I had the unfortunate experience of being temporarily blind (in each eye separately and years apart) when my retinas decided to detach several years ago. With the help of an incredible surgeon I was fully patched up and after several other cataract surgeries can see pretty well and only wear glasses for distance or night driving. Having gone through these issues I already know not to take my vision for granted, ever. That is what made last night’s experience really special.
My wife and I went to Dinner in the Dark, a dinning experience held in a small restaurant in the West Village where all guests are fully blindfolded throughout the two hour adventure. All guests gathered outside the restaurant by 7 PM. There were around 30 people in total. They called out our names and took us inside in groups of 4. We were asked to put on a very comfortable blindfold outside and hold the shoulder of the person in front of us as we were lead inside. It was still light out at the time but the blindfold was 100% effective.
Up to this point there wasn’t any clumsy behavior and we didn’t hear any glasses or dishes fall. But still it was a continuous heightening of all other senses. You can hear word for word most conversations around you. You can smell the waitress’ perfume and even holding hands with my wife in between courses felt like it was our first time ever.
You get to choose your main course when you make reservations and they accommodate most food restrictions. My wife and I asked to have fish. It smelled delicious but was very challenging to eat in the dark. I found myself trying to shovel the fish, potatoes and greens onto my fork with my knife and when that didn’t work had to resort to using my hand instead of the knife. The wait staff must get a kick out of watching this. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one having difficulties. Yes, this dish too as well as the dessert was really good.
When it was all over we were told to take off our blindfolds. Adjusting to the light took a few minutes but the appreciation for anyone going through life blind will last forever.