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Tag Archives: Redeye

NYC Starbucks: 43rd & 6th

26 Mar

43rdand6th

If you had to choose between a Starbucks that offered WiFi or a Starbucks that offered a restroom, which would you choose?

What if you didn’t have a choice, and the Starbucks you were in had neither? That was my predicament at the Starbucks on 43rd and 6th. I wanted to stay — I really did — but there wasn’t anything to keep me there. I will say that in this Starbucks’ defense, it appeared the WiFi issues were only temporary, but neither my phone nor my laptop could gain access. Internet and technology fail all of us from time to time, but usually that’s when I pack up my things and head to Starbucks as Plan B.

I’m definitely noticing a pattern with the Midtown locations. They are the necessity Starbucks. They have your coffee, your tea, your breakfast sandwich or lunch pack, but when it comes to comfort or commodity — they come up lacking. Of course you can’t blame Starbucks. If only opened the nice comfortable locations, then they would be swarmed with patrons. Midtown is brimming with businesses, so the necessity Starbucks are just the supply to the neighborhood’s demand.

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NYC Starbucks: 19th & Park

20 Mar

19thandpark

Somewhere around 19th Street and Park Avenue South you have the collision of three distinct New York neighborhoods: The Flat Iron District, Union Square, and Gramercy. And I’m currently sitting at the Starbucks that sits there on the border. Since I’ve already visited the former two neighborhoods, let’s focus on the latter.

Gramercy is a neighborhood structured around Gramercy Park. This park is unique for NYC in the fact that it is a private park, and only residents with a key can obtain access. No worries though, the park is actually quite small, and all a member of the general public need do is walk a few blocks west or south to the nearest public park. Trust me, Manhattan is not having a park shortage. But this disposition toward solitude may reveal why Gramercy, the neighborhood, has gained the reputation of being very quiet and reserved.

One peculiar fact about the Starbucks on 19th and Park is that it has one entrance that leads into the street and another that leads into a Bank of America. In case you were wondering the natural progression of the average caffeine addict, it goes bank –> Starbucks. And this location just expedited the process. There’s also a Chase directly across the street in case you’re not down with BofA.

Although not the most impressive of Starbucks, this one is not without its charms. The two red armchairs and poster sized image of an Italian scooter are two notable characteristics.

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NYC Starbucks: Canal & Centre

17 Feb

canalandcentre

Today  I thought I would have a pleasant visit to the Starbucks in Chinatown — I was only half right. I made it there fine, but found the Starbucks to be anything but pleasant. But before I get into the gory details, let us first examine this unique neighborhood.

Chinatown contains the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia. Walking through this neighborhood, one can easily imagine they are walking through a busy street in China. The billboards and storefronts are written in Mandarin, and odd looking meats and fishes hang in store front windows. This particular location is on the corner of Canal and Centre — and if you’re thinking Canal Street sounds familiar, just think counterfeit Rolex and fake Gucci. That’s right! Canal Street –once an actual canal — is now infamous for its backroom shops brimming with knockoffs of electronics and handbags. So needless to say, this neighborhood attracts a crowd that rivals Times Square.

Speaking of crowds…

This Starbucks is like a mosh pit in purgatory. I walked in and all I could see was a mass of standing people with no discernible lines – just random shuffling. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of mosh pits in my younger days but I’d prefer them a part from my Starbucks visits. By examining who already had drinks in their hands,  I was able to find the beginning of the line and there I stood — swaying lightly with the crowd.

While I stood waiting in the line I was able to take in a few key facts. There are so few chairs that people are literally huddled together in groups — either waiting for a seat to open up or having given up completely and resigned to standing. There was no restroom available —  I don’t think the small space could have held the extra bodies that a public restroom would have brought anyway. And the two entrances on opposing walls kept the temperature nice and chilly — so chilly that I’m actually regretting ordering my iced beverage.

After 10 minutes of standing in place — adamant about writing this blog entry on site — I was able to score a seat lining the window. And unfortunately this tight environment isn’t conducive to any kind of reading, writing, or thinking. My only recommendation for this location is to go very early in the morning or late-late night. Perhaps the crowd will be less intense.

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NYC Starbucks: 15th & Union Square East

31 Jan

15thandunionsquare

As I crossed through the park on my way to the Starbucks on the corner of 15th and Union Square, I became filled with admiration for New York. It wasn’t the mild and sunny day, beautiful tall buildings, or the statue of George Washington that did it — it was the naked trees.

Growing up in Central Florida, the variety of trees ranged from palm and pine — and let’s face it no one likes pine trees, they’re the green-headed step-child of Mother Nature, and palm trees wear thin after a few weeks of nothing else. New York’s parks, on the other hand, offer a variety of trees that are visually appealing even when bare. And those who feel confined by the skyscrapers and flashing lights need only to walk to Central Park to get their nature-fix.

Of course, I didn’t move to NYC for the trees… I moved for the Starbucks. Obviously!

This location is a mixed bag of sorts. Although it’s a very large store, it is also mere feet from one of the Union Square subway entrances — really bringing in the masses. There are three separate seating areas strategically spread throughout the space, but they’re strictly business — no comfy chairs in sight. The barista bar is placed in the center of it all, with a well-structured line system for tackling the large crowds. Only problem is the registers are a good 10-15 feet from the front of the line, sot the baristas almost have to shout to get the attention of those not acquainted with how a Starbucks line should work.

If I lived in the area this would be a hit & run Starbucks only — but you can always take your coffee to go and sit in the park to admire the trees.

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NYC Starbucks: 42nd & 6th

28 Jan

42ndand6th

Yes, two in one day — And if you’re judging me, so be it, because I know I’m not the only New Yorker out there who measures their days by the cups of coffee they drink. Also, I’m on a deadline!

In actuality, I simply found myself in the Starbucks located on 42nd & 6th and couldn’t resist writing and reviewing it tonight. This location is unique to me for several reasons. It is the smallest Starbucks I’ve ever entered. It has no seating. It has no restroom. And — for some reason — I can’t hold any of those things against it, because it is one of the fastest locations when it comes to service.

In all honesty, this Starbucks reminds me of my first NYC apartment in the Upper West Side. All there was to it was a small triangular living-room/kitchen combo that we were able to squeeze a futon and a table into. This Starbucks contains a barista bar and a station to fix your drinks at, and that is all. You exit where you entered, so the crowd shuffles in an acute circular motion before being thrust back into the streets.

The closest Starbucks in proximity to Bryant Park (and the B/D/F/M trains), this location receives quite the crowd. Very close-by are other landmarks such as Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and the New York Public Library. Also, here’s a piece of trivia for you: the icon of this blog  is the Starbucks logo from this location, and the building in the background is the NYC headquarters to Bank of America.

I like this location because it gives no misconceptions. If this Starbucks could talk, it’d say the following: “No, you’re not sitting. No, you can’t use the restroom. Get your coffee, and go sit in the park or ice-skate or something. Oh, and have a nice day!”

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