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Showing posts from October, 2008

Education is "Good" and Coffee Can Help

Good”—the publication available at your local Starbucks is continuing to tackle the challenging issues. Its format aims for maximal communication in a simple, to-the-point way. Looking at the issue dedicated to “Education” is a great by-the-numbers way to understand the issue that rocks us to the core and literally drives almost all real estate decisions among those who have children. There are, for example, a total of 98,905 public schools in the United States, with the largest enrollment in California and the smallest in Wyoming. New Jersey boasts the highest total annual expenditures per student ($14,954), while Utah ($5,464) spends the least amount per student. We also learn that on average 56% of students in the U.S. go on to college. That percentage is highest in South Dakota where 69% of students go on to higher education after high school. What would a conversation about education be without weighing the pros and cons of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the idea that became a l…

Election Day Poem by Nicole Gray (note the coffee love & rock the vote)

FALL 2008---Waiting for the ElectionBy Nicole Gray-Chan

It’s fall.Skaters head west past the brunching swarmsThe sun is bright, but not too warmOn 45th Street, the horses and their coachesAmble gamely---Election day approachesThe annual renaissance of cultural foraysHeralds longer nights and shorter daysA season to view recent oils and the masters you knowFashion forward with pleats and a-line stitching---It’s all about flow.Bikram yoga to soothe your soulNatural elixirs help you stay in controlApple and lavender, coffee and jazzNow joy, peace, and comfort---at long last.

Honoring the Starbucks Barista, Improving Dental Health, and Weighing in on the Issues Like It's 1705

In July, the news that Starbucks closed 600 stores rocked the coffee-drinking community (and stockholders). But, Starbucks is still a go-to destination. I was grateful that none of the locations in my community closed. We are surrounded by Starbucks and they are always busy. Starbucks is an important part of our community, and I was grateful that none of the locations in my community closed. I love my local baristas---they are some of the most incredibly friendly, well-educated people I’ve ever known. Between them, they are planning trips to Japan, waiting to hear about early-acceptance applications to NYU, traveling to Oregon to work in other stores, raising children, exercising strenuously at NYSC, developing their yoga practices, pursuing professional dance careers, quietly nurturing their dreams, and generally being exceptional human beings.

Starbucks is a consistently good experience. The service is top-notch, the communication is upbeat and straightforward, and the coffee drinks …

Apples, Coffee, Jazz---Embrace the Struggle, Feel the Joy

In the early fall, New Paltz, New York, one of the coolest Hudson Valley towns, is pure joy---apple-picking, mountain-gazing, and serious coffee-drinking. 60 Main-New Paltz Cultural Collective is the quintessential new-school-meets-old-school cafĂ©. It’s really right there---energy, diversity, Obama buttons, great sofas, old-school games like Connect 4, and a huge space right in front of the window where bands can play, people can do yoga, and drummers can sit and drum for hours. As the night goes on, the percussive buzz becomes hypnotic. There’s always something going on---education night, movie night, yoga on Tuesdays, open mike, live music, and jazz---serious jazz. When the owner Mario Torchio serves coffee, you choose your mug size. Each mug is its own creation. When I was there the last time, I had the best mug. It was large, terracota and gravely on the outside, with a tactile, touch-me, drink-coffee-now vibe that made the coffee so good. There was a young guy who smiled and wore…