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 $99.99) 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, and while prices and availability may vary by location, they usually start at around $120 (for plastic scratch-resistant), while specialty PearleTHIN complete lenses ($205) are lightweight heavyweights.
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.
When Brandy Hill opened her own studio, she named it after the banyan tree. This massive plant supports itself by perpetually extending new branches and roots?a quality that symbolizes eternal life in Hindu mythology. At Banyan Tree Yoga, she and her team of seasoned instructors hope to give students a sanctuary where they can put down roots and find balance through yoga, during a range of classes that range from therapeutic yin and restorative classes to strength building Vinyasa sessions.
Inside a spacious studio equipped with yoga blocks, a children's play area, and cubby holes for hermit-crab poses, yogis and their progeny can bond during Mommy and Me yoga, and moms-to-be can offload some of the muscular tension that comes from carrying an littlun in Prenatal classes.
Divided between two locations in Manchester and Nashua, Vertical Dreams' 15,000 square feet of simulated mountainside are packed with obstacles and tough sections to challenge climbers of all skill levels. At the Manchester gym, gutted elevator shafts lined with hand grips extend four stories upward, creating 70-foot vertical surfaces. The Nashua location boasts 10,000 square feet of wall space, with textured surfaces that respond realistically to climber's hands and feet and fill their nostrils with simulated rock smells.
Vertical Dreams' staff of veteran climbers teaches students one-on-one or in groups. In beginner lesson packages, instructors show aspiring climbers the figurative and literal ropes involved in belaying, climbing, and knot tying, and the teachers in advanced top-roping and sport-climbing classes push their students' abilities to climb solo or in a lead position.
Dena Carbone has spent 16 years practicing yoga, and in that time she has earned a Hatha certification from the AFAA, rigorously studied the Kripalu style of yoga, and even opened her own studio. At the appropriately named Yoga…Redefined, Carbone draws on her knowledge to blend the Hatha and Kripalu styles in an innovative class available to students of all levels. She has also developed a signature arsenal of modifications, some of which are designed specifically for breast cancer survivors and sufferers of many autoimmune conditions.
Carbone’s thoughtful twists on traditional poses make yoga accessible to anyone. She has even been known to get playful from time to time, as is the case in a Yoga Funk session set to an upbeat soundtrack. Other classes focus on teaching moms to practice yoga with their newborns or helping teens deal with the awkward tails they grew in puberty.
Inside a private treatment room adorned with shelves of clean, white towels, massage oils, and medical charts, licensed massage therapist Kristy Kelley kneads away muscular tension with targeted modalities. A deep-tissue massage specialist, Kelley tailors sessions to individuals' comfort levels, varying pressure as needed, applying gentle heat to loosen muscles, and relieving tendons tired from long days of work and bench-pressing the office vending machine. Additionally, Kelley performs relaxing Swedish strokes; applies smooth, heated stones during hot-stone massages; and soothes the inner ear of pain and itching with warm wax during ear-coning sessions.