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Tag Archives: trees

NYC Starbucks: 17th & 1st

6 Jun

17th and 1st

Sometimes  I need to remind myself that when I conceived the idea for this blog, I didn’t imagine a relentless race through the 200+ Starbucks of Manhattan just to say “I did it!”. The reason I am doing this is so that I can explore this daunting and monstrous island through a familiar setting. If I take a train to a Starbucks in an yet-to-be discovered neighborhood, walk directly into the place and leave 30 minutes to an hour later… what did I discover?

The balance between quality and quantity is hard to achieve. Especially since I can feel my time constrained tighter than a 17th century corset (not that I know what one of those feels like). Sure a lot of the Midtown locations are monotonous and tend to repeat, and I’ve probably tromped through every inch of Chelsea by now. But I need to remind myself to slow down and explore when I come to a neighborhood that’s a little off my beaten path. Like today…

I’m in one of the most unique neighborhoods in Manhattan — if you can even call it a neighborhood. I sit at a Starbucks on the border of Stuyvesant Town, aka Stuytown. This neighborhood is actually a giant private housing community that spans from 14th – 20th street on the east side and holds over 8000 apartment units. It’s privacy is debatable though, considering I was free to roam around at my own leisure. Nevertheless — it’s beautiful, and full of large trees and fenced off grass. Just above Stuytown is Peter Cooper Village, which is basically a continuation of the development, consisting of the same architecture and greenery. Taking a few moments to walk through this neighborhood (even as rain threatened overhead) gave me a pinch more of appreciation of the diversity that NYC offers.

And those Stuytown residents are very fortunate to have an excellent Starbucks on the border of their neighborhood. The Starbucks on the corner of 17th and 1st is both spacious and unique. Hanging on one wall (and pictured above) are spring themed drawings from the 2nd grade students at PS 40. I love seeing such a local presence in a huge corporation like Starbucks. Other features include a long comfy bench (polka-dotted, in fact), window seating, a code-access restroom (sorry passers-by), and an expansive wall mural consisting of coffee cups, a guitar, a globe, and other randomness.

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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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