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At Apple's flagship store, the beat goes on

Stokes Young / msnbc.com via Instagram

A message on NYC Apple Store's construction-clad exterior: "We're simplifying the Fifth Avenue cube. By using larger, seamless pieces of glass, we're using just 15 panes instead of 90."

By Stokes Young, msnbc.com

At Apple's flagship New York City store, it's (almost) business as usual.

When customers at the Midtown Manhattan Apple store launch Safari on a demo machine, they see the Apple.com home page — a picture of the company's founder and just these words: "Steve Jobs 1955-2011." Then, almost to a person, they type into the search bar, or click a shortcut, and start browsing the Web. Or click shortcuts to look at product specs and upcoming workshops at the store.

It's as if they're noting the great innovator's passing, then immediately diving into the beautiful products that are his legacy.

From the outside, the iconic glass cube Apple Store at 58th and 5th in Manhattan is shrouded in plywood, as the structure is being "simplified" with new, seamless glass, from 90 panels to 15.

It's quiet outside, though a video crew from the iPad publication "The Daily" is looking for man-on-the-street sound bites about the passing of Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Inside, it's loud and crowded. Customers check their Facebook feeds and watch YouTube on floor sample laptops.

At one smooth, blond wood table, a workshop leader shows customers how to use email on an iPad.

The short "Just for Kids" table is busy, too — the diminutive customers engrossed with with animated games playing out on shapely, vivid desktop monitors.

iTunes music wafts over from the speaker table, where docked iPads play Maroon 5, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and even The Beatles' "Let it Be" — a whole shelf of vinyl or aluminum disks jammed into a slim, beautiful little world of tunes.

There's an army of blue-shirted employees smiling greetings, offering help, explaining price differences, rolling carts of hardware across the large, smooth gray floor tiles.

So tonight in Manhattan, you have to take a detour to visit the Apple Store downstairs. But once you're down there, the Genius Bar is open for business. There may still be a little wait for personal setup of a new purchase or checkout, though: business, at least tonight, looks to be pretty brisk.

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