Wow, with this heat wave in New York City, the Starbucks coffeehouse chain has been a saving grace.
Now don't get me wrong. I have been A Starbucks skeptic and generally, not a fan of the corporatization of bohemian concepts. When this chain had a more bitter version of their basic coffee a few years back, I was not sold and rarely visited. And that's even considering their pricing back then. But ever since they became a free wifi center on July 1, 2010 -- prompted in part to their rivalry with MacDonalds -- they won me over.
Yes there is no huge virtue in the sameness of each location, but that consistency actually works in their favor when it comes to things like decent wifi signal connectivity, price and servings. Plus they generally have decent customer service. So when it comes to a place to be when the heat is overwhelming I will pick the surrounding Starbucks.
And I have met a lot of very attractive foriegn visitors when have gone to various locations as well.