Started in 1961 by Dr. Stanley Pearle, the nationally recognized and trusted franchise 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. Equip a corrective pair of Essentials frames starting at $99.95, or slip on a pair of designer eye enhancers, such as those by Anne Klein and DKNY ($149.95+) or Versace ($205+). Single-vision lenses adjust a singular field of vision ($120 for plastic scratch-resistant), while specialty PearleTHIN complete lenses ($215) are lightweight heavyweights.
After his first time riding a Segway, 11-year-old Gregg Jantz Jr. was hooked. There weren’t Segway tours in his hometown of Edmonds, so he and his father went to the company’s headquarters in New Hampshire to learn more about the self-balancing transporters. They were excited about what they learned there, leading to the creation of Segway of Edmonds.
Today, visitors can take 90-minute tours of Puget Sound. By day, the tours take a historical angle, and educate groups about Olympic Beach and the mills that used to sit along the coast. Sunset tours create beautiful photo ops, and can be arranged to end with dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants. All tours begin with a 30-minute orientation session, and guides stop occasionally to take photos of groups and make sure no one has fused to their Segway. Visitors can also rent Segways for self-guided tours.
Optometrist James McCrum enjoys his job so much he lives at the office. Literally. As documented in a 2005 feature in Pacific Northwest Magazine, Dr. McCrum and his wife, Paula Whelan, converted the bare walls of what used to be a commercial building into a modern, urban-chic home office where they can live upstairs and work downstairs. The daunting project took a year and a half—about three times as long as they had originally planned. Whelan called upon her instincts as an artist to help design the 1,700-square-foot space. She used artwork made from swimming fins and roller skates and installed stair treads that are actually the repurposed rafters from the former building. Vibrant, playful pieces from Whelan's above-garage art studio spill over into the Eyeballs office, where lime-green chairs and bold, red mirrors complement her innovatively painted lampshades and eyewear-inspired artwork. Adding to the fun atmosphere, the reception desk boasts a blackboard where patients can doodle anything they want or copy poems discovered within the eye chart.
And the decor isn't the only aspect of the shop with a decidedly vivacious vibe. The lighthearted, friendly staff aims to make shopping for glasses fun and encourages leisurely browsing of boutique frames neatly arranged in drawers and open wall displays. Together with fellow optometrist Dr. Chris Hettinger, Dr. McCrum does his part to make each guest's visit a pleasant one by using a state-of-the-art retinal camera to check for issues such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
At Spex in the City, Dr. Mark J. Hamilton and Dr. Cathy Tran lead their team in framing faces with trendy yet functional eyewear. The optometric physicians begin by examining eyes and conjuring up prescriptions that correct nearsighted, farsighted, or age-related vision problems, as well as those caused by wearing View-Masters as glasses. From there, frame stylists step in to help clients select complementary frames from D&G, Oakley, Tom Ford, and other major designers. Technicians at the in-house laboratory can craft the custom eyewear in as little as one hour, treating Zeiss prescription lenses with luxurious extras such as progressive thickness, antiglare coating, and the ability to discern dreams from reality.: