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Babies. That's who went to the 10am opening of the Apple Upper West Side store at 67th Street and Broadway today. There were Bugaboo strollers, there were Baby Bjorns, and perhaps more importantly?there were babies dressed in full denim, who, having just learned how to walk, have apparently always dreamed of taking their first few steps into an Apple store.
As opposed to the scene unfolding a little south at the Jimmy Choo x H&M in Midtown, the Apple opening was a family occasion. Apple employees bent down to greet the kids at the doors, and even rustled up some size-small T-shirts for the future tech consumers. Baby's first Apple T-shirts...awwww.
Enough with the kids; onto the meat of the place:
After we endured the surprisingly pleasant 25-minute wait (which stretched around two corners) with free Starbucks hot chocolate, VIA samples, and the warmth of portable heaters, we found ourselves entering the store along with cast members from 30 Rock?a pretty solid justification for not showing up at the crack of dawn, since we would have missed out on chatting with Kenneth the Page (Jack McBrayer) and Frank Rossitano (Judah Friedlander, in his "Campeon del Mundo" hat). Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) was also spotted, but sadly no Tina Fey as far as we saw. Tina had, after all, endured the opening of the Fifth Ave store way back when, so she gets a pass on this one.
As at the other NYC Apple stores, most of the laptops and iPhones on display quickly had the crowd call "dibs" and many settled into checking their email and chatting. Noting that the main, street-level floor really had nothing but products on display, we headed down the spiral glass staircase to glimpse the cash wrap and the Genius Bar. Already at the latter, we spied some Geniuses who will incur the occasional Craigslist Missed Connection, and we noted that they already had a full roster of appointments.
The cash wrap is quite simple?yes, we know this is Apple's style?but it's so unexpected that that's the spot where you hand over whole paychecks for the latest gadgetry. It's easily overlooked, snuggled up near the glass staircase.
A final word on freebies and those who plan to visit yet today: The giveaway is a black T-shirt with the outline of the store's facade on your chest. They are handing out mainly size XL, and the little Japanese lady behind us in line told us that she was told to come here to get it by her son, who is out of the country and who has a birthday coming up and asked for this favor. Is it cute or cruel to make your elderly mother head here in the drizzly weather to snag a shirt? The ethics there are cloudy. Still, they have plenty leftover, stock which we project to last until maybe 2-3pm today.
Keep us updated on the scene throughout the weekend in the comments, and let us know if you share some Nano earbuds with Tracy Morgan or Tina Fey.
· All Apple UWS coverage [Racked]