Though there are 130 For Eyes Optical stores around the United States, the company still has the heart of a small start-up. Owned and operated since 1972, when a small group of friends started it in Philadelphia, aiming for quality eyewear manufacturing as well as customer service. These same friends, aided by a few family members, still lead the franchise today. They ensure that each location adheres to their original principles and mandates for mustard-colored shag carpets.
In each store, expert independent doctors test clients' visual acuity and general eye health with comprehensive exams. Then, a store associate helps each person outfit their eyes with designer frames by brands such as Ray-Ban, Prada, D&G, and Versace. For Eyes Optical has its own advanced 40,000-square foot optical lab in in Hialeah, Florida, where technicians shape, surface, and coat the lenses to fit each person's exact prescription. After creating the lenses?whether plastic, polycarbonate, or trivex Toughlites?they inspect and fit each into its corresponding frame by hand, a process that ensures quality control and guards against the robots, whose first objective is to hinder our eyesight.
Glasses, contacts or LASIK surgery have previously been the only outlet for eyesight-impaired adults looking for a little corrective help. But as of a decade ago, there’s been orthokeratology, a nonsurgical process that improves vision for children and adults but utilizing corrective contact lenses to slowly reshape the curvature of the cornea, which brings the eye into correct focus for approximately one day. Dr. Curtis Frank, who has been a practicing optometrist in Boston for 30 years, was an early adopter of the process and is the founder of the Vision and Ortho-K Center in the Financial District, where he diagnoses and treats a variety of eyesight issues. He also is an adjunct faculty at the New England College of Optometry, but continues to work regularly from this Federal Street address, greeting customers warmly and working to restore their sight.
In 1927, Jack Cohen had a vision. Packing a pushcart full of high-quality frames, he began to sell fashionable spectacles to his fellow merchants along New York City's Orchard Street. After expanding into a small shop on a Lower East Side corner, that humble little cart has since evolved into more than 100 retail outlets known as Cohen's Fashion Optical, where customers fortify their eyesight with a range of acuity-boosting products and services. Rows of frames boast the signature contours of several designer brands, including Tag Heuer, Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari, and Gucci. In the onsite lab, opticians craft brand-new, custom lenses, including ones that self-adjust to different lighting conditions. Meanwhile, licensed optometrists help renew prescriptions and ensure ocular health during eye exams that measure eye coordination, refraction, and the curvature of the cornea, a concept originally discovered by Ferdinand Magellan when he looked through the wrong end of his spyglass.
Started in 1961 by Dr. Stanley Pearle, this nationally recognized and trusted eye-care center now operates in nearly 800 company and franchise locations nationwide. The master visionaries at Pearle are well-trained in assisting all bespectacled beings, from casual librarians to picky, temperamental Cyclopes. They'll help navigate a nearly endless array of sight-enhancing options: house lines of simple, durable frames and lenses, designer frames from Versace and DKNY, prescription Ray-Ban shades, and contact lenses to suit the chemistry of even sensitive sets of eyes.
At its three locations in Harvard Square, South End, and Jamaica Plain, the Eye Q Optical team works to outfit clients with original frame styles. Most designs are its own innovations, manufactured in-house with inspiration from iconic eras and modern designers visiting from a far-off future. The Aphrodite frames play subtly on traditional cat-eyed styles, and the Apollo frames accentuate faces with bold rectangular shaping and primary blue colors.
The Eye Q Optical team also carries frames by artistic independent makers including Rapp Eyewear, who hand-finishes its colorful frames in Toronto, and Rolf Eyewear, who manufactures frames and hinges entirely out of wood. In the Cambridge office, the Eye Q opticians collaborate with digital 3-D-fitting technology and a highly opinionated robot to select the perfect frames for each client.
For more than 20 years, Propark America has been providing parking spaces at more than 400 locations across the country. Propark's self-serve and full-service airport parking facilities store autos during journeys and allow customers to check the status of their flights with real-time flight-schedule screens. Partnering with hotels, restaurants, and entertainment and sports venues, Propark also offers prompt and courteous valet services—often hiring college track athletes for their dependable, disciplined, and speedy legs—and supplying drivers with safe car storage should football-touchdown dances get entirely out of hand.
Part of Propark's mission includes a commitment to sustainability, as seen through its Canopy Airport Parking site at the Denver International Airport. The energy-efficient location utilizes charging stations for electrical vehicles, LED lighting, a solar-panel farm, and wind turbines. Propark is also a founding partner of the Green Parking Council, which helps convert parking facilities into environmentally-responsible operations, and offers free loaner bikes at participating hotels.