur and lack a clear distinction. You can walk from Kips Bay to Murray Hill to the Upper East Side and not really tell when one neighborhood ends and another begins. Even the Internet has mixed views on the borders of some neighborhoods. Some argue Midtown stops at 34th street; others say it extends down to 14th. And some claim that Alphabet City no longer exists and refer to it as strictly the Lower East Side.

However, there is one neighborhood distinction that is almost night and day; below 96th street is the Upper East Side and above is Harlem. And the Starbucks on the corner of 96th and Madison is right on the border of these two very different neighborhoods.

As I walked north across 96th street, I was not expecting the neighborhood shift to be so perceptible. But literally, I knew I was in Harlem without needing to look it up on a map. And no, I’m not talking about differences in race, class, or any of that stereotypical bull. I knew because of the gentrification. Below 96th on Madison Avenue were nothing but independently owned specialty shops, spas, and convenient stores. Once north of 96th, the first three stores I saw were Dunkin Donuts, Subway and Verizon. Case closed.

The Starbucks is on the south corner, so it technically belongs to the Upper East Side. But it lacks the size and space of most UES locations, and brings in a more touristy crowd since it is so close to Central Park. The tourists come and go; however, it appears this is also a favored spot for locals to come and hang out for awhile. There’s lots of headsets and laptops taking up the limited seating this Starbucks has to offer… but who am I to judge?

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NYC Starbucks: 90th & 1st

27 Sep

90th and 1st Starbucks

Today is one of those typical New York days where the sun skips over the island of Manhattan. Between the tall buildings and hazy skies, the city gets just enough hours of light to justify the passing of a day and then succumbs to darkness once more. And now that summer is officially over, the days are growing even shorter.

Still, on a gloomy day like today, going for a walk in the city isn’t a horrible idea. It’s not to hot nor is it cold enough to justify a jacket. So today, I put on my walking shoes and took a stroll north to the Starbucks on 90th and 1st Avenue. I had this sneaking suspicion that this Starbucks would be the perfect spot for a day of studying, and with the fall semester fully commenced, that’s just what I need.

And I wasn’t wrong.

The worst thing ¬†you can say about the Starbucks on 90th and 1st is that it’s boring. There’s no chatty line waiting for coffee; no tourists with luggage; and no crazy people trying to give away laptops (see yesterday’s post). There’s just three baristas serving coffee and maintaining a lobby full of studious and quiet patrons. Everyone in here is keeping to themselves, and they are all occupied with newspapers, tablets, laptops or smartphones.

Starbucks such as this are certainly a luxury of a small neighborhoods like the Upper East Side’s Yorkville. And if boring is the price you pay for a comfy seat and a place to concentrate, then maybe I’ll rethink my continued boycott of boredom in my life… at least every once in a while.

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NYC Starbucks: 27th & 6th

13 Aug

27th and 6th Starbucks

This weekend I did something I can’t say I’ve done in over a year: I spent an entire weekend without any Starbucks. This was not by choice but an inadvertent reality I had to face when visiting Provincetown, MA. Luckily, what this small town on the tip of Cape Cod lacks in Starbucks, it makes up with culture, beaches, bars and quirky shops to visit. This was my first time in Ptown, and I must say, I’m a huge fan. In a way, it’s the anti-New York, and I even enjoyed sampling the local cafes.

However, after a long weekend away from NYC, sometimes it feels good to return to the fast paced streets and active lifestyle of a New Yorker. At least there’s Starbuck here.

Today, I’m spending some time in a Starbucks on the corner of 27th and 6th Ave. This area is on the border of both Chelsea and NoMad, yet it hardly resembles either neighborhood. This strip of 6th Ave is inundated with quick service lunch restaurants to service the nearby business crowds of the Flatiron district.

The Starbucks itself is designed well, but tiny. It’s placed directly on the corner and constructed like the cutout of a circle. There’s no restroom, and — even worse — no seating. Yes, there are plenty of Starbucks in either direction on 6th Ave, but I still see no reason why 8-10 stools can’t be placed facing the window-bar.

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