My friend Witold (see Yoga: Art + Science) and I went to the new Apple store on Fifth Avenue today, ostensibly to buy me a new laptop, but really just to see what all the fuss is about.
The store is entirely underground, in the plaza in front of the GM building, and you enter it via this I.M. Pei-looking glass cube, on a staircase that descends into MacLand. It's quite lovely. The store is harder to navigate than the SoHo store, despite it seeming smaller. It's hard to differentiate between the Genuis Bar and the checkout, and products are sort of laid out in all areas of the store. MacBooks in two corners, iMacs along the wall...and also over here on the low table with squishy balls for desk chairs. I'm not sure what the big idea is, but okay.
Mostly we played with the Photo Booth software on one of the MacBooks, taking pictures of ourselves and emailing them to our friends. We also scrolled through all the sent mails in the Mail app, looking at other people's pictures. You could even see how this particular laptop had been moved around the store by seeing what part of the architecture was behind the people in the photos.
I also tried to chat with the other people trying out the MacBooks, using the iChatAV program, to no avail. You could sign in as your MacBook, and see the other computers on the network. Some of them were on-line; most were not. But I wrote "Hey" to them, and when that didn't work, I tried "Hello."
No purchase was made today. Come next week, I figure, I'll be sitting here with a MacBook size helping of new technojoy.