"Ooh I like your glasses!"

September 4th, 2013, 11am

It was 22°C with no clouds detected. The breeze was brisk.

Nothing profound happening here. Just the simple pleasure of receiving an unsolicited compliment from a stranger. Well, let’s be realistic here — the compliment was rather directed at my eyewear and not towards me.

A visit to my new optometrist in Tokyo earlier this year saw me sorted with three new pairs of glasses. Two different pairs of Moscot1 Zolman reading frames. One black. One tortoise shell. Two pairs are now a minimum I’m afraid to get around the tediously tiring now retired business of trying to find the one-size-fits-all eyewear that work optimally while maybe using a phone, reading a book, working on laptop and desktop computers, as well as watching television … and chatting with the staff at the local café! Some subtle, and some not so, differences in distance. That’s where the Japanese-made reading-and-reading lenses come in: perfectly tuned to accommodate an iMac at arms length and an iPhone in hand without missing a beat. My main ask.

But it was the hand-made seaweed-green Cutler and Gross aviator sunglasses — allegedly inspired by Italian films of the 50s and 60s, who knew — complete with stitched leather arms and Zeiss lenses, that I had propped next to my coffee on the bar back here in Melbourne that were the recipient of the ooh compliment.

Some months earlier at the inaugural wearing of the black Zolmans: an instant hit scoring a compliment straight up from the barman while being seated at the New York Bar in the Park Hyatt Tokyo. This was followed somewhat later in a subterranean Shibuya bar by the slightly more cryptic “what do you people do? you don’t look normal” and some mumbled references to my glasses and the Meiji period. Hmmm. Note to self.

I was reminded of the French phrase: L’habit ne fait pas le moine.2

  1. The company Moscot was founded by Hyman Moscot, who arrived in New York from Eastern Europe in 1899 and began selling ready-made eyeglasses from a pushcart on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side. In 1951, Hyman’s son Sol moved the shop to its current location on Orchard Street. The perfectly round Zolman was Sol’s frame. 

  2. The clothing does not make the monk. 

Ianne, Porter, David Wade, Craig and 4 others said thanks.

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Stephen Scott

Amateur. http://stephenscott.co @stphn

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