Tag Archives: Starbucks

That thing you do

Today the very funny folks at College Humor posed the question —

What if things we did religiously had their own religion?

They developed religions for things like…

  • The weekly TV dramas and sitcoms that we can’t miss
  • Our morning Starbucks run
  • The smartphone permanently attached to our hip
  • Workouts
  • Takeout

You get the drift.

I could add even more activities like making my bed (a holdover from my childhood), walking the dog and playing Candy Crush before bed.

And while I am definitely a member of the TV viewership religion, I participate in a more radical faction —

daily tv show fellowship

 

(The DVR made me do it.)

Good gourd

Halloween is a little more than a month away, and I’m already pumpkin’ed out.

evil pumpkin

Pumpkin Swirl cheesecake.  Pumpkin cake donuts. Pumpkin Spice vodka.  And of course, the granddaddy of them all —

Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte.

I hit the wall this week when I ran out of my regular shampoo and was forced to use a bottle in the cabinet of none other than…

Pumpkin Spice

I love the pie at Thanksgiving, but walking around as a pumpkin head?

No.  No, thank you.

Perhaps I’ve had too much caffeine

As many of you know, I live in New York City, land of the ‘Outlawed Big Soda’ — courtesy of Mayor Bloomberg.

The man hates sugary drinks.

I get it.  And I know that when people want 32 ounces of ‘sugary drink,’ they probably buy two 16 ounce sodas…if they can do the math, that is.

But has Mayor Bloomberg gotten wind of Starbuck’s new coffee cup size — the Trenta?

starbucks trenta cupIt holds 31 ounces — or roughly 900 ml — of coffee and whatever mixings rock your world.

I don’t drink coffee myself, but I know some people put as much flavoring in the cup as they do coffee.

How many calories is that, Mr. Mayor?

Are we gonna go after the coffee drinkers of New York now…and one of the most prolific franchises in our city?  I mean, that new coffee cup size can hold an entire bottle of wine.  That’s how huge it is.

To be honest, I’m not even sure who’s side I’m on in this fight —

I just feel like starting it.

7th day tourist

Word on the street was Old Town was the place to be as soon as I got to Heidelberg.

So off I went.

And I didn’t have to walk far to feel right at home.

Pretzels….yum.

But as I strolled past the shops, both quaint and chain — yes, there is a Starbucks and an H&M — a disturbing trend darkened my day.

They were all CLOSED.

Apparently my people don’t work on Sundays.  Only the cafes — and a Subway, which was doing a rousing business — were open to the throngs of tourists wandering the streets.

So the teapots that tempted me will have to sit and gather dust.  The leather goods store, the card shop, the art store — all missed out, yes they did.  I hope their day of rest was worth the purchases that me and folks just like me would have made.

And I’m gonna tell them all exactly that…when I go back tomorrow.

Branded

You can tell some folk’s politics by the signs in their yard.  But the logo on their coffee cup?

Wake up.  It’s true.

A report by Buyology, Inc., a New York City firm that measures the unconscious
decision making that drives brand preference, links consumers’ politics to the brands they buy.

For example, Democrats are more likely to buy Starbucks coffee.  Republicans prefer Dunkin Donuts’ brew.

No beans about it.

Partisanship also rears its ugly head in folks’ choice of car, insurance, sport and gaming system.  Democrats prefer Jeep, Progressive, NFL and Wii; Republicans go for BMW, Allstate, Major League Baseball and XBOX.

But both parties agree on Coke, Google, VISA, Apple and Olay.

Wha?  The Democrats and Republicans agree on five whole things? This is either a sign of a huge turnaround…

Or the end of the world.

Being neighborly

After a damp and dreary weekend, Rory Dog and I enjoyed a long walk in Central Park this morning.

As we were making the final turn toward home, we passed the Subway shoppe on Columbus Avenue and 84th. Its bright decor caught my eye, a contrast to the earthier tones employed by the coffee shop, barber shop, nail salon and grocery store on that block.

It seemed cheerier and more welcoming.

Funny…I’m not sure it’s getting the same reception from the neighbors.

You see, Subway used to be one block away at Columbus and 83rd.  When it closed its doors, I heard the locals rejoice…like a crack palace had finally been shut down.

Chain restaurants get that kinda treatment around here.

Remember Fox Books in the movie You’ve Got Mail? Big, bad Fox Books moved in the Upper West Side, and people picketed in outrage.  Eventually local store The Shoppe Around the Corner had to close.

David didn’t defeat Goliath in that story.  (But Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks got together..so that was nice.)

When Subway reopened its doors less than a year later just a couple of blocks up the street, folks weren’t too happy.

Me?   I think the chain restaurants that are successful tend to be successful because they have a good product.  So we shouldn’t poo poo them because they are doing something right.

No one in the neighborhood seems to mind the 10 Starbucks.

That’s right — 10.

Holiday sparkle

You’ve no doubt seen the US Weekly magazine feature “Celebrities…They’re Just Like Us.”

They feature photos of TV and movie stars shopping at Costco and getting coffee at Starbucks…even picking up their own dry cleaning (gasp).  They are usually sporting less makeup and are dressed down a bit and do look a little more like your average Joe on the street.

But let’s face it — we all know they are driving their cars to way nicer homes than most of us could ever afford and letting ‘their people’ unpack the groceries, prepare the meals, clean the house and tend the children and pets…while they jet off to their next movie location and/or fabulous beach vacation.

Just like us.

The only time I think celebrities return to their ‘regular folk’ roots is come engagement time.  Reese Witherspoon, Lily Allen and LeAnn Rimes are a few celebs who got engaged over the holidays.

And we all know why.

Even celebrities — with their bags of money and endless possibilities — find it difficult to find the perfect gift at Christmas…maybe especially so.  So why not give your movie star girlfriend a ring?

Gifts are hard.  Get her the one that you know she will like.

But make sure it is very, very large.

For a limited time

Why are rare things inherently more special?

Take the McRib Sandwich from McDonald’s.

It returned this week after a 16-year hiatus.  And it’s only going to be around until December 5th.

The very scarcity of this oddly pressed slab of mystery meat will no doubt make it a daily sell-out at all 14,000 McDonald’s outlets.

(Some folks swear it’s the sauce.  Addictive.  I’ll take their word for it.)

Same goes for the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbuck’s.  A seasonal brew, it’s only available in the fall, ’round Halloween and Thanksgiving, when our thoughts turn to the spooky orange gourds.

It’s very popular.  But is it because Pumpkin Spice Latte really tastes all that great…or because you never know when it’s going to be taken away from you?  When you’re going to be standing in that long line in Starbucks…and the harried teenager behind the counter will mouth the dread phrase, “Pumpkin latte is out of season.  You’ll have to make another choice.”

Gasp. Thud.  (That’s you passing out, next to the condiment counter.  And you know how sticky that is.)

If the McDonald’s McRib were always on the menu…if Pumpkin Spice Latte were right next to the Chai Tea — would we order them with as much urgency?  Would we tire of their individual flavors?   Would they become just another menu item?

Absolutely.

And where’s the promotion in that?

Happy Mutters Day

Rory and I had barely gone 10 steps on our morning walk today when I heard my name called.  It was my next door neighbor Mark returning from his morning Starbucks run.

“Happy Mother’s Day!” he cried.

Mark is a big fan of Rory’s, so I took this in the spirit intended.  We chatted for a few moments, and then Rory and I continued on our way toward Central Park.

During our meandering walk on this bright, chilly morning, I was wished a ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ by several people — some I knew, some I didn’t.  It made me realize how much people’s attitudes towards pets have changed over the 11+ years Rory has been in my life.

When I adopted him in January of 1999, he was the first dog I had ever had of my very own.  The first dog to ever live in the house with me.  (Remember, I was a country girl — dogs lived outside.)  Together we experienced doggie day care.  Dog insurance.  Dog walkers.  Dog sitters.  Dog outerwear during the winter months…and the joint decision to not wear dog clothes ‘just for show.’

The more my relationship with Rory developed, the more it felt like a mother and child.  I mean, I know it’s different.  He’s a dog.  But he’s my dog.  And he’s pretty darn special.

So, thanks for the Mother’s Day wishes.  They are most appreciated.

But, as you all know, Rory is the real present.