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Tag Archives: reading

NYC Starbucks: 41st & Madison

23 Sep

41st and Madison Starbucks

In an effort to combat my self-absorbed style of blogging (see blog entry below), I’ve decided to make a change. Each time I visit a Starbucks — before I put any effort into writing a post of my own — I will take the time to read some recent entries from other bloggers. I will also start actively looking for some great new blogs to read — and would love some suggestions!

There’s just so much out there. I tend to get wrapped up in my own thoughts and ambitions, when really what I’m doing is depriving myself from the thing that inspires me in the first place: reading.

Time was I would go to Starbucks solely to read. I’d read up on Astrology, read fiction, or even just a study guide for the GRE. Now, I go to write about this and write about that. But if one stops reading, eventually they will run out of topics to comment on themselves.

Also I pledge to tweet more than just pictures of Starbucks! But that’s another issue all in itself.

So what can I say about the Starbucks on the corner of 41st and Madison Ave?

It’s small. It’s very crowded. People would rather stay in here, drink their coffee, and stand then take it to go. It’s design confuses the amateur patron when looking for where the line begins — which I’m sure isn’t fun for the baristas. Also, this Starbucks is almost discrete. It has the Starbucks logo in the windows but no signing on the exterior walls of the building. Perhaps it would draw even more of a crowd, which probably wouldn’t be a good thing.

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NYC Starbucks: West 4th & Washington Square East

19 Mar

west4thandwashington

Ever been to a Starbucks that just didn’t… feel right? You couldn’t quite put your finger on it but something was off. It could have been the service, the location, or just a general “vibe” you got. Ever think you may have been at a non-corporate licensed Starbucks?

Today I am sitting at one in the heart of New York University (aka Washington Square Park). What’s a licensed Starbucks, you ask? Basically, there are some locations that look like a Starbucks, taste like a Starbucks, and act like a Starbucks — but in fact, they are not. Hotels, universities, airports, and amusement parks are the prime suspects for these licensed stores. Target stores are a prime example. Obviously most consumers cannot tell the difference, and both Starbucks and the business want to keep it that way.

Licensed or corporate owned, this NYU Starbucks has me sold. Simply because it is a gigantic location filled with mostly empty chairs. You could fit 4-5 Midtown Starbucks locations in this space alone. The decor is pretty spot-on with standard Starbucks, and they even have framed black & white pictures of NYC hung throughout. This is definitely a great location for study groups or business meetings, and the fact that it’s in the southeast corner of Washington Square Park is just gravy.

Like I said, this Starbucks has me sold, but others may not agree. Since it is NYU owned it may not be as welcoming to those who aren’t students of the university like I am. For instance, it’s WiFi services are through NYU not AT&T — meaning you need a student ID and password to gain access. Also the hours are a major setback. It’s only open until 7pm daily. Do students not study at night anymore? Apparently not past 7pm.

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NYC Starbucks: 32nd & 2nd

25 Feb

32ndand2nd

Today I sit in the neighborhood of Kips Bay. Just east of the mob scene known as Herald Square, Kips Bay could not differ more. Honestly, when I think of Kips Bay a yawn usually escapes my mouth.

This is a residential neighborhood with few transportation options. The easiest way in and out of Kips Bay is the bus system, and if you’ve ever attempted to take an MTA bus in NYC you know that “easy” isn’t the best word to describe the experience. Personally I prefer walking — which is usually what happens anyway after waiting 10-15 minutes for a bus that never shows up.

The neighborhood’s lack of train transportation may be what allows it to be a relatively peaceful and easygoing part of New York. Of course if the 2nd Avenue subway ever arrives — a work in progress since 1929 that has earned the nickname “The Line That Time Forgot” — then maybe Kips Bay will begin to resemble its neighbors to the west.

The Kips Bay Starbucks on 32nd and 2nd resembles its surroundings in the fact that it has a light crowd. A decent amount of seating lines the long windowed wall, and there is at least one or two free seats at any given moment. The crowd is subdued. Everyone has a book, laptop, or smart phone in front of them. And neither the coffee line or restroom line draws attention.

Unfortunately there is no comfy seating. In fact, it’s wood all around. Whether you’re seating on one of the wooden chairs or the wooden bench that lines the wall. Or you can lean against the wooden barista bar while you admire the large wooden plaque on the wall that speaks to Starbucks’s environmental good doings.

All in all, this Starbucks provides a great environment — it’s just transportation that it’s lacking.

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NYC Starbucks: 47th & 9th

13 Jan

47thand9th

My first week in the city was spent apartment hunting with a ferocity that can only be described as turbulent.

While on the hunt, I was speaking to a potential roommate who gave me the urban-layout of the typical NYC gay boy. He said that the West Village belonged to the “Older Gays”, the “Hipster Gays” lived in East Village or Williamsburg, the “Rich Gays” were all over Chelsea, and the “Young Gays” lived in Hell’s Kitchen. How fascinating, I thought.

So after 3 short months of apartment hopping, I conceded to the stereotype and moved to Hell’s Kitchen. No longer the neighborhood of a West Side Story, HK is now brimming with restaurants, gay bars, and you guessed it — Starbucks. I walk out of my apartment building and need only walk one block in any direction to get my daily caffeine fix.

The Starbucks on 47th and 9th is not my “go-to” Starbucks, but it will do in a pinch. Although it’s small size seems to work against it, the environment is very quiet and most patrons adorn laptops or books. The woman in front of me in line even commented today: “It’s like a library in here.” And she called it.

A crowded library… Only offering up 20 seats — give or take — getting one seat can be a challenge. Getting a  seat with a friend would be sheer luck. But aesthetically, it’s a nice looking seating area, with a long-cushioned bench and high bar seating. Today, I was fortunate enough to get a seat and was even able to spend some time with a good book: More Tales of the City, by Armistead Maupin.

So come check it out but be prepared to get your coffee to-go if you can’t find a seat.

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