Help? All suggestions pounced on with glee and gratitude.
I've just come back from a holiday that taught me what I didn't know: espresso is GOOD. At least, in Italy it is. At my local Starbucks... not so much. Ok. Not at all. (Which you knew all along, of course. I, of course, wasn't paying attention. Who cares, really, what with all that milk?)
So. Great espresso. The kind that isn't burnt, isn't over-acid, isn't thin. Ideally from kind of coffee bar where a person can wander in for a quick, not too expensive hit... and then get out. And come back again the next day... Chelsea/flatiron, ideally, but great locations in village/Tribeca/UES/Hoboken would also be fantastic.