Apple stores become second office and tourist attraction
City’s Apple stores become second office and tourist attraction
BY Barry Paddock and Christina Boyle
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Sunday, August 2nd 2009, 4:00 AM
Zalcman for News
Tourists from Russia stop in the 14th Street Apple Store to check their e-mail and Facebooks during their stay in New York.
They are hipster hangouts, makeshift offices and must-see spots on the tourist map.
New York’s Apple stores - which first debuted in the city in 2002 - have become more than just a place to buy the latest iPhone.
They are now uber-cool destinations of choice where everyone from the ultra-chic to techie geeks flock day and night.
“I come here three times a week,” said lower East Side resident Bryan Cooper, 42, who uses the newest Apple Store, on 14th St. and Ninth Ave., as a second office for his freelance consulting business.
“I browse on Facebook, I check my e-mails - it’s one of many offices that I have. If people need to contact me right away, I just use the iPhones here to call them and arrange the meeting.”
Dozens of Mac computers sit open on tables around the store, along with fully functional iPhones that visitors are free to use.
Staffers say each store has its regulars and some make beelines for the same work station daily to check their text messages, pull up documents or craft e-mails.
When the lurkers have been staring at the screen more than an hour, they are politely asked to move on, one Apple employee said.
“I just called my friends back in Vero Beach, [Fla.],” said upper East Side resident Camillo Martinez, 29, who popped into the 24-hour midtown store at 1:30 a.m. Friday. “ go out with friends and then just come to the Apple store.
“I’ve become friends with people here,” he added. “I check everything I have to check for the next day ... Facebook, banking, everything! I pay my bills.”
Each funky store has a distinct feel: the Fifth Ave. store is usually packed with tourists; the Meatpacking District hangout is frequented by locals; and SoHo runs the gamut from models and designers on their lunch break to out-of-towners who want to experience the buzz.
“It’s very interesting to be here,” said Italian tourist Gianluca Bocchi, 35, who spent a day last week visiting Yankee Stadium with family and the next at the SoHo Apple store.
“In Italy, we don’t have a shop like this,” he said. “Here you can try the computers, you can use the phones, it’s a great experience because it’s different.
“It’s like a tourist attraction,” he added.
Apple has seen its stock more than double in the past 12 months, at a time many companies struggled to stay afloat.
The company prides itself on breakthrough technology - and branding itself as the coolest commodity for young and old.
“My daughter will do anything just to come here,” said Brooklyn dad Oleg Gorelik, who brought his 4-year-old and 7-year-old kids to a free three-hour Apple summer camp recently. “She prefers it to tennis or dancing lessons.”
“Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. . ” —#162 Ferengi: Rules of Acquisition
I tried to demo one of the newer machines, and I witnessed the freeloading by users of facebook. I say give them 10 minutes or go the Starbucks and buy some coffee for an online experience. A hour is ridiculous.[ Edited: 02 August 2009 11:46 PM by ByeTMO ]