Thursday, March 31, 2005

Boston Starbucks: The EI,CL Starbucks

The Extremely Incovenient, Conveniently Located Starbucks

At the opposite end of Cambridge Street from the Over-Friendly, Gay Starbucks is the Extremely Inconvenient, Conveniently Located Starbucks, also known as the Triangular Starbucks owing to its shape. The EI,CL Starbucks is located at the corner of Court & Cambridge Streets, at a site of some fame, for not only is it built adjacent to the Sears Crescent Building & on the former grounds of old Scollay Square, but it is also situated underneath the steaming tea-kettle. What's more, the EI,CL Starbucks can be found mere steps away from the site of Dwight Moody's rebirth as a Christian!

Ironically, it is because of this illustrious location that the EI,CL Starbucks earns it admittedly peculiar sobriquet. You see, dear readers, the EI,CL Starbucks is extremely inconvenient because, while being the Starbucks nearest to yr humble correspondent's place of employment, it is also a good five minute walk away, which simply does not do on cold winter mornings. Of course, yr humble correspondent could get off the Government Center Green Line Station in the morning on his way to work & from there simply bop in, grab his latte & and head into the office some half-mile away — & trust me dear readers, he would, if it were not for the fact that the EI,CL Starbucks is also inconveniently busy.

The EI,CL Starbucks is always, indeed invariably, busy during those hours of the day during which it would be most convenient for yr humble correspondent to obtain his much-needed lattes.

8:50 a.m., on the walk into work? Busy. Line out the door busy.

1:50 p.m., after lunch? Busy & crowded with people sitting along the window-facing bar.

5:05 p.m., on the way home from work? Busy, in addition to the fact that yr humble correspondent would have to walk all the way down Cambridge Street simply to get there.

Thus it is that the only times yr humble correspondent goes to the EI,CL Starbucks is between 10 a.m. & Noon, when the line is usually much-diminished & he can obtain his latte in under ten minutes. This necessitates going into work, settling into the morning routine, then getting up & leaving again to walk down Cambridge Street, however.

Obviously, this then begs the question as to why the EI,CL Starbucks earns the Conveniently Located portion of its nickname & the answer to that question, dear readers, is this: the EI,CL Starbucks is convenient for almost everyone else in the Cambridge Street, Government Center and Court Street area. These lucky souls need only walk a few yards to obtain their drinks, and so it is that the EI,CL Starbucks is extremely convenient for them. But their convenience translates into inconvenience — nay, extreme inconvenience — for yr humble correspondent.

Still & all, the EI,CL Starbucks is not a particularly bad Starbucks. The staff tends to be friendly enough & are prompt with the drinks (though they have, on occasion, forgotten yr humble correspondent's latte, thereby increasing his wait & solidifying their inconvenient reputation). Note also that the EI,CL Starbucks is not a lounging Starbucks by any stretch of the imagination. There is almost no seating in the establishment, owing to the small size & awkward shape, save for a bar which runs along the Government Center-facing windows (which does make for good people-watching, if one is lucky enough to get a seat). Indeed, the EI,CL Starbucks is a "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" Starbucks: one goes in, orders, obtains drinks & perhaps food & then leaves. It is unsurprising, therefore, that the clientele tends to consist entirely of business people & tourists, who are simply getting their morning caffeine before heading elsewhere.


Anonymous Josh said...

I am among those for whom the EI, CL Starbucks is, in fact, CL. Although I don't actually patronize it, owing to my stinginess, my lack of high-brow coffee taste, and the proximity of a Dunkin Donuts, I frequently am inside to keep a coworker company while she waits for her drink (I usually go to DD first, creating the gauche spectacle of a man in Starbucks sipping a DD coffee). Lately, I have noticed a strange smell in this STarbucks, decidedly not-coffee-related, like an unholy mixture of bleach and sweat. Has anyone else noticed this?

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