When Alive magazine publisher Elizabeth Tucker first thought about LASIK surgery as an alternative to the glasses she had worn since second grade, she didn't think it was an option. She feared the cost, worried about the time off work, and was unsure about how safe the procedure would be. Luckily, numerous friends told her about the transformative effects of their own procedures, and she finally decided to take the plunge at Crown Laser Center. There, a team of seven board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, and surgeons put Elizabeth and other clients at ease as they correct corneas with trained hands and cutting-edge equipment, boasting a 99% surgery-success rate. Elizabeth is now glasses-free and doesn't regret a thing. "It's been life-changing for me," she says in a video on the laser center's website, "I would recommend it to anyone."
In 1927, thousands of feet above the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh was shielded from the elements only by the Spirit of St. Louis' thin linen covering. His eyes, though, boasted much sturdier protection on that historic flight—a custom pair of goggles designed by brothers A.P. and August Erker. More than 80 years and four generations later, the Erker name still stands behind high-quality optics.
Jack Erker Jr., great-grandson of August, presides over the business's two present-day locations, which have also played their part in adorning famous eyes. During Jack's tenure, Will Smith, John Goodman, and Shaquille O'Neal have all stopped in to swap needlepoint tips and grab a pair of stylish frames, which are sourced from Italian and German design houses, as well as his own manufacturing division, Studio Optyx.
Sunshine Daydream’s resourceful staff unveils a collection of hard-to-find vintage gifts that stand as tributes to days past with tie-dyed threads, hippie-era band merchandise, candles, and incents. The periwinkle-colored Grateful Dead Blue Bear Mandala tapestry ($26.99) allows buyers to embellish empty walls with Sanskrit-inspired designs or cover up holes kicked in by temperamental Rockettes. Transform stark rented flats into personal temples with wood-and-bamboo door beads ($22.99) that fall in a whimsical arch formation. The shop also pays homage to contemporary pop culture with T-shirts ($19.99-$26.99) declaring love for cult classics such as The Big Lebowski, Dazed and Confused, and The Hangover. Guests can occupy their palms with a variety of hand drums ($24.99) designed for drum-circle frequenters and stock traders that sell via Morse code.
Tower Optical is the stylish spawn of St. Louis's longest-running ophthalmologic practice, Clinical Ophthalmology. The eye-shield shrine is the retail section of Clinical and home to a horde of designer brands, including Vera Wang ($250+), Brooks Bros. ($150+), Coach ($250+), and J. Lo's own line of optical orb protectors ($165+). Break down the brightness while becoming the envy of neo-hipster friends with a pair of authentic Rayban wayfarers. If you're feeling self-conscious about your eyes' square-shaped irises, invest in a pair of mirrored eyewear, which strategically deflect the evil eye from frenemies while allowing true friends to check their teeth.
Though a licensed optometrist is on staff to examine customers' eyes, Eye Roc Eyewear is more a fashion studio than a doctors' office, with knowledgeable eyewear specialists on call to help clients make stylish decisions. In the sunny, modern studio filled with blond-wood accents and bright orange tones, a wealth of Eye Roc brand-name glasses await. Doctors help patients catch eye concerns early and obtain precise prescriptions with comprehensive exams, and specialists help clients choose the perfect style to flatter every face, whether it's a pair of bold, horn-rimmed retro glasses or a bolder, even more retro monocle.