Soon after Rochester Optical was founded in 1932, the staff established contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense to supply the armed forces with durable, combat-ready glasses. Today, they continue to specialize in military eyewear, along with high-performance sports and safety glasses and a huge selection of designer frames. A team of optometrists—which includes a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a fifth-generation Rochesterian, and an eye doctor who has worked at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Salem, Virginia—performs comprehensive eye exams, and technicians manufacture lenses in an in-house, state-of-the-art optical lab. In addition to traditional single-vision lenses or no-line bifocals, they create digitally surfaced, free-form lenses that offer an expanded field of vision and minimize image distortion, allowing wearers to more clearly see apparitions standing next to them.
After passing through double doors located at the bottom quarter of a massive storefront record, patrons emerge into Record Archive's quirky shop whose red and yellow walls disappear behind shelves of used CDs, DVDs, vinyl, and cassettes. A 35-year veteran of the Rochester music scene, the shop judiciously buys and sells tunes and movies in most formats. In the shade of bikes dangling decoratively from the ceiling, clients can special order hard-to-find works to complete collections or destroy the traces of their brief solo jazz career. Despite the music specialty advertised by the store’s name and its eclectic calendar of in-house performances, Record Archive also takes a stance against mass-production with caches of vintage clothing, unique furniture, quirky toys, and incense.
The pottery experts at Bisque & Brush unlock artistic potential in three steps. First, they usher clients to a gallery of pottery pieces and suggest an item to paint. Second, they station clients at worktables with paintbrushes, stencils, sponges, and more than 100 colors. At this point, clients take over, adding colors and patterns until they're content with the design or have successfully plagiarized American Gothic. Finally, Bisque & Brush's pottery specialists coat the piece with a food-safe glaze and fire it in a kiln. Upon request, they can complete the entire process on your behalf, adding a design of choice to any of the available artifacts.
Drawing on Hallmark's deep well of cards, inscribed with charming well wishes and humorous missives, Lisa's Hallmark's three shops assist customers with enveloped correspondences. Sorted by occasion, Lisa’s extensive selection of cards covers a wide range of expression, such as condolences for a loved one, congratulations for a graduate, and gratitude for a fellow bank robber. The shops also feature a range of gifts, including candles, picture frames, and plush animals, to sweeten the card-giving experience.
Joette's on Monroe adds glam to skin with a collection of jewelry and accessories embellished in pearls, rhinestones, and crystals. Rows of necklaces hover over miniature velvet décolletés, which flaunt earring and necklace sets. Sequins and bright colors pop from handbags resting on shelves, and silk gloves reach out to slyly steal patron's wallets.
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