Composite photo by myself outside the Apple Store on Prince Street, in Soho.
Entry into the store for the Apple 3g iphone that went on sale Friday was carefully monitored. The New York Times reported that people started waiting on line, beginning Tuesday.
On Saturday, the line went round the corner and down Greene Street nearly a city block, stopping just short of Houston Street. I walked by at around 11 am.
This photo is best viewed larger.
Well, yes, New Yorkers are suckers for a line.
Not the 'What's your sign' type but the red velvety rope type, separating the special people from the ordinary.
I remember some experiments on an episode of 60 Minutes from eons ago. One involved leaving various coins on a New York City street (penny, nickel, quarter) and seeing how long it took before they were picked up. Another involved starting an imaginary queue on the sidewalk and seeing how quickly people would join it.
Maybe the queue experiment is from my imagination? (The coin experiment definitely happened. The nickel and penny were snubbed by everyone). New Yorkers have their own language for queuing up. We stand on line here, rather than in it, like the rest of the country.
The experience is special for us, requiring patience, dealing with a crowd and tolerating physical discomfort. Standing on line means knowing what's worth standing on line for. It's the sacrifice of time and comfort for the latest thing.
Related posts: Schmata, or The Annual Warehouse Sale and Fashion Accessories Coming Soon.