Tampa Opening, Take Two (9/14/01)

Life goes on, and so does retail. We imagine that many of you might have decided not to show up to today's scheduled Apple store grand opening at International Plaza in Tampa, thinking that, in light of recent events, celebrating something as ultimately meaningless as the opening of a computer store (yes, even an Apple store) would be crass or disrespectful. While we can certainly understand that concern, we'd like to point out that the grand openings that we were lucky enough to attend were fundamentally about community, not cash registers; they were massive gatherings of scads of like-minded individuals coming together peacefully to celebrate something positive. So while we can't imagine that any opening taking place in the shadow of Tuesday's horrific events would necessarily include high fives and "Love Shack" blaring out of the store's sound system, sharing some quality time with other Mac users amid Apple's latest gear might have made for a good mental hug. And we can all use more hugs these days.

Sorry you missed the Tampa opening now? Well, don't be-- because it hasn't happened yet. While it's true that Apple's web site originally listed the opening date as September 14th, it was changed earlier in the week to reflect the true opening date: September 15th, or tomorrow. Which means, in all likelihood you won't even need time off of work to go check it out. (You will, however, have to miss your Saturday morning cartoons-- although, given the understandable nature of television programming of late, you'd likely be missing those anyway.)

MacCentral is reporting that the one-day delay is "because of the tragic events this week," though that's not actually the case; faithful viewer John DiPanfilo alerted us to the date change last Monday night, and indeed, before the unthinkable happened on Tuesday morning, we were all set to regale you with elaborate conspiracy theories as to why the store needed an extra day to open its doors. (We forget exactly what we were going to say, but we seem to recall that black helicopters and the Knights Templar figured heavily in the plot.) In any case, the one-day delay works out well, since today has been declared a day of remembrance for the victims of Tuesday's attack, and a gala store opening would clearly have been unseemly.

So anyway, that's the scoop: the Tampa opening is tomorrow at 10:00 AM, and if you're in the area, we recommend that you go and see what all the fuss is about. Chat with a few other Mac fans, kick the tires on a Quicksilver G4, and drink a little Evian while trying to stump the Geniuses. No, a free t-shirt isn't going to rid the world of pain and anguish, nor is it going to turn the clock back so that disaster can be averted. But it can let you put off doing laundry for another day... and in this life, you have to learn to appreciate the little things.

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The above scene was taken from the 9/14/01 episode:

September 14, 2001: Thought you missed the Apple store opening in Tampa this morning? Fear not-- it's actually tomorrow. Meanwhile, Apple confirms that Mac OS X 10.1 update CD-ROMs will be distributed for free at certain Apple dealerships, and the Apple Store Northshore team finds out that Genius Bar water isn't just for breakfast anymore...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3301: Pick It Up, Save On Shipping (9/14/01)   Good news for Mac OS X early adopters: it looks like those "unconfirmed rumors" of alternate 10.1 distribution methods may have just graduated into the realm of verifiable fact. If you can still remember those halcyon days when we all actually thought that things like a $20 upgrade fee was something worth getting upset about (that's right-- stretch those brains back to last week), you may recall a ruckus because Apple was planning to charge existing Mac OS X customers a $19.95 "shipping and handling" fee in order to upgrade to the long-awaited 10.1 release...

  • 3302: LOCAL STAFF MAKES GOOD (9/14/01)   This just in: Apple store employees continue to lend a hand during these troubled times. Yesterday we noted that the staff at the Mall of America location helped travelers stranded by the air travel ban by assisting them in using the store's Internet access to email their families, check on flights, and rent cars...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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