Starbucks - March 24th 2003

StarbucksMonday, 24th March
Ok. I like Starbucks. It’s true. After years of indifference, I’ve finally decided that Starbucks is ok. I’ve been somewhat ambivalent about this for most of my life, but I think starting today, I will go public with my decision and there’s no turning back.

Honestly, I’m confused where this deep-rooted embarrassment stems from. Perhaps because everybody I respect is so against this multi-billion dollar conglomerate. My friends, all the mom and pop coffee stores, coffee drinkers, even the people who work at Starbucks probably hate it.

So what has brought me to this conclusion and impelled me to write about it? Well, it all began a few days ago around 11:30 pm. I had just wrapped up a show, and my friends and I were looking for a place to hang out at. Some moron actually came up with the phrase, “NY, THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS,” and it’s now worked its way into colloquial English. Well it’s not true. Yeah, I said it, and I’ll debate anyone within good reason via long-distance e-mail who has conflicting views. So many times I have found myself ambling down Broadway looking for a comfortable after-hours spot. (Remember, this is 11:30 pm at night, which is more like 12:00 noon comedy time if you’ve adjusted yourself to early morning comedy sets.) I swear to the thousands of weekly journal readers, we couldn’t find one place. I know what you’re thinking: Tarun, what about 24-7 deli’s, bars, Mcdonalds! Surely, you didn’t forget one of the greatest institutions of present-day America! I said “comfortable.” Deli’s suck, bars are smokey and Mcdonalds gets thugged out after 9. If I’m going to relax, I’m going to do it without having to worry about a shooting breaking out and a bullet lodged in the back of my head.

Enter Starbucks on 50th street/Broadway. Mood lighting, greatest hits from the early 90’s playing in the backdrop, couches. Granted, the place was a karaoke machine away from unbearable, but I was at ease. I don’t know. Maybe it was the southern accent of the girls from North Carolina standing in line with me. Maybe it was the relief of giving in to corporate branding after so many years of fighting. Or maybe I was just happy, knowing that I was a few minutes away from peaceful self-reflection. “You want something?” The Jamaican guy growled from behind the counter.

“White chocolate cappuccino, small.” As he turned around, I happily slipped a nickel into his tip jar, no regrets. 
Tarun ShettyComment