Inside The Swanky, Invitation-Only Loft Where Lucky New Yorkers Pick Up Google Glass

Google Glass is the next wave of wearable computing, and it isn’t easy to come by. Only a few hundred people have been selected by Google to purchase the product early. The product currently retails for about $1,500.

But those individuals say picking up their pair of glasses was nearly as cool as trying on the device for the first time.

Last week, the first set of New Yorkers were summoned to the 8th floor of Chelsea Market to pick up Glass. They were greeted by beautiful hipster women, stunning views of Manhattan, and multiple glasses of champagne.

The location isn’t technically a Google Glass Store; those will probably be a different experience entirely. This store is just for Google’s initial explorer program, select individuals who are paying to try the product in closed beta.

Grand St, a gadget startup that’s launching soon in Manhattan, was invited to own Glass. Each founder was wowed by the experience.

“Setup is painless,” one of Grand St’s three founders Aaron Henshaw, writes. “I downloaded the Android app, synced the Glass and my Android phone together, and was ready to go. My first text message, to my colleague Amanda, said, ‘hi from the glasses.'”

Grand St shared some of their photos from the swanky experience with Business Insider. 

New Yorkers were invited to Chelsea Market last Thursday, on April 25 via email. Google informed them they'd be some of the first people to buy Glass.

Google Glass workers waited in the lobby to send invitees to the 8th floor.

Felix, which was once owned and operated by NY startup Yext, was acquired by IAC last August. It used to be based on the 8th floor of Chelsea Market. Google Glass moved in in its place. Here's what the office looked like before.

It isn't crowded inside. Only a handful of people pick up their Glass at a time.

Google Glass comes in multiple colours, and each is on display in the Chelsea Market loft.

Google Glass is given to you in packaging that looks like it could have come from an Apple Store.

Glass users are also handed champagne to celebrate their new gadgets.

Computer stands are set up so you can try Google Hangouts with Google Glass and more. Mirrors are behind the computers so you can see what you look like wearing Glass.

Cameras were set up to document the event. Google Glass employees spent tons of time with each customer, walking them through functionality. Most are hipster women who seem to fit the cool vibe Google is going for.

Here's one of Grand St's founders, Joe Lallouz, trying Google Glass for the first time while co-founder Amanda Peyton waits for her pair to arrive.

Here's another Grand St founders, Aaron Henshaw, learning to take a photo by clicking the shutter on the side of his Glass.

Now he's got the hang of it.

Happy new Glass customer!

It's hard to look cool the first time you put on Glass. There is no lens on the pair of glasses, just a frame, and a screen pops up just above your line of vision on your right eye.

You can attach shades to your Glass frames if you want to look slightly cooler or be more discrete.

All of the Grand St-ers now have their Glass and champagne. Success! The next batch of New Yorkers, those who won a Glass Twitter contest, get to pick up their devices next week.

Now check out one user's review of Google Glass:

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