I’m back and I’m exhausted


I just got back from New York yesterday. I realize that I didn’t blog much about my trip to Miami last week. My trip to NYC was awesome. Instead of long blog posts about my trips, I’ll add little ones. Partly because New York was an amazing assault on all the senses so the things I found blog-able aren’t all necessarily related. Partly because my mom told me never to blog about my travels until I get home (which leaves for a lot of blogging yet to be done). Partly because time zones have become irrelevant to me at this point and my attention span ends…well, about four or five lines into a blog post.

Comments (6)

  1. Wine-Oh says:

    Did you have any Starbucks in NYC? How does it differ from having it in Seattle. Personally I have had different experiences in cities I have visited. Seattle they practically waited hand and foot on me. In Shanghai I was amazed to learn there were 65 stores in the city.

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    I did indeed! And yuo are correct. Though the coffee tasted the same, the experience was different. I suspect that Starbucks stores can pull better employees in our local Seattle market because 1) their employment brand is very strong here and 2) people may see working in stores as a way to launch a career at their corproate without having to relo.

    Having said that, my perception of the customer service may be impacted by cultural differences. I find retail folks to be a bit unfriendly in New York (just based on where I shopped and I’m sure not all are this way). Some of them are downright rude (oh, the gals that work at H&M are just not a friendly bunch, but I knew that befire I went there). So I’ll say that relative to Seattle SBUX employees, I found their NY employees less friendly/attentive. I’m not sure that it would be something a native New Yorker would notice, but given the brand itself, I suspect that the company understands the importance of consistency of experience so I am not sure whether you cater to the locals of some location neutral customer profile. I will say that the young man that I encounter at the drive through window of the store on the corner of Redmond Way and Bear Creek Parkway here in Redmond is fantastic. He’s so good he can make your day.

    And the other thing is that a "non-fat latte" here is a "skim latter" there. I think it was the same in Chicago too.

    Oh, also, I noticed that their stores in NY marketed the Seattle element of SBUX, where it’s not a novelty here. That kind of regional marketing/merchandising makes sense to me.

    Oh, also, none of the SBUX I went to (I think I can count 3 from this particular trip…2 in Times Square, less than a block apart, and one from the airport) stocked the 8 grain roll (which is probably produced for us granola eaters out here on the west coast). As much as I’d like to tell you I stuck to my south beach ways, I did have a french toast bagel and a low fat poppy seed muffin. Liked the bagel, but found the muffin very sweet (like what did I expect).

    Yeah, I notice that kind of weird stuff. I have to occupy my mind with something you know. Incidentally, I was at SBUX HQ today for a recruiting industry meeting.  They do a nice job of hosting.

  3. Vicki says:

    NYC is quite different than it used to be… I just visited myself this past June. The experience was inspiring and practically life-changing for me.

    I’ll admit… I’m a pseudo-native New Yorker.

    I called Upstate New York my home since I was ten years old… so, not a downstater, but always proud to say that I am from New York (despite my current location where I am by all accounts a d@mn Yankee)!

    I visited my very first Starbucks in Liverpool, New York and was impressed… wow! Someone actually KNOWS what I am ordering when I ask for a Cappucino… I haven’t had that "knowing" look since I left Europe three years ago!

    Anyway… back to NYC… I found the place to be IMMACULATE compared to my previous experiences in the 80’s and 90’s… people were abundantly friendly… law enforcement on all corners…. I was floored. Native New Yorkers were asking me "So…. how do you like the city?"

    Essentially, a little research and queries answered the "What the heck happened here?" I thought it was 9-11 driven…. but, NO.

    Fact of the matter is… it was a marketing program! NYC was losing tourists, big time… therefore, A LOT of money too. They needed to clean up their acts, the streets, the rudeness, etc etc… they really did a big campaign to get a buy-in from the City and its people…  

    Since I was overseas, I have no idea how this transformation occured, but this was the story from several NY’ers – most holding PhD’s and colleagues… so I had a tendency to believe their insights.

    What stores did you go to? If you were in Rockefeller Plaza and in certain areas of Manhattan, then…. well…. Teuscher in particular was the only place that acted as if they didn’t have time… too bad they also didn’t have fresh imported chocolates from Switzerland… 😉

  4. Wine-Oh says:

    When I was in seattle 2 years ago, I arrived with a bad cold and went to Starbucks across from the W Hotel for some green tea. They were so pleasant and put the honey in my tea for me. Had a positive experience. In NYC where I live there are 3 SBUX within 3 blocks of my apt. I asked for honey to be put in my tea and they nearly threw the packets at me to do myself. Also the garbage can was leaking from people pouring off their coffee into it and I nearly slipped and broke my neck. When I told the cashier about it so someone could clean it up, she said and I quote "Thats not my problem, my shift is over in 5 minutes…" I dont think that would fly in Seattle with corporate being there.

  5. Wine-Oh says:

    Vicki I have been to the Starbucks in Liverpool and on the Syracuse University campus. (It took the spot of my favorite pizza place on campus). Very different experience from other SBUX. Although positive. The one on campus, cant fufil the orders quick enough and the line just grows and grows. I guess each one is different in what they stock food wise too. Some have the apples with the side of caramel for dipping. That should be universal 🙂

  6. Vicki says:

    I also had Starbucks at the Atlanta-Hartsfield airport. Not such a good experience (I know, you are surprised!).

    They didn’t have apples or carmel – or anything that looked remotely fresh. I think some of the items might have been re-wrapped and rejected from a Delta connection. Oh wait! That can’t be! No food is served on commuter flights. Ok, well, I’m just saying that the SBUX was not looking too stellar in the Hotlanta Airport.

    I settled for a vanilla frappuccino and walked on to my gate. Pretty non-eventful.

    Wine-Oh – anything up on The Hill near SU would not be able to offer the best customer service – SBUX or otherwise. But – this is what you get in a hip university town. I miss the northeast right now!! 🙁 I bet those apples they offered were even LOCAL.

    The only produce available to me here is FRESH GREEN BOILED PEANUTS!! Party bag, anyone??!