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The Wired Store: A Little Slice of Geek Heaven in Noho

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You still can't really buy much at this year's Wired store, but the attitude has changed a lot since 2009's Meatpacking pop-up. Sure, one of the employees made fun of us when we referred to the location as Tower Records ("CDs are dead, man" was the actual quote), but at least nobody's pretending they're in a nightclub this time around. And while the gizmos on display might not be practical, we definitely had fun playing with them.

The shop sprawls across the basement, first, and second floors of a certain former record shop at 4th and Broadway. It's organized into six personalities: Digital Gentleman, Gastronaut, Smarter Upstarter, Adventure Capitalist, Maker, Culturazzi, and, uh, female (OK, "Gadget Girl.") Certain co-branded products, like an Incase iPad holder and Urbanears headphones, can be purchased in-store, but if you fall in love with anything else, you'll have to order it online. (Laptops have been provided at the front of the shop for just this purpose.)

The point of the Wired store isn't really to buy, though—it's to play. And gape. And then play some more. Shoppers faced off over a chalkboard ping pong table and hopped up and down in front of the Wii-like Sony PlayStation Move. A Lego Hogwarts and a Lego Star Wars chess set attracted quieter geeks and parents, while adventurous types climbed aboard the gorgeous, perfectly circular, wildly expensive Ciclotte exercise bike.

Then there's the art. If the projection of birds spiraling in the double-height space between the first and second floors seems familiar, it's because it's the second part of "The Wilderness Downtown," Chris Milk's music video for Arcade Fire. The video encouraged people to create postcards online; in the Wired store, a "Wilderness Machine" prints those cards on paper laced with birch seeds. An interactive xylophone-esque device by Brooklyn's 3rd Ward group hangs from the ceiling above.

The Wired store is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11am to 7pm through December 26. For a calender of events, head right over here.
· WIRED Pops Up for the Holidays Nov. 19 in NoHo [Racked NY]
· Now Open: WIRED's Meatpacking Pop-Up [Racked NY]
· Wired Store [Official Site]