Today, at 6 p.m., the Apple Store at 767 Fifth Avenue & 58th Street had its grand opening. The sole part of the store visible from the street is the entrance, a 32 foot glass cube marked only with the Apple logo. The interior, which is below ground level, can be reached via a glass elevator or a glass spiral staircase (similar to I.M. Pei’s pyramid entrance to the Louvre museum).
One young man was so determined to be the first customer that he arrived Wednesday night and camped out in the street, underterred by three days of thunderstorms. By Thursday night he was joined by several other Apple fans and on Friday, the hordes arrived; thousands of people formed a queue that eventually went all the way around the block, across the street and up three blocks, ending somewhere around Madison Avenue and 60th Street.
Employees flanked the entrance, applauding and high-fiveing each new customer. The first 2,500 to enter the store recieved special commemorative t-shirts packed in white boxes (similar to the packaging of Apple products) and an entry ticket to a series of drawings for free MacBooks, Apple’s newest laptops. Each MacBook slated for the giveaway was wrapped in a banner saying “We know what your next blog entry will be.”
Celebrities attending the opening included Spike Lee, James Woods, singer John Legend, the “Fab 5″ from Queer Eye for The Straight Guy, Kevin Bacon and most of the cast of Saturday Night Live.