Do you relive that after breathing of Air, Water, Food, Clothing, and Shelter, Coffee is the single most important thing and one of life’s necessities to millions. Take it away, you’ll survive but you won’t be happy. You want it, you love, you need it. Coffee!
Late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy, aka “Frankenstorm” Hits New York and a much of the East Coast and inflicts quite a bit of devastation. A large part of New York City loses electricity including Lower Manhattan below 26th Street, the rest of the lucky SOBs above 26th had power. Now we’re in our apartments no Electricity, No Heat, No Hot Water, No TV, No Internet, No Power !!!
We lost power at about 9 PM at night. I went downstairs and hung out with Giovanni and the boys at Bar Pitti . They lost their electricity, but their Emergency Lights were on. We sat around, drank some good Italian Wine, at Salami and talked about the Storm. Frankestorm as it would come to be known.
So I had some batteries for my portable Radio and knew they had electrical power above 26th Street .. So I hung out at Bar Pitti until their emergency lights batteries went dead, th lights went off, Giovanni closed down the restaurant and we all went home. Me to a dark apartment, no girlfriend, no lights, no TV, no nothing. I listened to the Radio and fell asleep about 1 in the morning.
I awoke about 9, turned on the radio, went to the bathroom, boiled some water to take a bath, took a bath, got dressed and left the house on what would become my FrankenStorm Odyssey. I left the house (apartment) about 10, walk around the hood to see what was up. I saw my buddy Jimmy B and Charlie outside on Cornelia Street .. We chatted for about 15 minutes and I told them I was heading up to Midtown. I needed some Coffee and was looking to charge my Cel Phone and Laptop Batteries and looking to see if I could get some Internet Access. I told them their was electricity up there and I was going to go to a Starbucks, get a Coffee and see if I could charge-up and get on The Net … So I walked a half block from Jimmy’s place to Sixth Avenue and I was on my way up 6th, to Midtown in Search of Electricity and Coffee. I thought for sure I’d find them at Starbucks. As I turned out I couldn’t have been more wrong …
Anyway I walked up 6th Ave which about 40 years ago the city tried naming Avenue of The America’s. It never caught on. New Yorkers wouldn’t have it. They wouldn’t call it that, but continued calling it 6th Avenue and the city was forced to keep it at that. That’s New Yorkers. And during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers just like they have many times, on 9/11 and other tough times, we’d show what we were made of. We’re “Tough,” we’re Strong, we pull together and are at our Best when the going gets tough.
I’m walking up Sixth Avenue and at this new little cafe were Joe Jr.’s Diner and Burger Joint used to be (now sadly GONE), the cafe was open for business and people were in there hanging out and drinking stuff, and of course talking about the storm, being without power and what not. So I go in. They have hot Tea, bottled juice, and mineral water, but no coffee. I get a bottle of juice, sit down, relax, and convert with others around me. I hung for about 15 minutes, then took-off, it was back up 6th ave. I decided to head over to the Ace Hotel on 29th Street and Broadway .. I often go there for some Stumptown Coffee and to hang out in the lobby banging stuff out on my laptop. I got there, and plenty of people were outside, but the hotel which is always quite cordial, were not letting and outsiders in and the lobby was just for guest of the hotel and no-one else could hang out in the what would now be a Paradise in the midst of a Blackout, a bi g spacious hotel lobby that had Electricity, Coffee, tables and chairs. Couldn’t get in. Hey, I don’t really blame them, they have to take care of their guest and it would have been a mob seen if anyone was aloud in. On my way to The Ace I passed a Starbucks at 1140 Broadway. They had electrical power here but Starbucks was closed. I walked past 2 other Starbucks as I continued walking around Midtown in search of coffee, power, and open Starbucks, but there were none to be found. There were Starbucks, they had power, but none were open for business. Now I’m no idiot, and I relive we are in the middle of a crisis and that although these Starbucks have power, the people that work at them, many might like in the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, the Subways are shut-down (“Oh I forgot to mention that! That’s why I’m walking!”) and “most” people can’t get to work. That’s most, “but not all.” There’s like 100 Starbucks around. I realize that they wouldn’t be able to open all of them. But I just don’t believe that every single one is closed, that not even a few are open. Those SOB’s at Starbucks let us Down! We needed Coffee more than ever, there was not a Starbucks open anywhere insight. “They let New Yorkers down.” BIG TIME! I do not believe that they could not muster opening a fraction of their many Starbucks Shops with Skeleton Crews. Impossible! There were McDonalds and other businesses open, but “No Starbuck!” No Coffee when New Yorkers needed Coffee and Starbucks most, Starbucks let New Yorkers down. They are not New Yorkers! They don’t have the New York Spirit, the company, otherwise they would have had a few places open, serving New Yorkers Coffee, Wifi, and a bit of charging. They let New York down during Sandy and for this, i will never forgive them, “Starbucks Sucks!”
I never really liked them. I’m a New Yorker, “I hate chain corporate places.” I love cafes and go to independent ones, not Starbucks, not often anyway. I only use them rarely and out of convenience when I’m in a neighborhood other than my own and I need to get to a cafe for coffee to sit down and get on the laptop, if there is no other place around, I’ll go to Starbucks, then and only then, I don’t really care for Starbucks.
Anyway, I’ve gone on and on. The point is Starbucks Sucks. They let New York City and New Yorkers down in the time we “Needed” them most, Starbucks was not there for us, and I find this unforgivable.
During my Hurricane Sandy Midtown Odyssey that lasted 14 hours from the time I left my apartment in Greenwich Village at 10 AM and got home right at the stroke of Mid-Night 14 hours later, i went to the little Cafe on 6th Ave & 12th Street, walked around looking for Starbucks (never found 1 open though I passed about 20), I went in the Benjamin Hotel used their bathroom then hung in the lobby for about 30 minutes. I then went across the street to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel where I sat down on the rug, plugged in my Cel Phone and Laptop and hung out for 2 and half hours. “Thank You Waldorf.” I then started to walk towards Times Square and found a McDonalds open on I believe it was East 46th Street between Madison and 5th Avenue. I sat down, got a Angus Burger with Cheese, Fries and a large coffee, “McDonalds did not let New Yorkers down as those SOBS from Starbucks.” I was at McDonalds eating my Burger and Fries for about 30 minutes. I then went to the nice atrium next door with half of my McDonalds large coffee, and hung out their with my laptop and their Wifi for about 20 minutes. I then decided to walk over to Times Square. I walked over to Times Square, nothing much was happening and I had an idea.
I love the Algonquin Hotel and decided to go over, have a couple cocktails and hang in the beautiful lobby for a while. It was great there. I sat down at a nice table and ordered a Bourbon Old Fashion. The service there is great, I was welcomed and well taken care of. There were electrical outlets and I charged my Cel Battery and my laptop and settled in, writing, sipping my Old Fashion and just having a grand time. I ordered a couple more drinks, I had a Turkey Club Sandwich and a couple pots of Tea. I was at the Algonquin for 3 and a half hours and had an absolutely wonderful time. The service was impeccable.
At 11:15 PM I decided it was time to go home. I left the Algonquin, walked down over to Broadway and walked down Broadway past Macy’s and The Empire State Building, the lights were on, but when I got into the high 20s I could see darkness below. I continued walking down Broadway and when I got to 26th Street, there was Electricity and lights-on on the North Side of 26th Street, but just a few feet away on the Southern Side of East 26th Street at Broadway there was no Electricity, no lights and i could see down south to what looked like a dark abyss, and I was walking down into it. I walked down Broadway and made a right on23red Street. It was pitch black.
I walked across the dark of 23rd Street and made a left onto 6th Avenue and down 6th to my building on 6ht Avenue and Bleecker. It was exactly 12 Midnight when I walked into the Pitch-Black of the hallway of my building and up the stairs with my little flashlight. My Odyssey was over. I got Coffee but not at a Starbucks. I got on my Computer and Charged my batteries, not at Starbucks but at The Waldorf, The Algonquin, and McDonalds.
“Hey did I tell you, Starbucks Sucks!”
YES STARBCKS SUCKS !!!
And So Does KANYE WEST
An ABNOXIOUS A-HOLE with a BIG DUMB STUPID ASS MOUTH and SHITTY MUSIC