after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Eyesite for those with bad eyesight

with 2 comments

t says:  The next installment in the “lifestyle” department of our blog … glasses.  This posting is inspired by two things.  The first is that every time I walk by Modern Eye (the one in University City), I see that “Best of Philly” sign on the door and it makes me angry.  The best in all of Philly?  That’s hard to believe as I find their organization of frames bewildering (there’s a bajillion laid out for you) and their staff “too cool for school” (although well-intentioned).  They might have some nice frames in there (I have many friends who have procured sharp glasses from Modern Eye), but I’m just too lazy to sift through the mediocre or ugly (you can’t tell me there aren’t some objectively ugly frames in there) to find the diamonds in the rough.  The second is a comment that the dude at Philly Food Tours made about my glasses: “nice hipster glasses”.  I kind of took offense when he said this.  I have no problems with hipsters or their look – I’m all for skinny people wearing skinny clothing and all – however – I do have a problem if they are pretending to “not care” about fashion or public opinion while bothering to dress like they do … because if they actually “didn’t care”, then they’d be wearing sweat pants, hanes t-shirts, and $5 velcro shoes all the time.

But my view on hipsters is not the focus of this post, it’s glasses.  Here’s what they look like, posing next to my laptop (which is inherently anti-hipster … as hipsters shouldn’t use mainstream computers like Macs, rather abacuses).

Smart specs? Or "hipster glasses"?

I mention my glasses because they come with a fun shopping experience.  You see, I can take absolutely no credit for picking them out.  g didn’t even pick them out.  They were picked out for me by a wisened, presumably Russian man who owns/works at Eyesite near Rittenhouse Square.  Aside from the silly name, Eyesite is “the bomb” when it comes to frames and a serious threat to the “Best of Philly” title.  The catch: you must be willing to not be in total control of your shopping experience.  What does that mean?  Unlike Modern Eye, when you go into Eyesite, you see only a handful of frames adorning the displays – I’d say 20-30.  That’s obviously not enough selection … right?  BUT, then you start to talk to Gene (?sp?).  Don’t be scared by him.  He’s a moderately-thickly accented European who just wants to understand what you want from your glasses.  For instance, when I walked into Eyesite some years ago – maybe winter of 2008-2009, I was being helped by someone else working there (maybe his wife?) as Gene was helping another customer.  In the middle of me describing a pair of glasses I was looking for, “classic black glasses”, he came over, pulled out a pair of chunky black frames, put them on my face, and said, “Pardon me – this is my suggestion.  These are the one.  There.  It’s perfect.”  He was kind of right – they were a perfect pair of chunky black glasses for me … but I wasn’t happy with them.  I guess what I actually wanted something else – so that’s what I told him.  He looked at me and said, “I thought you wanted ‘classic’ – you can’t get any more classic than these”.  Surprised by his resistance, I responded, “well, I could use a little more style – I need a twist.”  “Ok … in that case, here we go …”  He returned to his drawers, pulled out the pair of glasses pictured above, put them on my face, and said, “There we go – perfection.  You can keep looking, but these are perfect.”  This guy sure has a lot of “perfect” glasses.  In any case, I liked them a LOT.  I made him pull out another pair just to make sure that there weren’t any other tricks up his sleeve to which he replied, “ok, I will – but they won’t be as good as those …”  He was right about that, too.

I didn’t buy these glasses right then and there – I needed to wait to get a new prescription and I needed to raise the money to afford these glasses (Gene is many things, including a style wizard, a funny guy, and a business owner, but one thing he is definitely not is cheap).  I came back six months later ready to buy.  He kind of remembered me (he moreso remembered the glasses) and said that although he had sold that pair that I had perused (gasp!), he was willing to order another pair for me.  I asked him, “well – I mean, if you have something else in the shop, I’d be happy to try them on.”  His response: “To be honest, I’d love to sell you something I have in stock – that’d be really easy – I’d make more money – but nothing I have is going to be better on you than those, and I don’t want to waste your time.”  Shazam.  That just happened.  I didn’t even bother looking at another frame.

Here I am, quite a few years and there are some signs of wear and tear on my beloved specs, especially on the legs (the legs of every pair of glasses I’ve ever owned get kind of worn out and grey-looking – no idea why – I don’t even put any product in my hair).  I brought them back in and he offered to get in new legs for the glasses and install them free of charge.  I told him that had he not picked out such a nice pair of glasses that I would have been back sooner to buy more from him.  He shrugged, “But what else would I do?”  Good point.  I guess maybe he could have just sold me a pair of “nice hipster glasses” …

P.S.  I absolutely hate those i-got-it-out-of-a-cereal-box plastic sunglasses that I see every Penn student and their mother wearing around campus.  This just in: they are still not cool … even if g also wears them …

Written by afterdinnersneeze

15 July 2011 at 1:12pm

Posted in "Lifestyle"

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2 Responses

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  1. g’s mom says: Remember I got my glasses there, too. And I absolutely love them. I have received so many compliments on them that I feel the price of the glasses was well worth it.

    g's mom

    18 July 2011 at 4:09pm

    • t says: oh yea! I forgot to mention that you, g, and I all got our glasses there! hmmm – he should give us a discount next time.


      18 July 2011 at 10:06pm

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