Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My love for Starbucks runs deep

I pulled into the Starbucks drive through earlier this week before teaching my creative writing class for a grande iced nonfat caramel macchiato and a spinach feta wrap (am I the only one obsessed with these?) and they asked if I wanted a treat receipt. Well, yes, yes, I do! If you are unfamiliar with the treat receipt, it's a promotion that Sbux runs during the summer where if you buy a drink in the morning, you can bring your "treat receipt" back after 2:00 for a grande beverage for $2.50. It used to be $2.00 but with the success of McCafe and the like, I don't mind my extra 50 cents going to Howard Schultz's wallet. Sbux has been a big part of my life....I realize how "basic" that sounds. No, I don't wear Uggs nor did I pledge a sorority. But Starbucks (or "Sbux" or "Buckys") has been the location for dates, long homework sessions, a morning pick me up before I head to the classroom, deep talks with friends about life, a meeting place, and more.

Passion Tea Lemonade: a non-coffee fave 

The Gonzaga Starbucks was such a special place for me. It didn't matter when you stopped in, you always knew at least a handful of people and there was always a lot going on. I wrote many a paper there and if you were really dedicated to a true morning pick me up, you knew to get bagel from The Ultimate Bagel next door and then get your drink from Sbux. Now that was the breakfast of champions/hangover cure if I ever met one. Junior year our college house was a gross shack (seriously it was nasty) BUT it was right across the street from the GU Starbucks so my love affair with the green straw just grew.

A latte and lesson plans.....pretty common 7 am sight for me 

My most ultimate favorite Starbucks is the one located at 106th and Longwood Drive in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood. You can skip the Shedd Aquarium, dino bones at the Field Museum, and even Michigan Ave, but should you find yourself in The Windy City, do yourself a favor and head way south west and head to the Beverly neighborhood Starbucks. I vividly remember thinking that the new changes involved with first year teaching/grad school/away from family and friends/city life would be okay because damn it, that Starbucks a block from where I was living at the time felt like home. I would pack my tote bags up every Sunday afternoon and spend hours there planning lessons for my 1st graders. I know working in busy place like that can be distracting for some people, but for me, it energized me. I loved people watching. There were Lululemon botoxed moms heading to yoga, neighborhood kids on skateboards, business men catching the early morning Metra into the city, and every other type of person you could imagine. My last morning in Chicago I walked into that Starbucks on Longwood drive and got my grande iced coffee and nearly cried when I told my barista buddies that it'd be my last morning there. They hugged me and we laughed that my Masters degree should be framed in the store because without them there, it might not have happened.

My Beloved Longwood Drive Starbucks 
Since then, I've certainly laid off on my caffeine consumption. In fact, just to see if I could do it, I was coffee free for 20 whole months a few years ago. It was an effort to up my water intake and really? Coffee jitters weren't too appealing. I've reintroduced coffee into my life and have about 4 coffee beverages a week (grande skinny vanilla latte, you are beautiful). I get jazzed for pumpkin spice season (See above re: "basic") and still have a pep in my step on the days that begin with a green straw but I no longer get caffeine headaches and certainly don't NEED it like I once used to.

A cute walk-up Starbucks on Chicago's North side.

According to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (yes, I've read his Starbucks), Starbucks aims to provide a "third place" for people between work and home. We all need a landing place where we can be in casual, comfortable community. I'll take mine with a latte and Norah Jones in the background. And a cranberry bliss bar in December because sweet Jesus, that is some heaven right there.

1 comment:

  1. Oh the Starbucks on Longwood Drive! Sweet, wonderful memories!! 😄