Tag Archives: Theatre District

NYC Starbucks: 43rd & Broadway

17 Apr

43rdandBroadway

Today my Starbucks adventure took me back to one of the many Time Square locations.

Unfortunately, this one does not have much to brag about — in fact, it doesn’t have much at all. Literally, this Starbucks is nothing but a small room with a barista bar, milk station, and a swiveling line. No tables, no chairs, no restroom. Just coffee, tea, and baked goods. There were literally people sitting on the window sills. 

I’ll say one thing about Starbucks like this — they’re kind of a necessity. They’re not glamorous. They’re not meant for lingering. But without them, the nicer & larger Starbucks that are close by would be frequented by even more people. They’re both a blessing and a curse. 

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NYC Starbucks: 47th & 8th

9 Apr

47thand8th

I woke up this morning to a forecast of 80 degree temperature sweeping into Manhattan. It’s now 81 degrees outside, so I’ll keep this entry short and sweet.

The Starbucks on 47th & 8th is one I usually avoid because it’s always brimming with patrons and generates quite the line during rush hours. I know this because it’s only a block away from my apartment. I swear I didn’t chose my apartment based on this, but I can step out of my building and walk only 1 block in three different directions and find a Starbucks — it’s just the nature of this neighborhood.

Today this location is the emptiest I’ve seen it. And I’m guessing it’s because of this unusually beautiful weather we’re having. I came in and grabbed a seat right away. The lines are still long but people are taking their drinks into the streets, the parks, and any other place they can enjoy this heat spell before tomorrow’s forecast of rain.

And that’s exactly what I’m about to do.

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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: 49th & 8th

14 Mar

49thand8th

They say in New York there is a Starbucks on every corner. While technically this statement is an exaggeration, it is areas like 49th street and 8th avenue that make it somewhat believable.

This Starbucks is adjoined to the Worldwide Plaza building on the corner of 49th street and 8th avenue. But it’s not alone. If you continue to walk east on 49th street you run into yet another Starbucks attached to the same building. Two Starbucks in one building — impossible? Not in New York. Needless to say the office workers in One Worldwide Plaza must be as addicted to Starbucks as I am.

Both locations have their perks, but this blog is dedicated to the corner location.

This Starbucks attracts a strong crowd. It has a street entrance and a back entrance that leads further into the plaza. Although I stop here occasionally while on the run, I’ve never taken the time to sit here — mostly because doing so always seemed impossible. Don’t misunderstand. There is a decent amount of seating — it’s just always full. Today — however — I landed a seat with minimal effort. Below are my findings.

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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: 54th & Broadway

12 Feb

54thandbroadway

I have seen this particular Starbucks at glance every now and then since it is on the same cross-street as my gym, so today I figured I’d enter for the first time before going to a spinning class (yes, I spin — don’t judge).

One of my reasons for avoiding this location for so long is that fact that it has a sarcophagus of construction poles surrounding it — an unfortunate aspect of New York City that every business or apartment seems to be burdened with from time to time. But today I decided to submerge myself in the jungle-gym like construction of nuts and bolts to see the Starbucks that lie beyond — anticipating a buried treasure of some sort.

And unfortunately I was disappointed to find no treasure. As well as no bathroom. No room to move. And no seating. Well, I take that back, there was seating, it was just very limited. After waiting in line I snagged a bar seat just as its former occupant vacated. One thing I found interesting is that there were two mini-square tables in the middle of the floor with no chairs attached to them at all — which begs the question: what’s a table without a chair?

My overall assessment is that this is a Starbucks of necessity only. Come to get your coffee then get on your way. I’m noticing this to be a trend with some of the Midtown locations.

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NYC Starbucks: 41st & Broadway

29 Jan

41standbroadway

Today I received a special package from the Regional Vice President of the NYC Starbucks: a Starbucks Coffee Passport.

This tiny booklet is designed to allow those with a passion for Starbucks coffee to get an in-depth view of how their brew is created, differentiate between the different types of roasts,  as well as record their thoughts and opinions in the Coffee Tasting Guide. I must admit, I’m very honored to have the support of Starbucks as an organization when it comes to what I’m doing here on this blog. Although I won’t allow this to dictate my opinions of the Starbucks I encounter here in NYC, it’s a good feeling none-the-less.

Speaking of — I’m currently squatting at another Times Square location. This is a location I’ve been to many times before, since it’s placement to the Times Square subway line is so convenient. It is probably the most cramped location in the city, but at the same time,  the space is filled with plenty of seats for those looking to rest their feet a bit — so it’s useful clutter, at least. In fact, I’ve never really needed to wait for a seat; waiting for the restroom on the other hand, well that’s a different story.

The doors are open til 12am nightly, so come and see for yourself.

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NYC Starbucks: 47th & Broadway

26 Jan

47thandBroadway

Times Square — synonymous with towering skyscrapers, bustling crowds, Broadway shows, flashing lights — and dozens of Starbucks.

If NYC is in fact The City that Never Sleeps, then Times Square is one giant nightlight. Whether it be midnight or 5am, if you take a stroll around the cross-section of Broadway and 7th Avenue you’re bound to be bathed in the bright lights of the city.

It is indeed the most iconic landmark in the city and arguably an international reflection of America itself, but for a New Yorker Times Square is definitely an area you’ll go out of your way to avoid if you have the choice. Once Broadway shifts from a trafficked street to a painted blue concourse of pedestrians (at this very street corner, actually) it can seem like quick sand to those of us just passing through. Stuffed with gaggles of tourists, giant dancing Disney characters, and over-anxious solicitors selling tickets, the area makes those of us simply looking to catch a train or get to work bite our lips and hold our tongues.

One perk: there are Starbucks everywhere! And the one on 47th & Broadway seems to be the grandest of them all.

Positioned directly across Broadway from the TKTS booth — where anyone can pick up discounted theatre tickets day-of — this location clearly aims at being a landmark in itself. Upon entering and taking in my surroundings, I was immediately impressed. Placed directly in front of the entrance-way is a large multi-screen digital display, where live-tweets to #Starbucks flash on the screen. Below this are are several interactive touch screen monitors allowing visitors to browse through a New York Times archive of news and images of Times Square throughout the 20th century. Other amenities include a gift shop for a variety of merchandise, a bar exclusively for grinding coffee, and long-glass walls lined with counter-tops allowing you to take in the bright lights of the area.

Clearly not designed for those who wish to sit down and enjoy their coffee, this Starbucks clearly caters to the masses that are looking for a quick reprieve and a warm beverage before jumping back out into the torrents of sightseers. But, hey! Why not stop by on your way to a Broadway show?

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NYC Starbucks: 52nd & 7th

21 Jan

52ndand7th

Back in Midtown, a friend and I ducked into the Starbucks on the corner of 52nd and 7th to avoid the bone chilling wind that we had inappropriately dressed for. This area of 7th Ave brings both the theatre crowd and the business crowd at once. This particular Starbucks is weaseled into the AXA Equitable Center, and like most office building cafes, this one had very little to brag about.

After ordering a set of hot coffees to warm our rattled bones, we sat in the small seating area only to be unpleasantly surprised by two things: there is no bathroom at this location, and each time the door is pushed open by someone depraved of caffeine a torrential gust of cool wind blows through the tiny seating area. And these effects only amplify one another, since tourists and New Yorkers alike are constantly running into this Starbucks (and all Starbucks) for the sole purpose of using the restroom only to be turned away a second later, causing another brief 30 degree drop in the temperature. At one point, my hat and gloves were literally blown away due to this horrible cross-breeze effect.

However, the breeze was not what bothered me most about this location. It was the fact that it was designed with an upstairs seating lounge connected by a spiral staircase — only for it to be blocked off and used for storage (I presume). So whatever redemptive qualities that may have been lurking up there were lost.

Moral of this story:

If you work in this office building, Congrats!, you can grab yourself a Starbucks coffee at ease, but this isn’t the type of location I would recommend seeking out.

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NYC Starbucks: 52nd & 8th

1 Jan

52ndand8th

The first thing that attracts me is the charming exterior on the north-west corner of 52nd and 8th. Even though I assuredly passed by 4-5 other Starbucks locations on my stroll up 8th ave, this one seems to shout: “Pick me, pick me!” So I do.

This Theatre District Starbucks is surprisingly spacious and offers both large table seating and intimate tables lining a cushioned bench. You may need to wait-it-out a bit for a seat though. Placed right on the boarder of the Hell’s Kitchen scene and Broadway shows galore, it definitely pulls a lot of foot-traffic.  Continue reading

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