The Blog

· April 18th, 2014

TO SEE · 04/08/2014

Old Meets New: Guatemala

Employees who’ve worked at Warby Parker for three years get a special treat: a trip to the highlands of Guatemala, where one of our partners is busy training entrepreneurs to give eye exams and distribute glasses.

Employees who’ve worked at Warby Parker for three years get a special treat: a trip to the highlands of Guatemala, where one of our partners is busy training entrepreneurs to give basic eye exams and distribute glasses. It’s a neat reward for three years at Warby— seeing how our partners are paving the way toward economic sustainability in global communities.

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Our trip started in Antigua, a city founded in 1524 by the Spanish, who thought it would be a good idea to build their capital 1,500 meters above sea level beneath three active volcanos in an earthquake-prone region. (Maybe, in retrospect, not the greatest plan. The capital was eventually moved.)

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Visiting modern-day Antigua is like dropping into a distant past: think cobblestone streets, colonial architecture (central fountains, houses that look like cakes, grand arches). But that’s just the surface view, and in truth, the streets are abuzz with vespas and vendors, internet cafés and commerce. Old meets new. It’s funny to watch kids type out text messages from sidewalks built on an Italian Renaissance-style grid pattern.

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There’s more about our partnerships here.

Photos by Ester Havens

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TO BUY · 04/07/2014

Introducing Warby Parker x Architecture for Humanity

We’re saluting Architecture for Humanity’s 15th anniversary with two collaboration frames, Aslin and Fowler, inspired by an appreciation for streamlined angles and built-to-last materials.

For over 15 years, Architecture for Humanity has improved the livelihood of individuals and communities around the world through a global network of professionals who provide quality design and management services where these resources may otherwise be overlooked or out of reach. They advise and work with community leaders and architects to make efficient and high-impact improvements that are both thoughtfully designed and sustainable. As a result of Architecture for Humanity’s work and advocacy, tens of thousands of children and individuals in vulnerable communities across the world have safe places to learn, play, and live.

We’re saluting Architecture for Humanity’s 15th anniversary with two collaboration frames, Aslin and Fowler, inspired by an appreciation for streamlined angles and built-to-last materials. (We’ve paired premium Japanese titanium with our signature acetate for an extra durable composition.)

The frames are now available in retail stores and online. Learn more about the partnership over here.

 

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TO MEET · 04/04/2014

A Big Egg and Jason Polan

On April 1st, nearly 275 giant eggs (2 ½ feet tall to be exact) were hidden around New York City—and now it’s up to you to find them all.

On April 1st, nearly 275 giant eggs (2 ½ feet tall to be exact) were hidden around New York City—and now it’s up to you to find them all. Kidding! That’d be a lot of work. But if you choose to track one down during this year’s Fabergé Big Egg Hunt, we’d love for it to be ours.

We teamed up with artist Jason Polan to create the ultimate piece of egg art—The Island of Manhattan: Map and Egg Edition (AKA The Best Spots to Sit and Read a Book in Manhattan). It’s a comprehensive guide to reading and eating egg sandwiches in the city.

Jason recently chatted with us about his passion for books and sandwiches.

What qualities make a truly excellent reading spot?
A place you can sit without getting in someone’s way, maybe under a tree to lean against, but not completely in the shade. I like being in the sun. The spot should also have a nice breeze.

What are you reading now?
I finished a book called Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton last night.  She is the chef at (and owns) a restaurant called Prune.  I liked the book a lot.  I am not sure what I will read next.  I have a few (about 623) that I want to get to.

Favorite childhood book:
There were several I particularly liked.  One I am thinking about right now is CDB! by William Steig.

Favorite adulthood book:
I am having trouble thinking of just one.  Maybe Other People’s Trades by Primo Levi?

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How many markers did it take to draw this egg-shaped map?
A bunch!  Maybe nine or ten?  It does not look like a lot of space but we tried to get a lot on there!

Layer by layer, walk us through your ideal egg sandwich.
Some kind of nice roll (with sesame seeds on top) that was maybe warmed up a little, a cheeseburger with cheddar cheese, maybe some bacon (very crispy), some pickles (dill, not sweet), lettuce, grilled onions, ketchup, and the fried egg!

Where exactly can people find this big, beautiful egg?
Rockefeller Center!

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Can’t make it to the big egg? Pick up a limited-edition map at 192 Books, Strand (at 12th St.), Posman Books (Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Terminal), and Argosy.

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TO MEET · 04/03/2014

Floor Plan

We love polls. Sometimes we poll our fellow employees about their tastes,
preferences, and favorite snacks. Here’s where we share the results.

We love polls. Sometimes we poll our fellow employees about their tastes,
preferences, and favorite snacks. Here’s where we share the results.

This week’s question: what is your favorite office snack?

Copy Peanut butter-filled pretzels

Retail Goldfish

Tech Beef Jerky

Product Swedish fish

Executive White cheddar popcorn

Talent Pita chips and hummus

Customer Experience Pretzels and hummus

Design Bagels

Finance Carrots

Online Experience Fruit

Consumer Insights Bagels

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TO DO · 04/02/2014

To Do: Upper East Side Literary Map

To get ourselves situated, we’ve made a literary guide to the neighborhood around our newest store. Everything on it is within a half hour’s walking distance.

“Which direction are you headed?” [the repairman] asked.
“North,” said Stuart.
“North is nice,” said the repairman. “I’ve always enjoyed going north. Of course, south-west is a fine direction, too.”
“Yes, I suppose it is,” said Stuart, thoughtfully.
“And there’s east,” continued the repairman. “I once had an interesting experience on an easterly course. Do you want me to tell you about it?”
“No thanks,” said Stuart.

E.B. White, Stuart Little

We’re pretty excited to be up north too. (Well, a bit more uptown than ever before.)
To get ourselves situated, we’ve made a literary guide to the neighborhood around our newest store. Everything on it is within a half hour’s walking distance.

Our recommendation? Start south and keep heading uptown.

The Plaza Hotel
Kay Thompson, Eloise
30 minutes

Central Park
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
29 minutes

Lexington Avenue and East 62nd Street
Joan Didion, Goodbye to All That
20 minutes

Lexington Avenue and East 63rd Street
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
19 minutes

Park Avenue and East 73rd Street
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
10 minutes

Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle
Ludwig Bemelmans, Madeline
9 minutes

A nice stroll along Madison Avenue
Maeve Brennan, The Long-Winded Lady
8 minutes (give or take)

Metropolitan Museum of Art
E.L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
7 minutes

Jackson Hole burgers (closed)
Jonathan Lethem, Chronic City
6 minutes

East 86th Street Cinemas
Ira Levin, Rosemary’s Baby
7 minutes

The Welchs’ apartment
Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy
18 minutes

The Primms’ apartment
Bernard Waber, The House on East 88th Street
9 minutes

Elaine’s (closed), 1703 Second Avenue
11 minutes

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TO BUY · 04/01/2014

Piper

Introducing Piper. Watch it go. (It’s mesmerizing.)

Introducing Piper. Watch it go. (It’s mesmerizing.)

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Piper in Revolver Black and Woodland Tortoise

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TO DO · 03/31/2014

Pneumatic Tubes (!)

Scenario: Our new store on Lexington Avenue features a basement where we store glasses.

Problem: How do we get the glasses upstairs to customers?

Solution: Pneumatic tubes, obviously.

Scenario: Our new store on Lexington Avenue features a basement where we store glasses.

Problem: How do we get the glasses upstairs to customers?

Solution: Pneumatic tubes, obviously.

Originally introduced to New York City in 1897, pneumatic tubes gained popularity as a way to zip smallish packages from one place to another. At one point, a third of all city mail was delivered by pneumatic tubes!

Pneumatic Tubes A Revised

Operating a tube is easy: you take an item and put it inside a canister, then put the canister in an airtight tube. The canister is propelled either by suction or compressed air toward its final destination, at the end of the tube. Easy.

Time may have passed by pneumatic tubes, but we haven’t. A set of tubes has been installed at our Lexington Store to transport glasses and monocles at blazing speed (24 feet per second!) to customers. Stop by and check out the magic for yourself.

For our next store, we’ll be implementing carrier pigeons.

Kidding. (Maybe.)

See ‘em in action right over here.

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