Sandy's Harrowing Impact on ... Starbucks Drinkers

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As the New York City area (and beyond) attempts to recover from one of the most massive, damaging storms in our history, we get a story in the New York Post that changes everything. Or, nothing, in that it confirms what we had suspected about a certain set of people who will stop at nothing to get their Starbucks. Even during a life-threatening hurricane. Sigh. This piece is worth reading, however, as it functions, perhaps, as a moral tale for us all. In times of trouble, maybe don't go to Starbucks. And if you do, because one has remained open in Midtown, flouting Starbucks' shutdown command, don't then brag about it to the New York Post, because people will find you, well, a wee bit terrible. But maybe there's something a bit comforting in that? If everyone behaved perfectly in a crisis, what would we have for comic/schadenfreude relief?

Amber Sutherland and Jeane Macintosh report the piece about some alleged "java junkies," quoting a variety of fervent Starbucks aficionados lucky enough to find a "rogue open store" despite the chain's near-total shutdown. Word of the store being open spread on the social interwebs, inspiring fans to walk or ... take Town Cars ... to get their fix. Starbucks PR has to be pretty happy with this story: 

“When she said they were open, I was like, ‘Pack the baby up. Let’s go!’ ” the triple-espresso fan said. “There’s nothing else we would’ve gone out for. This makes the day complete.”

Before the store closed Monday afternoon, there was a "daylong stream of customers that packed the store, standing shoulder to shoulder and waiting at least 10 minutes to order." One self-described Starbucks fanatic walked 20 blocks to find an open store. Another had her driver bring her to the shop. The threat of all of the Starbucks closing was, to some, more terrifying than the threat of Sandy: 

“I didn’t know they were all going to close. I started panicking,” Hernandez said with a chuckle.

“It was scary not having Starbucks,” said Owings, who orders tea, not coffee.

Said another: “I’m really happy these guys are open. I can’t get a pumpkin spice latte anywhere else."

Some people really need to, um, buy a coffeemaker. Also: You can help hurricane victims by donating to Red Cross disaster relief. (We'll have more ways to help as things progress.)

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.