Saturday, June 11, 2011


My sixth Starbucks a tiny oasis right smack in the middle of Uglyville, CA. Okay, it's actually North Hills but they should consider either changing the name to Uglyville or have a paint day. Maybe it's the June gloom but Starbucks store number 11447 would feel right at home in a Steinbeck novel.

It's nice inside the store. Very friendly crew. Across the street is a Yum-Yum Donut shop and an Anheuser-Busch Brewery is a stone's throw away. Homer Simpson would love it here.

The guy in blue in the picture is acting out some fight in a store in which one of the guys had a gun. And on the way here I passed a guy carrying a beer bottle and a machete.

Good times.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


My office is turning 40, and to celebrate, Starbucks is giving away free food. March 10-12, from 2-5, you can get one of the new Petites with the purchase of a drink (nothing's really for free, is it?).

The new Petites are: Cake Pops (available in Birthday Cake, Rocky Road and Tiramisu flavors), Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, Mini Cupcakes (Carrot Cake and Peanut Butter) and Sweet Squares (Lemon and Salty Caramel).

I'll be making a Petite tour all three days.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


My fifth Starbucks sits about 6,750 ft above sea level in Big Bear, CA. We spent last weekend at Crestline, CA with some friends. My daughter needed a nap and I figured the hum of the car would lull her to sleep. Sure enough, it worked. So we drove to Big Bear and she napped the whole way.

The Starbucks is wedged between a pizza place and a liquor store. One stop shopping, really, for a weekend in the mountains. The place was pretty crowded with tourists (my daughter and I being two of them). Very slow service. But it was the weekend. It's probably better service during the week when it's not so crowded.

It's a great place to grab a drink and then walk 2 blocks to the lake or stroll through town.

Village and Paine
40568 Village Drive
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 US

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Starbucks #4 is nestled in a shopping center in Burbank, CA. The Victory and Empire store. From the outside it sort of looks like a storage shed on 'roids. But inside - oh the inside is glorious. Plenty of room, the best air-conditioned Starbucks ever, and free of hipsters. This is where I was on July 19, 2005 at 10:17am when my wife called to tell me we had been matched with a baby in China.

I could spend all day at this Starbucks. The shopping center has Target, Lowe's, Michaels, Nordstrom Rack, Krispy Kreme, Sports Authority (to work off those Krispy Kremes) and oh so much more.

And just down the road is a Costco, a firing range and an animal shelter. Talk about the ingredients for some tasteless jokes.

1711 North Victory Place
, CA 91502

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to Pay With Your iPhone at Starbucks

As you may know, you can now pay for your mega-Trenta Starbucks drink with your iPhone. How, you may ask? Here's a great site that explains it for those of us who are iPhone-challenged.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shanghaid To Starbucks

Starbucks #3 is the fancy-ass one in the Xintiandi section of Shanghai. This is a fantastic store. Two floors. Beautiful interior. And in a really cool, if not touristy, part of the city.

Here's my ideal (and expensive) day at the Xintiandi:

1. Get a drink from the Xintiandi Starbucks

2. Look longingly at where the Paul bakery used to be. They had the best chocolate croissants outside of Paris.

3. Scoff at the Xintiandi Coffee Bean and Tea
4. Buy an overpriced shirt at Shanghai Tang
5. Eat lunch at Din Tai Fung
6. Look at the Cold Stone Creamery.
7. Turn to my wife and say, "They have a Cold Stone Creamery?"
8. Eat ice cream at the fanciest Haagen-Dazs you've ever laid eyes on.
9. Tell a total stranger Haagen-Dazs is in the Bronx and that I have a friend who developed Macadamia Nut Brittle.

10. Visit the Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party
11. Toast Mao with a Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino