NEW YORK CITY — Crowds gathered at various Apple stores across Manhattan on Thursday to pay their respects to tech visionary Steve Jobs, with many placing apples, notes and flowers outside entrances.
Throngs of tourists, tech fans and media outlets added to the normally crowded Fifth Avenue Apple Store location here to pay respect to the former Apple chief executive officer that died last night (Oct. 5) after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. In 2004, Jobs received a liver transplant and took several medical leaves of absences in recent years before finally resigning as CEO of Apple this summer.
Young teens shared stories about how they couldn’t imagine life without their iPods and iPhones. Others hugged each other and some even shed tears. [Read: Steve Jobs and Apple Through The Years (Infographic)]
“Steve Jobs was a remarkable man, so I’m not surprised so many people came to pay respect. We have been staying in the area for about a week now and knew something would be happening at the flagship Apple store,” said Kansas native Martin Donaldson, accompanied by his wife Linda. “We grabbed our camera and headed over.”
A cardboard “Keep Thinking Different” sign was at the center of the memorial located on the steps of the Fifth Avenue Apple Store, whose ionic Louvre-like glass structure is currently closed for renovation. Signs in various languages, such as Chinese, were also added to the mix as New York City police officers stood along the side of the memorial.
However, the crowd downtown at the Apple store in SoHo was significantly more subdued. New Yorkers quietly placed flowers and personal messages near the entrance of the store. Reporters chatted with passerby — some using their iPhones to record interviews — and others snapped pictures using their Apple devices.
“Steve Jobs changed the way people think about “ones” and “zeros,” and made it accessible for artists and not just engineers,” said John Wellington, a professor at the New York Academy of Art, after placing a pink rose by the memorial. “When the store first opened in 2001, we called it the Apple Chapel. We’ve always been a big fan of Steve Jobs and Apple products.”
Meanwhile, one father placed a note with flowers next to the memorial: “RIP Steve from Ethan and Lucas – 7-year-old twins from SoHo who have never known a world without an Apple device.”
Apple announced the news on its company website that Jobs passed away on Wednesday night. He was 56.