I pretty much had my whole itinerary set before arriving in New York - sites, shopping, shows, etc. But before I could start exploring, my first item of business, (aside from checking in at the hotel), was to walk over to B&H and pick-up my 50mm lens.
B&H was conveniently located a few blocks south of my hotel. I’ve never actually been in the store before, but I’ve ordered things from them online simply because, believe it or not, it’s cheaper to order from them and have it shipped here vs buying it locally. Anyways, I heard that the store was big, but damn was it BIG!
I was on a serious mission to just pick up my lens and get out, but the size of the store distracted me from the task at hand. Just finding the photography/lens department was a bit of a walk within the building. There was good signage to help direct customers, but when you’re used to stores like Henry’s where lenses are immediately in your face, this was an unexpected adventure. I was politely asked if I needed any help while browsing at gorilla pods, and was then sent to one of the ordering counters for my lens.
Now, if you remember how the ordering system at Consumers Distributing worked back in the day, this place kind of reminded me of that. I spoke to one of the sales guys behind the counter and told him what I was looking for. He looked into their computer system for pricing, advised me of warranty options, and recommended different price point filters. Once we’d worked on what I wanted, he put in a request for the products to be pulled from the back room. Within minutes another worker had arrived with a bin containing both the lens and the filter. After a quick inspection I was ready to cash out. The gentleman behind the counter printed out an order form for me, and then instructed me to go back downstairs to one of the registers. He said that my items would be waiting for me down there. After cashing out, I was re-directed to the pick-up area where staff had bagged and hung my merchandise on a numbered hook behind a counter that matched up with my receipt. Talk about an assembly line, but I guess it helps them to manage customer traffic, ensuring that only purchased items are leaving the store.
With my new lens in hand, I walked across the street to T-Mobile so I could get my US SIM card setup. Then I was back to the hotel to gear up, and get exploring!