The staff of medical professionals at Katzen Eye Group, which first opened its doors in 1968, brings blurry vision into focus at four locations in Baltimore, Abingdon, Lutherville, and Rosedale. Attentive physicians peer into peepers of all ages as they administer comprehensive exams, outfit patients with prescription glasses, and help prevent diseases such as glaucoma. Lasik surgery can correct one's distance vision. Cataract surgery, which replaces one's cloudy natural lens with a clear implantable lens is also performed at Katzen Eye Group. Additionally, a staff of aesthetic professionals beautify bodies through services including skincare and cosmetic laser treatments, which can eliminate wrinkles around the eyes more effectively than staring at a jar of cold cream.
The affability and expertise of Eyes on Main's staff prompted the readers of What's Up Mag to name the practice Annapolis's Best Local Optician in 2010, 2011, and 2012. By performing thorough routine eye examinations, the optometrists help to diagnose specific eye issues along with determining any changes in lens prescription. Opticians and frame stylists also help patients to adopt new eyewear from the more than 300 stylish frames—including styles from Pro Design, Waza, and BCBG—that stock Eyes on Main's plentiful shelves.
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.
Somewhere among the rows of illuminated display cases that flaunt Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Arnette shades, a furry snout pokes out, sniffs twice, and returns to its brightly colored chew toy. The snout belongs to the official mascot at Shades of the Bay: Allie, a 13-year-old beagle who spends her days nuzzling visitors and frolicking amid shelves piled high with sunglasses and Reef flip-flops. Across the street lies Shades of the Bay’s sister store—Shades Unlimited—which also boasts a large collection of sunglasses from top designers, both polarized and nonpolarized. At either location, a knowledgeable staff helps lead customers to shades that flatter faces or transform sock puppets into trendy companions.
This week may bring Michael Kors and Bebe, and next week could feature Ann Taylor and Seven, but no matter when someone stops in Eye of the Beholder Consignments, items from high-profile brands can be found on the shelves. Handbags may carry names such as Prada, Coach, and Juicy Couture, and clothing may hail from Talbots, Chico's, and Coldwater Creek. The shop also stocks shoes, business suits, and maternity wear for expectant mothers and dudes who just want to get closer to their children by dressing as a nanny. A portion of proceeds goes to charities such as the Baltimore Humane Society and the American Cancer Society.
Peering through the cogs and lenses that compose the opticians' equipment, patients at New Visions Optical know they're in good hands. Indeed, the office is staffed by team members with more than 60 years of combined experience. In their office––marked by sandy colors, sleek tiling, and soothing music––these clinicians guide visitors as they peruse frames, await an exam, and transform contact lenses into custom hamster hats.