So after some issues finding the Waffle Truck, we gave up. I don’t know that I should call including Starbucks in this project ‘giving up,’ but it doesn’t really jive with what the project is all about (discovering new and interesting food).
The thing is, I couldn’t do this project without Starbucks. I’m in here taking up space, barely buying anything, using their wi-fi and their power for sometimes ten hours a day. I need a consistent place where I can do this and not have to worry about anyone bothering me; Starbucks is there for me at every subway stop welcoming me in, never judging me for only getting hot water in my mug (except for the one on 74th and Broadway, and I even tipped!).
I can sing every song on their January playlist. It’s five hours and thirty-six minutes (give or take a minute) long. I want to strangle the composer of the soundtrack to Nine. Still, there’s an Elvis stretch that I rather enjoy, even though I’ve heard it almost 40 times already.
The Starbucks in the Bronx that The Baron dropped me at has a lock on the door that prevents it from closing and using that heat blower shield thing above the door simultaneously. Someone needs to fix this.
The Starbucks at Astor Place has no outlets in the pretty places to sit and a line for the bathrooms all day long, but it’s the biggest of any that I’ve seen.
The Starbucks on 125th and Malcolm X boulevard is an absolute trip. It has the most vibrant community feel of any in the city. There’s no one on a computer in here – no one with their face buried in a textbook; all the tables have conversations going on, except for one with a chess game and four onlookers/opponents in waiting. There’s no bathroom, but if the headquarters want to figure out how to get a better community feel at each of their locations, they would start there. There was a guy listening to The Temptations on his headphones and singing every word out loud. He sang four songs. No one said anything; no one even blinked.
The Starbucks at 30 Rock was the highest volume (I think). They had two separate lines for ordering.
The Starbucks in Union Square was the coldest Starbucks with a breezeway.
The Starbucks on 96th and Broadway has the best, secluded seat for someone working on a laptop.
The Starbucks on 53rd and Lexington is the first one I bought food in this month (the donut up there). It was all right. Nothing special, nothing you absolutely must have when you come to NYC, but it wasn’t bad. It was actually pretty good. And it’s consistent. And they’re all over. And they have free wifi, and outlets, and a warm place to get some tea and write.
And some are the neighborhood coffee shop. Go figure.
Guest Writer: Christine Kim
The IRL Arts Foundation and The Wandering Foodie thank Starbucks for providing wifi, power, and a (generally) warm place to work all January.