14th Street Waiting Line Begins

December 7, 2007

I”ve arrived in line as #5. The first person in line arrived from the Bronx at 2 a.m. after he says he received an e-mail from Apple promising that laptops would be given away to the first 10 in line. The next three men are also here because they heard a radio DJ say there would be merchandise give-aways. The two persons behind me arrived believing the store opened at 6 a.m. and also heard the DJ remark. By 6:15 a.m. there were 16 persons in line, and by 8 a.m. there were 22–the two behind me among them. The line has grown to 55 at 11:30 a.m. under cloudy skies. At 12:30 an Apple staffer came by to explain the giveaway to the 62 in-line: visitors will be given a T-shirt and poster, and upon opening the  poster cap they will learn if they’re a winner, with the prize awarded instantly ($10 iTunes Gift Card, iPod shuffle, iPod touch, Macbook). Prizes are entirely random over the entire evening. Apparently no one left the line after the announcement, but many were disappointed. CNBC is doing live video without a reporter, as part of a story on upcoming new products, success of the retail stores and the rise in Apple’s stock price (up $14.30 this week). The line is at about 400 at 3:15 p.m. Snow flurries started at 4 p.m., with the line snaking back-and-forth all the way to the end of the block. Maybe 750 in line? Now at 5:11 p.m. the snow has stopped and the line continues to grow around the corner onto 9th Ave. T-shirts and posters have been placed out. Scores of curious line the sidewalks to watch the spectacle.

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