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An Insider's Guide To An Apple Store Opening

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In case you haven't been paying attention for the past several weeks—nay, months?here at Racked, we're pretty excited for the city to get yet another flagship Apple store. This time it'll spread the Mac goodness on the Upper West Side at 67th and Broadway, and the grand opening at 10am is sure to see its share of Apple fanboys and freebie-chasers.

To properly prepare for the opening in our own fashion, we've tapped a veteran of Apple mania to give us run down of what to expect and what to look for on Saturday, or indeed at any Apple store opening. Our contact not only worked the opening of the revered Apple Fifth Ave store (aka "The Cube"), but also survived down below at the 24/7/365 store for some time.

The Top Insider Tips For Getting The Most From An Apple Store Opening, from our Apple veteran:

· Show up early
It should be basic knowledge to join a line before opening time if you have an interest in freebies, but you'd be surprised how many will ask for handouts through the whole day, or first week. Word is that they're giving out free T-shirts with the UWS store opening. Grab your coffee, grab your iPhone (because you probably already have one), dress in layers and it couldn't hurt to bring an umbrella, but just get out there well before the doors open.

· Don't go for the shopping
If you're in line, you probably have all the Apple products you need anyway. Why are you going then? An Apple store opening is a cultural experience, not a retail one. At least that's true for the first day. If you're standing in line early on a Saturday morning for just the promise of a T-shirt, then you're already part of the Apple culture; you've been sucked in and you love it. If you hang out or regularly browse Apple stores because you enjoy the familiarity of the brand, then attending an opening is like snuggling down in front of a fire with a cup of hot cocoa and Nosferatu on Netflix;?all about the warm fuzzies with a hint of heart-racing.

· Don't try to buy anything more significant than an iPod
All of the Mac Specialists will be overwhelmed, newly trained and not quite sure what to do, and you'll probably get easily frustrated just the same. Sure, there are Apple employees whose job on the first day is to stand and clap until their hands hurt as more customers stream in, but it's not like they can help you; damnit, they've got to clap! Stick to buying the easy products and save involved purchases for other days, other stores.

· Keep your eyes peeled for famous people
When Apple 5th Ave opened, they brought in most of the SNL troupe, plus some other random faces. I'm talking Elizabeth Berkeley, James Woods, Stephen Colbert, Spike Lee, Kanye West, Tina Fey, Jay-Z, Beyonce, John Legend, Drew Barrymore, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Dave Chappelle, Mos Def, Harry Connick Jr and even Conan's Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Thanks to ifoapplestore for refreshing my memory.

Apple flagships like this new UWS one usually means that they'll round up some high C-List, low B-List celebs. Probably watch Twitter to see who's spotted at this opening.

· if you're local, keep coming back
Apple might seem like a huge company, but the retail stores are there to build and serve their community. For example, the Soho Apple store is very neighborhood oriented; there's a regular crowd who's in there, including Spike Lee who drops by quite often. If you're really interested in the products and what they can do for you; keep going back and utilize the extra free services because thats what they're there for, like the personal trainers. Just showing up for a half hour for the novelty of the opening isn't real Apple dedication and you're just touching the tip of the iceberg. UWS seems like the right neighborhood for Apple to build their community.
· Apple UWS coverage [Racked]
· All Apple coverage [Racked]