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Apple store opens in NYC's new cathedral of consumerism

Under this ribbed structure lies the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, a train station and shopping center.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, the station replaces the transit hub under the original World Trade Center that was destroyed by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

The station sits adjacent to the September 11th Memorial and the new One World Trade Center tower.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

The station links several New York City subway lines to PATH trains to New Jersey.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget, the station opened earlier in 2016.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

The giant "Oculus" sits over an open public seating and event space.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

While the retail center opened to the public today, many stores are unfinished.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

The Apple Store was one of several new retailers opening to the public for the first time.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Another view of the central area, which today featured a live band.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

The open Oculus allows plenty of sunlight into the underground shopping center.

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By noon, the area was packed with shoppers and security.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Just outside the Apple Store was a large seating area for the public.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

The view from directly under the Oculus.

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An Apple fan on his way to the new store.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

The entire Westfield Center carried a retro-futuristic vibe, complete with these white structural ribs.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Security was extremely tight at the Oculus.

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Armed police and guards stood watch on a balcony that was currently closed to the public.

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Some of the police were very heavily armed, a common sight in the WTC area.

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Apple fans lined up before the store's official opening.

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While on the other side of the door, press stood by to capture the doors opening for the first time.

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Shoppers were allowed into the store first, as the press stood by.

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Apple Store employees took photos of the crowd, who in turn took photos of the store employees.

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The first visitors got an Apple Store T-shirt, handed out by cheering employees.

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This Apple Store has the same forum seating and large screen as the new Williamsburg Brooklyn location.

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MacBooks and other Apple gear on display.

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In just a few weeks, this store will undoubtedly be adding the iPhone 7 to its display lineup.

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Under glass, the Apple Watch.

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As with all Apple Stores, getting hands-on experience with products is part of the appeal.

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An Apple Watch demo area.

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Big-screen iMac all-in-one desktops.

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This Apple Store has a second floor.

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The more relaxed upstairs doesn't have a separate Genius Bar area, but Geniuses are available for hands-on help.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

This wall of live foliage stood out in contrast to the stark white surroundings.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

One of the Apple Store shirts for the first customers.

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Apple calls the walls of its new stores "Avenues," to create a boutique-like atmosphere.

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Accessories are easy to grab off of wall shelves.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

The WTC Oculus store is the second new Apple Store in NYC this summer, following the first-ever Brooklyn store in Williamsburg, which opened just a few weeks ago.

Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

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