Thursday, July 14, 2005
An Apple Store for Philadelphia?
I am sure that many of you are wondering what happened to the mp3s, as you patiently await the return of Booty Week or Month or whatever the hell I called it. They will be returning shortly, as I am going to do a whole week dedicated to ghettotech, that filthy, dirty, booty-obsessed music that came out of Detroit.
First, I would like to offer a brief explanation (i.e. an excuse). A few weeks ago, a tragedy occurred for me on a day like any other, when I plugged my iPod in to transfer the new songs that I had uploaded into iTunes. Unfortunately, my computer took that time to freeze up, forcing me to test the validity of the message on the screen: Do Not Disconnect. It turns out that iPod don't lie, as I lost all of the songs I had on it. Subsequent attempts to restore the songs exposed a problem with the iPod, as it was clearly broken. After a tantrum and nap, I confronted a bleak future where I would not be able to listen to the Three 6 Mafia on my way to work. I must thank MC here, the wonderful woman in my life, who has let me borrow her iPod until I got mine fixed.
Okay, while I am great at whining, that is not the point of this post. In trying to get my iPod repaired or replaced, I learned that the closest Apple store to Philadelphia was in King of Prussia, PA or Marlton, NJ. I was shocked. I do not have a car, which meant that I was shit out of luck. This is unacceptable, dear readers, unacceptable. Philly has to have one of the largest concentrations of Mac users in the United States, as evidenced by two unauthorized Mac stores and the tons of Macs one sees at cafes and parks around the city.
This got me to thinking. Why is there not a Mac store in Philadelphia? Why are the suburbs getting so much respect from Apple? What can Pound for Pound do to change this situation? I came to imagine a new Apple store going up in Philly, much like the Apple Center that went up in Soho neighborhood of Manhattan in 2001. The Soho flagship store is a massive center for Mac users, a visually stunning store that fits in with the brilliant design concepts of the company.
I see a similar flagship for the Philly region, as it is time for Apple to acknowledge that this area deserves something better. I definitely could see them setting up shop in the Rittenhouse Square area (perhaps Chestnut Street above Broad, where every new establishment seems to be happening) or on Broad Street, where there is still way too much open space, providing a chance to really make a splash. Or how about in the area a few blocks east of Broad, Center City East, around Washington Square. Some of the trendiest stores are there already, providing an environment similar to Soho. Old City? Possibly, although the neighborhood's foci seem to be restaurants, clubs, bars and condos. My choice would be Northern Liberties. No, not because I spend most of my time there. It just seems like a good fit, as Apple always has assumed the role of the alternative, artsy, cool. This fits real well with NoLib, and I can totally see them rehabbing one of the old factories or shells down there.
Oh, one other idea I had. They should choose one of the more progressive architects in Philly to design the store. I was originally thinking of Robert Venturi, the dean of postmodern architecture and Philly icon(oclast). But, perhaps Apple should use one of the young, upstart firms that have been making a home in Philly over the last decade. This would be a great opportunity for one of these firms to gain a bigger profile, which again would benefit the city in the long-run.
Okay, I won't waste too much breath on this, since it is clearly fantasy. I will update this post later tonight, and try to give everyone contact info to demand a Philly Apple store. I feel like this can become a project for Pound for Pound and its readers, as it shall take a nation of millions to hold us back. I also wanted to put the focus on the retail situation in this city, as I feel like it needs some attention. It has been called to my attention that Philly is not seen as a retail destination, as many people go to NYC to buy clothes, shoes, etc. We are still not seen as a retail destination for luxury brands or major retailers. While this has little impact on my life, it does seem like an area that Philly could improve on and that is enough for me. Does anyone know of a way to influence companies to locate here? Is there someone in city government who is supposed to be working on this issue? Are there any stores that readers would like to see in the Illadelph? Leave comments, and check back soon for resumption of mp3 ish.