I have real mixed feelings towards Starbucks.
As a native Brooklynite is see them as some sort of invasion. No better than Papa Johns or Walmart. We already got plenty of good coffee, what do we need that shit for. Also, I want a small coffee - Whatthefuck is a tall. If I wanted flavors in my coffee, I would do to a candy store. Finally, why do you need to know my name, just give me my coffee.
On the other hand, their stores have provided a new kind of quasi public place. I have had meetings there. Not like "I will meet you at Starbucks." But, lets bring our laptops and babies and get through this agenda - meeting. Their corporate policy as enforced by their employees was clear. Do what every you want in our store as long as you don't move your home office there or really bother the other people there. They don't really care if you don't spend any money.
But the real good thing that Starbucks brought to NYC was their toilets. Starbucks are everywhere and they all have one or two bathrooms. As a runner I used to have to find bathrooms in parks (forgetaboutit). I also knew that I could run into a hospital and use their bathroom. (Once a hospital guard did not want to let me in so I said "then admit me because I am going to explode right here. That worked.) Police stations also have public bathrooms. (But I think as a policy, they never clean them) So if you need a toilet in NYC, you can get this app
About 13 years ago, the first Starbucks opened in Park Slope. I was pushing my babies in their stroller and I remember stopping dead in my tracks and saying "WHO THE FUCK LET THIS HAPPEN?". Well, a few years later I had more than a few PTA meetings there.
And another one is about to open. Just on top of the stairs from he B/Q Train at 7th Ave and Flatbush.
I wish them luck. I, along with many other people have to pee when we get off the train.
I will still go to the newsstand and get justasgood coffee for half the price.
Many more details on pee can be found here.