I was in Manhattan late last night/early this morning to try to get a few pictures of the massive glass cube that marks Apple's 5th Ave 24-hour retail location. What I was greeted by was Apple employees getting ready to launch the iPhone 5 at 8am Friday morning.
As you can see from the photos, the iconic glass cube is shrouded in a black curtain. Before big launch events, Apple tends to block out the windows while they are setting things up. In the case of the 5th Ave store, the whole above ground structure is cloaked.
While it ruined my chance at an evening shot of the store, you can see that people are getting in line, NYC police are on the scene. While I didn't get a picture of them, street vendors are selling hot dogs and the such and a local news crew is on hand too.