Umbrella Dos + Don'ts
Not having grown up in a city, I can’t make rhyme or reason out of how to navigate busy sidewalks holding an umbrella. Before I get an eye poked out, can you give me some pointers as to how to keep safe and dry, please?
–E. S., N.Y., N.Y.
For your own safety, save the golf umbrella for the golf course or an outdoor festival and use an umbrella proportionate to your size: you shouldn't be over-shrouded. You want to have a clear sight of oncoming foot traffic, and cars when you're crossing the street. Keep the umbrella closed until you're actually outside and unprotected. For the safety of others, don't tuck a closed umbrella under your armpit with the ferrule (point) jabbing out in back of you as you walk, climb subway stairs, or wait for a bus. The best way to navigate an oncoming crowd is to walk on the outside close to the street where you're less likely to be shoved against a building. If you're tall, raise your umbrella when umbrellas come charging toward you; otherwise, keep your umbrella close to your skull, but not rubbing up against the stretcher (metal inside) so that it doesn't catch and pull on your hair. Dispose of a broken umbrella in a trash can, don't just leave it on the sidewalk to become a runaway umbrella. Gently shake and tap the umbrella before closing it and strap it in prior to entering a protected area; leave it in an umbrella stand, and not on the floor to puddle and stain a wooden entrance hall.