Apple’s iPhone X event yesterday wasn’t just about its latest pocket computer. It was also its first opportunity to show off its ambitious new Apple Park “spaceship” campus to the hundreds of journalists, industry executives and “friends of Apple” in attendance.
More to the point, it was the first keynote Apple held in its new Steve Jobs Theater — named after the late Apple founder, who made these “Stevenotes” into the sort of mainstream cultural and media events that millions of people would stream live.
I was in attendance yesterday and took hundreds of photos. Here’s my experience, as told through a few dozen.
Approaching Apple Park really does feel more like a real park than an office park — especially on the hill leading up to the Steve Jobs Theater and the grounds surrounding it. The theater is a 20-foot-tall glass cylinder, 165 feet in diameter, with a metallic carbon-fiber roof and a wide path completely surrounding it.
One thing you see a lot throughout the day: Journalists with high-end selfie sticks, filming quick videos for the web.
Apple was serving its usual pre-keynote breakfast fare of juices and light bites. Part of today’s spread: Braised bacon with crispy polenta and quail egg, a crispy quinoa and kale cake, and a smoked salmon cracker thing.
Hey, it’s GigaOM founder Om Malik, now a partner at True Ventures, prolific photographer and occasional blogger and podcaster. He’s with Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer, one of the world’s authorities on mechanical watches.
And there’s British humorist, writer, actor and Apple fan Stephen Fry (middle), who was — rather famously — one of the few people to review the iPad before it launched in 2010, in conjunction with a Steve Jobs profile he was writing for Time magazine.
Up on the bluff, there’s a temporary structure set up for TV crews to do live remote broadcasts. (Here’s your author on CNBC before this photo shoot.)
Here’s a kid who was apparently covering the event for the Ellen DeGeneres show, with the main Apple Park “spaceship” ring building in the background.
I’ve stumbled onto Daring Fireball author John Gruber (middle) and TechCrunch editor in chief Matthew Panzarino (left), who are livestreaming via Periscope. On the right is long-time tech writer and editor Charles Arthur.
Inside, a crowd is gathering to head downstairs for the event.
The calm before the storm.
Stephen Fry snaps a photo of the Steve Jobs Theater sign.
And we’re inside. It’s … a theater. But it’s nice! The chairs — around 1,000 of them — are big, leathery and comfortable, with power outlets. The Wi-Fi works.
Apple starts the event by asking everyone to close their laptops and turn off their screens for a tribute to Steve Jobs. It was a touching moment and a pitch-perfect debut for the theater.
After that, it’s on with the show. I won’t trouble you with keynote photos — my vantage point wasn’t special, nor was my camera lens. But here’s Apple COO Jeff Williams introducing the new Watch Series 3.
After the keynote, a gentle rush for the door — and a newly revealed hands-on area, where Apple’s new iPhones and Watches are on display. Within a minute, I was one of the first people in the world photographing the iPhone X.
Then it got busy.
The phone looks nice, by the way. There are a few things that will take getting used to, such as its missing home button. But the screen looks amazing. Here’s the other side, covered in glass to support wireless charging.
Here’s an Apple guy demo-ing how to set up the new “Face ID” system that unlocks the phone with a digital scan of your face.
The iPhone X is a hot commodity, and there are only a few for handling.
Since Steve Jobs’s death, Apple’s longtime head of product marketing Phil Schiller has become the company’s face for introducing new hardware during keynotes, including the iPhone X. Here, Schiller sizes up the scene with Apple comms executive Trudy Muller.
A look at the new Apple Watch Series 3, which supports built-in cellular for the first time.
Other executives have now arrived for photo ops, and everyone wants a Tim Cook selfie.
Here’s Laurene Powell Jobs, founder of Emerson Collective and widow of Steve Jobs, wearing a classy gold Apple Watch. She attends many of these keynotes. (Bonus: Watch her Code Conference interview here.)
Tim Cook and Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive (in orange), who not only leads Apple’s product design but played a key role in designing Apple Park.
Want a taste of the uniqueness of this building? Well, here’s a special, spinning elevator, for starters.
The handrails are carved into stone, with impeccable attention to detail. The part of the handrail where your hand touches is somewhat rough for grip, while the inner part where your fingers glide has been polished.
It’s like an Apple product. It is an Apple product.
It’s just a beautiful, special building, and will be a great venue for events like this for years to come.
Things are starting to wind down, and I have a plane to catch, so that’s it for today.
Beam me up!
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.