Research Proposal

For my research proposal, I will study Starbucks locations throughout the borough of Manhattan and correlate on how much wealth the area has. This will be in the present time and will mostly be written for the sake of learning about the gentrification process in the heart of the city. Throughout my life I’ve noticed the large amount of Starbucks locations in areas that are filled to the brim with wealth, white people, and privilege. There could even be three locations within the same general vicinity for seemingly no reason. While, in less impoverished places of Manhattan, there’s nothing but bodegas, drug addicts, and people of color. Not a single Starbucks in sight. For this project I want to emphasize how Starbucks are used as landmarks of the city and show just how much of a division they create within the Big Apple. I will only be using Manhattan for this project as it is the center of wealth and help visualize the stark comparisons in a brighter light. I will also include any store that, within, holds a Starbucks locations, for they too contribute to the overwhelming gentrification of New York.

I’ve always disliked how much Starbucks has popped up within these confines of the city. It was always a visual reminder that even the most basic of coffees can have a huge price tag attached to it, to compensate for the huge wealth within the area. I always make my own, or buy it locally. I genuinely need to emphasize what Starbucks means in the city; and that is wealth markers.

One thought on “Research Proposal

  1. Yavor Ivanov

    Hello Jessica. First of all I want to emphasize on how much I personally dislike Starbucks and for the most part any other coffee shop chain in the US because of the sugar loaded products they offer and the ridiculous pricing on their beverages that are anything else but coffee when you think of it. What my concern is or maybe a suggestion towards your objective view is as follows: Are you planning on comparing your data research with other maps of interest, for instance foot traffic hot spots created by transportation hubs in the city such as Grand Central, Pen Station, Port Authority Bus Terminal, etc. Another view might be office building hot spots and last but not least tourist attractions in NYC. The reason I’m pointing these is because I believe those locations might have similar footprints and might also be key generators for the density Starbucks has spread around NY with and in particular Manhattan. After all businesses want to make money and they count on sales and that is all tide up on one thing – location, location, location. Is it gentrification and wealth concentration as you see it or is it more than that?

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