Corporate Coffee

I truly love the independent coffee house. Whether I am in the West Village or somewhere random like Riverside, supporting small businesses is very important to me. I also go to Starbucks (when they’re isn’t an indie coffee shop around). During the holidays most of my disposable income goes toward peppermint mochas served in those darling red cups.

When the holidays end, I nearly cry, since it’s the end of the peppermint mocha season. Starbucks is also a favorite place to meet men and go on the cliché, but always-delightful first date. One chilly January evening I met Mr. handsome Latin lover online. He looked great in his Internet photo (don’t we all).

I suggested we meet at one of the millions of Starbucks in the Upper West Side. He obliged. When I walked in, he charmed me instantly. Even when he complained about how corporate Starbucks was, I was mesmerized. Even nagging sounds sexier in a Spanish accent.

We hung out at his apartment, which had spectacular views of Manhattan and beyond. He ordered us Pho and then complained about how corporate the city was getting. Even though, he lived in the west 70’s and loved New York, we couldn’t have a conversation without him complaining about everything from the Time Warner Center to our many visits to Starbucks.

Although he had terrible taste in music and spent his leisure time mopping and dusting, we had a wonderful time. One Valentine’s day, we called off our dating. I didn’t know whether to do a cartwheel to celebrate or find a man to make out with, but I did have a Starbucks the size of my head the next day.

A couple months after we stopped dating, I spotted him at the Times Warner Center, browsing the book selection at Borders and drinking Seattle’s Best Coffee. He was caught. Mr. Anti-corporate really did hang out in non-independent establishments.

Too many chains have taken over not only New York, but also cities around the world. However, I do need an Apple store, Starbucks and Bloomingdales close by. Those are just necessities. However, I love the feeling of walking into vintage clothing stores, record shops selling vinyl, indie coffee shops and mom n’ pop restaurants, nothing beats it.

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