New Yorkers Have Found the Strength to Wait in Line for an iPad Mini

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Via @alinutzav.Photo: Alina Vandenberghe/Instagram

Hundreds of people are waiting outside the flagship Apple Store on Fifth Avenue this morning, the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy be damned. Nevermind the hours-long lines for gas all across New York City, the thousands without power and in need of aid, or the public transit system still stalled, these people will be dropping at least $329 on an overgrown iPhone that doesn't make calls. America.

CNN Money/Fortune estimated the line at 750 people, and even ventured a bizarre guess as to their provenance:

Turns out, if you were willing to catch the 5:30 a.m. shuttle bus from Brooklyn, the ride into Manhattan went pretty smoothly Friday morning.

Judging from the ethnic makeup of the queue in front of the big glass cube of Apple's (AAPL) Fifth Avenue store, however, most of the customers who made the pilgrimage were coming from the environs of Chinatown.

We're just going to leave that there.

"I'm down by Union Square, and there's no electricity," 43-year-old Eytan Friedman told the Wall Street Journal. "[I]t's just very hard to sleep, so I figured I'd get up early and get my new iPad rather than lie in bed and stare at the ceiling." Here are five ways to help that do not include watching Netflix on a a 7.9-inch screen.

Granted, it did take the fanboys a bit longer than usual to start assembling. "I'm surprised a line hasn't formed yet," said Luis Lorenzo, who was the first to arrive at the story early on Thursday morning. "But Sandy and the transit system have made it hard for people to get here. … I think more people will start showing up at 8 or so."

It took Lorenzo two hours to get to Midtown from East New York and he waited through the night, but apparently his karma points were low:

The first two guys to arrive — Luis Lorenzo, 42, from Queens and Jean Bacquez, 23, of Manhattan — made the mistake of taking a breakfast break. They had come at 6 a.m. Thursday and braved near-freezing temperatures overnight, but when they returned Apple sent them packing to the back of the line.

We don't want to be cruel, but we have been in need of a laugh this week.