Apple’s taken down the mighty velvet curtain atop its impending Grand Central Station megastore in Manhattan. It’s got a giant, snazzy video facade — and it’s very stupid-looking! It’s also a harbinger of a stupid retail nightmare to come.
The store’s face grins at you with a smarmy 52-monitor sign:
GRAB AN IPOD TOUCH. YOU’LL
WISH YOUR COMMUTE WAS LONGER.
Ha! No, no we won’t. Nobody will ever wish that, because Grand Central, despite being one of the most singularly gorgeous architectural sites in New York, is a horror show of the human species. It’s not our fault! Everyone is rushing everywhere, at high speeds, in every direction. Frantic, anxious hurdling, bags smacking, blaring announcements. It’s an enormous transit hub that shuttles hundreds of thousands of commuters, draws tourists, shoppers and nearby lunchers.
Over 750,000 people go through the station every single day. It’s the most popular stop in the entire New York subway system. And all this is an urban necessity — I’m not mad at ya, Grand Central!
But adding a 2137sqm Apple Store, taking over an entire balcony in the station formerly occupied by a gigantic restaurant, will be dismal. Those 750,000 daily visitors don’t need an onslaught of people who’ll spend hours gawking at objects they may or may not buy. The volume of foot traffic this retail Xanadu could attract is astounding — there are going to be 300 Apple employees staffed there alone. And, unlike Apple’s giant glass cube on 5th Ave, once people arrive they’ll have nowhere to go. It’s indoors. Getting in and out of the station is hard enough when all you want to do is catch a train. Hordes of iPad shoppers will make this one of the most unpleasant buildings in the history of the Occident. I can’t wait until I can roll out of my gurney at the hospital emergency room and hit the Genius Bar too. [9to5Mac]