Last Friday was my final Summer Friday (SOB) and after spending the morning crossing off appointments I decided to try The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. I still had an eye doctor’s appointment in Union Square but afterward I could walk down Bowery, it would be perfect. Whoops. Wrong. Negative amounts of perfect. What I’d neglected to remember was that a sunny afternoon is no friend to a pair of dilated eyes.
Do you have prescription sunglasses? The doctor wondered.
Oh no, but I’ll be fine. Just in and out of the subway. I assured her.
Upon exiting the office I reacted like one of those ants in a Raid commercial, hands to the face, crouching down into a ball in the middle of 14th street, an audible shriek escaping my gritted teeth before I got a hold of myself. I had two options: 1) wear my glasses, exposing my poor retinas to the searing sun, or 2) wear my sunglasses sans-contacts, effectively rendering me legally blind. I chose to waft between the two on the endless trek to Canal.
How I managed to get my pathetic self to that ice cream shop is something I’ll never know. It’s entirely possible that I ran face-first into a fresh fish stand. It’s also probably not an exaggeration to say that I apologized 45 times in the span of three blocks. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers and thank goodness for that ice cream (I opted for almond cookie) which made it all worthwhile.
Moral of the story: I managed to navigate through Chinatown in all its smelly, crowded glory with one eye closed, the other squinted halfway shut, and both arms batting the air in front of me. I was not mugged and/or abducted, not even once. New York truly is a friendly place.