Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lower East Side, Allen Street at Delancey

Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

Oh, blessed Starbucks! When one's fingers are numb from cold, the thought of a foamy hot latte is bliss indeed. I know I'm not supposed to think well of Starbucks but I give them THE credit for raising the level of coffee in NYC.

Coffee was atrocious in New York when I moved here in 1982. I soon started adding milk to my coffee for the first time in my life. It helped some. It was as if we were saying, give me your day-old coffee that tastes like dishwater, we can take it, we're New Yorkers, we're tough, none of that sissy, good coffee for us. Oh, it was grim.

Then Starbucks came along. The year was 1994. Surprised? I would've guessed more like 1988, but WikiAnswers says 1994 at Broadway and 87th Street. The coffee was good. Damn good. Pretty soon coffee got better other places. Take-out lunch places installed espresso machines. We could actually enjoy coffee instead of taking it like medicine.

But now you're saying, yeah, but why don't you go to the independent coffee shops where claims are made that the coffee is MUCH better than Starbucks. First let's acknowledge that they wouldn't even exist if Starbucks hadn't made it safe for them. Second, you must admit that an independent coffee shop is not always available when you want coffee.

And so, we stopped at this Starbucks, I with gratitude, Bill grumbling a bit. He held out and his reward was a free shot of espresso that the barrista had to get rid of.

See map.

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