Last weekend I took a quick trip to New York City, on a preliminary mission for Operation: Burlap. I visited Tekserve again, as well as the Apple Stores on 5th Avenue and in SoHo. The 5th Avenue Apple store was exactly as I imagined: sleek, glassy, modern, and extremely busy. There was an incredible buzz running through the place.

The 5th Avenue Apple Store is located at the southeast corner of
Central Park, right next to FAO Schwartz, near the GM building and surrounded by many of New York City’s landmark retailers. The actual Apple Store is underground, but the store’s entrance is marked by a huge, illuminated Apple logo, hanging in a giant glass cube.

Theis giant glass cube rising out of the cement looks great in this
landmark setting – it’s surrounded by water fountains, trees, and a pavilion where a couple hundred people (mostly tourists) sat, talked, ate ice cream, and took in the scenery of one of the City’s most famous settings.

You descend into the store on a gently spiraling glass staircase, or else by riding a steel and glass elevator. The shopping area is
cleanly divided into sections for pro and consumer laptops and
desktops, iPods and iPod accessories, computer peripherals, and
software. The long wall of software is impressive, and handily
quashes the misconception that there’s no software available for the Mac platform.

The design of the store and all it’s fittings is ultra-clean and
modern, and is made of a mix of dark wood tables and shelves, lots of glass, polished cement floors, and recessed flat-panel monitors displaying Mac tips and tricks. The check-out area seemed well thought out for dealing with the crowds. At the opposite end of the store from the check-out area was a big long counter hosting iPod Support, “The Studio” (which features tech support dedicated to professional creative projects), and, of course, the Genius Bar. There is also a large theater where Apple hosts demos, workshops, and special events.

As I said, the store was packed – people were shopping, seeking help at the Studio or Genius bars, checking email or surfing the web, and just sort of wandering about in wonder. It seemed like there were dozens of Apple employees available to help. I asked a couple of different employees questions, and all but one was helpful and friendly. What’s a computer store without one snobby geek?

You can read about the 5th Ave Apple Store by clicking here.

And see some great photos by clicking here.

The 5th Avenue Apple store is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

I wanted to wear my Nike + iPod kit to New York, because I always feel like I’ve walked a hundred miles a day when I visit the city. However, I flew out of Burlington just when the ban on liquids on all flights was announced, along with all the other security increases. I had read that iPods were also banned (which turned out to be false,) so I decided to leave my nano behind, just in case. I didn’t want it confiscated at the gate. For now, I am sticking to the theory that I actually do walk a hundred miles per day when I’m in the city.

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