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Gotham Geek Guidebook: West 14th Street Apple Store

A brief look at the culture of the latest Manhattan neighborhood that Steve Jobs and pals are moving into.

Please don't wear five-inch heels on these stairs. Caroline McCarthy/CNET Networks

A friend of mine once told me that one of the most striking characteristics of the Manhattan mini-neighborhood known as the Meatpacking District was the proliferation of "baby giraffes."

Basically, what he meant were the hordes of impossibly skinny young women in mile-high stiletto heels, teetering through the cobblestone streets of the party-heavy neighborhood as though they were juvenile specimens of Giraffa camelopardalis who couldn't quite control their pole-like legs. (In case you couldn't tell, the Meatpacking District's warehouses have largely given way to pricey designer boutiques and the nightclubs that keep Us Weekly's readership happy).

But those Giraffe Girls had better watch out, because the nerds are invading their watering hole.

On Friday night at 6 p.m., the doors will formally open to the third and largest Apple retail store in Manhattan, at the northernmost end of the Meatpacking District (it's on the corner of West 14th Street and 9th Avenue, to be more specific). Unlike its Fifth Avenue sibling, the West 14th Street Apple store won't be open 24/7--it closes at midnight, which might as well be the Meatpacking District equivalent of three o'clock in the afternoon. It's probably for the better. Steve Jobs has enough on his hands; he doesn't need to have to deal with dubious lawsuits from drunk girls in stilettos who've tumbled down that three-story glass staircase while trying to go hit on the guys behind the Genius Bar (they get way cuter after four cosmopolitans!)

The geeks have already taken roost at the old Port Authority building two blocks north, now home to New York's sprawling Google headquarters. Now they've staked a second claim with the Apple Store. Don't hold your breath, fellow techies, but if Tenjune gets replaced by a late-night arcade or something, we'll know the transformation is complete.

Click here for the rest of CNET's fanboy-friendly photo gallery.