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Tag Archives: wifi

NYC Starbucks: 56th & 6th

19 Jul

56th and 6th Starbucks

I feel bad for the Starbucks on 56th and 6th. Apparently it is the exact perfect distance between Central Park and all the other tourist attractions on 6th avenue to make it the ultimate tourist trap.

It’s not too small and it doesn’t really lack for seating, but — oh my — it is crowded. This is the kind of Starbucks that doesn’t get a moment of rest from sun rise to well after sun sets. Luckily there are two doors to keep the flow moving and no restroom so that there aren’t any additional crowds. That’s actually the first time that I’ve found a lack of a restroom to benefit a Starbucks, but really, this one just couldn’t support one.

I’d say grab a drink to go, unless you’re lucky enough to find a seat.

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NYC Starbucks: 85th & 1st

16 Jun

85th and 1st Starbucks

I first stumbled across the Starbucks on 85th and 1st Avenue last year in December. Once I saw it, I knew I would have to make a trip back up this way once the weather turned more agreeable. This is the only Starbucks in Manhattan (that I’ve seen so far) that has an outdoor seating area, equipped with dozens of tables and several patio umbrellas.

The seating courtyard is raised up from the sidewalk and is equipped with WiFi. Sitting here typing on my laptop outdoors is bringing me Florida flashbacks of all my time spent at the Starbucks down south. In Florida, it was rare to find a Starbucks without an outdoor area — here it’s the exact opposite. Although I understand why. For almost half the year this location is practically unusable. The patio will be far too cold and the indoor seating is very limited. Still… it’s great to know there’s at least one on the island of Manhattan.

This Starbucks is located in a small neighborhood within the Upper East Side called Yorkville. It’s pushed off to the far east of the island and is just below East Harlem. Apparently it’s known for being affluent and family friendly. Lots of people pass with dogs, and it lacks the typical pushiness of NYC. All in all, this area is very quiet and peaceful. The only convenient trains are the 4/5/6, but maybe that’s the price you pay for peace of mind?

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NYC Starbucks: 60th & 3rd

1 Apr

60thand3rd

I hate to start the month off with anything less than the best, but today’s Upper East Side Starbucks was anything but impressive.

This is the second location in a week that I have been unable to connect to WiFi. I thought it was an April Fool’s joke or something. Now I will admit that I have had previous encounters with this location and been able to access WiFi just fine. They were obviously having an issue today. Maybe that’s why it was pretty vacant when usually it contains quite the crowd.

Still… in today’s age having a Starbucks without WiFi (even for a moment) is like living on the 10th floor without an elevator. You don’t need it, but you really really want it.

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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: 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: Bond & Broadway

15 Feb

bondandbroadway

One thing I’m learning about New Yorkers is that they absolutely love abbreviations. Which — after all — makes sense, since every second and syllable is of value here. Why waste your time saying South of Houston Street when you can slam it all together into SoHo. And then of course if you have a SoHo you need a NoHo. And joining these two sister neighborhoods are other riddles of abbreviation such as FiDi, TriBeCa, NoLIta, and SpaHa – which we’ll visit at a later time.

Until then, I sit in NoHo. And — Yes, you guessed it! — NoHo is simply North of Houston Street. Although NoHo is a much smaller neighborhood than its southern sister, it has very similar characteristics: expensive lofts and pricey shops — and a Starbucks!

This Starbucks separates itself from the others I’ve visited in one very cool way — the paintings on the walls are both real and for sale. This reminds me of a cafe my friends and I used to frequent throughout high school — believe it or not I once refused the idea of monopolizing chain coffee. The Sun Shoppe was our cafe of choice. The drinks tasted different each visit, and they were always closed on Sundays, but somehow that place holds a special place in my heart. Before new management took over, they used to sell the decor right off their walls.

Another factor working in favor of this location is the larger than normal seating area near the entrance. People are chatting, studying, texting, or gazing into computer screens. It’s an eclectic group, and this Starbucks can hold plenty of them. Also, this Starbucks seems to be on top of it with their choice in music. So far, I’ve heard Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Ellie Goulding. Keep it up!

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NYC Starbucks: John & Water

11 Jan

johnandwater

What can I say, the street name just called out to me.

I decided my next Starbucks would be in the Financial District — home of the 9-to-5. Although this wasn’t my first trip to the Financial District – or FiDi as some have taken to calling it — it was my first opportunity to walk around and really take it in. The biggest distinction is the narrow streets and sidewalks, which are much smaller than anywhere else in the city. Not to mention the office buildings are some of the tallest in the city, making the slender streets seem even more confining. And although I wasn’t there during the early morning rush, I could just imagine the scanty streets cramped with suits & ties trying to get to and fro.

This Starbucks is not in the heart of FiDi, but actually closer to the South Street Seaport, where some travel in and out of the city by means of ferry. When I first walked in I was under the impression that this must be one of Starbucks’s smaller locations – equipped only to get you your coffee then get you on your way. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a stairwell leading to an entirely new level equipped with plenty of seating.

There was just one problem… I couldn’t connect to the internet. When I asked one of the baristas, he explained that they don’t have the AT&T WiFi and that this is common for most locations in the area. He also told me that this location just recently reopened after being flooded with 4-ft of water from Hurricane Sandy. I’ve yet to visit any other locations in the area to test for this lack-of-WiFi, but either way the good folks at Starbucks should probably update their App and remove “Wireless Hotspot” from the list of amenities.

Overall, the decor was nice — especially the high wall with a dozen or so different clocks on it — so come with friends, office buddies, or a good book because a laptop won’t serve you much good.

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