Saturday, May 16, 2009

One Less Reason to Go To L.A.

Several hundred Mac Heads with evidently nothing better to do on a weekend morning than to line up for the grand opening of the Santa Barbara Apple Store were indeed out in force early Saturday.

The crowd in the State Street Apple Store shortly after it opened its doors Saturday morning.

Count me among them.

Yes, it's astounding what a grown man will do for a free T-shirt.

Accompanied by my two kids, who were "bearding" for me, we arrived at the Apple Store, located at the site of the old Pier One Imports store a little before 9 am.

The line already extended to the entrance of the Fiesta Five Theater a few doors down the block.

I spoke with the first person in the line, Spencer Shulem of Goleta, who arrived at 3:40 pm Friday to secure his place in the queue. According to Shulem the next person in line didn't arrive until around 11 pm. I asked Shulem whether he was going to buy anything once he got inside he admitted that he probably wasn't.

A little past 9:30 am a lot of yelling could be heard coming from the direction of Canon Perdido Street. It turned out to be Apple Store employees who were trotting up State Street and high fiving those of us who were standing in line.

About 9:50 am the line started to move. They were opening the doors early!

Within minutes we made it to the front door. As we walked in store employees were standing on either side of us clapping and cheering. I was taking a photo as I walked in and nearly missed getting my free T-shirt which was packaged in a small white box.

The sound system in the store was blasting "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. A few minutes later it was "Touch The Sky" by Kanye West.

Within minutes the store was packed. People were at the Genius Bar which is set up along the back wall of the store. Kids were at the computers set up on the low tables. Ran into Jeramy Gordon, publisher and editor of the Daily Sound there. (That's in the store, not at the kid's tables.) A blog reader by the name of Carl came up and introduced himself to me.

It's a one story store, not two, as some people had been speculating. There is no theater area for presentations that some of the larger Apple Stores have.

We stuck around for about half an hour, then left. And nope, we didn't buy anything.

Outside there was still a fairly long line of people waiting to get in.

We noticed that the T-shirts that were being handed out had the familiar Apple logo on them and simply said, "State Street." You'd think they'd say "Santa Barbara." Perhaps Apple has further plans for this area?

More photos from Saturday's Apple Store opening are here.

My previous posts on the Apple Store coming to Santa Barbara:

Proof Positive That The Apple Store Is Coming to State Street

Apple In A State (Street) of Denial

Apple Store Will Take Big Bite Out of Local Retailers

Apple Lands In The Middle of State
© 2009 by Craig Smith and