The Amazing FAO Schwarz

Shopping in 2010?

Speaking of today’s image, I’ve noticed I have really changed the way I shop!

Now, this doesn’t happen in all shopping situations, but it is happening more and more every month.

On my Trey’s App List, I mention something called RedLaser. When I was in the toy store below, I basically walked around with my iPhone, found cool stuff, scanned in the UPC with RedLaser, chose the best price, and had it sent to my home. Most often, Amazon had the best price. In some ways, this could become the future of retail stores — they become showrooms.

It reminded me a bit of a later trip to B&H Photo. They have an amazingly cool system there where you find the stuff you want on the show floor, and then the boxes are sent to the front from an underground warehouse across a robotic series of conveyor belts overhead. While you shop, the boxes whiz above your head with a gentle buzz… it’s all very cool.

And so, I picture this same sort of thing as I shop in other stores using RedLaser. I imagine the box sliding all around the UPS/Fed-ex World, slowly weaving its way to my home.

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Daily Photo – The Amazing FAO Schwarz

While I was in New York City for the big book party, we took some time out for shopping! This is the famous FAO Schwarz, which holds a special place in the hearts of many people. I’m sure at one point, you could call it the greatest toy store in the world. I’m sure other places hold that title now. In fact, I think I heard about FAO going bankrupt or something a few years back? I can’t remember… but, either way, the store was still alive and hopping while we were there!

I figured this is most certainly the kind of place you cannot use a tripod, which made me determined to use a tripod. I quickly set up on the second floor after surveying the whole store for about 30 minutes, looking for the most interesting vantage. I quickly extended the tripod, fired away, and then retracted back into stealth-mode.

  • Only Trey would be able to get permission to bring in a scissor lift and take pictures! Hahah awesome work as always! Same place as the Apple store shot?? I see a logo!

  • That’s right – good eye Brady! 🙂

  • Great shot.

  • Gail in Montana

    Lost my first comment, dang it. Some stack error 15 keeps popping up. Couldn’t connect to facebook. Oh well, I guess I wasn’t suppose to say all that stuff. So, great photo, love the colors!!!!

  • Richard

    Cool shot. Looks like one of those places where the toys come alive at night, party down, and then resume their poses at morning light.

    I also think I need to employ your ninja tactics a bit more. Keep the camera low profile, case the joint, set up and shoot. Also, when you hear the familiar voice behind you, “Uhhmm… we.. uh .. don’t allow tripods…. blah blah blah”, just feign ignorance and keep shooting. Then act really surprised when they finally get your attention. 🙂

  • There is no “t” in FAO Shwarz.

  • Aha! You are right! Let me fix that…

  • Hello Trey, lovely photography!

    It would be great if someone can follow you and document your “stealth-mode” especially with a tripod.

    Thank you as always.

  • Mark Peterson


    Great shots as always. I agree that apps like Red Laser are probably the future of shopping, but without stores you can never see the product. Amazon gives you those low prices by getting you to do your product research on someone else’s dime. I shop at my local camera store and B&H, but I don’t go to the local store check it out then buy from B&H. If I do my research and am willing to buy without seeing the product I buy from B&H. If I need my local camera store and they have it in stock, I buy from them, otherwise how are they going to be around to help me?

    Being a died in the wool capitalist, I suppose all local stores run the risk of being driven out of business, but I don’t intend to personally drive the ones I need out of business. Just my opinion.

  • casusan

    Great shot Trey – I haven’t been there in so many years! Your site is working now but still get the same message about ‘memory’ – but then it eventually comes up – strange!

  • As always, beautiful work. I have to agree with Mark’s comment. I too buy on line, but I buy local whenever possible. I just purchased a Nikon D700, 14-24 & 24-70 lens from the local camera store. Although it cost me about 4% more to buy it from the local guys, I believe it’s worth it to be able to actually have a local place to buy from.

  • Nice work Trey! You use the same technique as me for taking photos with a tripod indoors. The old; walk around inconspicuously, then quickly extend legs, take the shot, retract, and stealthy walk away!

  • gamc2010

    u did it again!

  • Every time I see you mention “stealth-mode” I think of you in a large overcoat, the tripod held up against your chest, you pop it out, fire away, and then, almost as if the coat is a cape, engulf the tripod back into hiding…

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