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If the Apple Store is a pristine representation of Steve Jobs' apartment, Tekserve is Wozniak's garage.

Tekserve is a Macintosh-only computer retailer / repair depot / advice warehouse in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood, located on the north side of 23rd street between 6th and 7th avenues.

When you walk in, you'll see a desk with an employee sitting at it. Tell them why you're there and you'll get a number. Walk in, wait to be called, tell the tech (tek?) what's on your mind and see if they can help. If they can't, you can schedule an appointment with one of the higher level techs (the guys who actually take the computers apart) at the back of the store. They also offer seminars, lectures and things of that nature which are, so far as I can tell, free to the public.

None of this comes even close to describing how awesome a place it is. There's a 1950's coke machine in the corner where they sell bottles for a dime - they take a loss on it, but keep it stocked anyway. There's a mini movie theater showing vintage B-movies. The 'next customer' ticker is run as a hypercard stack on two mac SEs mounted near the ceiling. There's a five foot shark model hanging over the manager's desk, and a row of old school macs built into the counter. Even the security guards have a sense of humor - I watched one of them prank his coworker with one of those packs of gum that snaps the fingers of its victims. Oh, and Macs. Hundreds of them, most of which are just out in the open and begging for a test drive.

Their website (http://www.tekserve.com) provides a deeper insight into the store's unique personality. Apart from sales information, store hours and so on, there's a section featuring music created by their staff, videos of iMacs being decimated by explosives and more stuff. In my head, this place is the way apple retailers should be.

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