Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, February 21, 2021

A unique touch to the service you get at 10/10 Optics, on Madison and 26th Street: When you’re all done with your eye exam and eyeglass selection, they’ll serve you up a quick shot of booze.

No, seriously. The bottles of high-end hooch are all on display, right there on the illuminated shelves alongside the designer frames. I noticed them right away when I first walked in a couple of days ago, and had them in my line of sight while trying on glasses; but at first, I thought they were just decorative. When I finally asked about them on my way out the door, the optician promptly pulled out a little plastic shotglass and offered me a hit of whichever spirit I chose.

Of course, I accepted. After dropping as much money as I had on my new specs (long overdue, both stylistically and prescription-wise), I felt I was owed a small payback, even in liquid form. Since it was freezing outside that day, I zeroed in on a bottle of private-reserve Jack Daniels; it definitely did the trick.

As for the explanation behind the somewhat strange juxtaposition between alcohol and eye-doctoring: I was told it was simply because the guy in charge, Dr. Rozenberg (who examined me, nice guy), liked it that way.

Fair enough. Just make sure you have your shot after you’re done conducting your business there, instead of before. Otherwise, I’m thinking an unfortunate “blind drunk” effect might take hold, where you’ll overpay for some blurry-eyed eyewear…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/21/2009 04:50pm
Category: Fashion, New Yorkin'
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About half of the 6,700 languages now spoken on Earth are likely to depart from living memory within decades, and UNESCO has an interactive global map that shows you where the endangered linguistic zones are.

Sobering. Being bilingual myself, and self-consciously cognizant of my slipping command of Greek (which is as much my “native” language as English, as I learned both tongues pretty much simultaneously from birth), I guess I have a limited sense of what’s being lost among larger communities. I can confirm that it’s not a great feeling to know that an innate part of your identity, your heritage, is disappearing due to neglect. And yes, you do consider that your children aren’t going to share this fundamental cultural trait with you — something my cousins are struggling with now, with their kids.

But maybe I’m just being maudlin. After all, why should we care about the death of languages that hardly anyone speaks anymore, when make-believe dialects like Klingon and Toki Pona are gaining more and more adherents every day? Historical richness can take a back seat.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/21/2009 03:41pm
Category: Creative, History, Society
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