Best Eyewear Selection 2014 | Vision City | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

We've shopped high-end eyewear shops, one-hour mall chains and small, locally owned discount stores on the cheap. One thing they've all had in common is that no matter what sort of frames we've bought, from fancy lightweight titanium gems to standard plastic Buddy Holly types, once the person behind the counter gets done adding up all the add-ons and special mystery lens gewgaws, our reaction is the same: "How much?!" (We swear we once bought anti-rust undercoating on a pair of plastic lenses once.) Glasses are damned expensive no matter where you go, it seems, but the truth is we've always been happier with snazzy, high-tech, fashionable specs — within reason. We'll drive a cheap car, wear cheap clothes and drink cheap booze (lots), but for the stuff we hang on our faces and use to see, we'll indulge. Vision City offers eye exams on-site, one-hour turnaround for basic lenses and accepts vision insurance. But they also sell glasses from designers such as Tom Ford, Fendi and our fave, Silhouette. (The shop has tons of rimless.) The prices are about what you'd expect from anywhere else, but what the heck. Steel yourself with some cheap booze and indulge. This is your face we're talking about, and frankly, some of us can use all the help we can get.

Rock N Roll Vapes offers a vaping experience enhanced with a rock 'n' roll theme. By turning a broken guitar into a work of art and broken records into seat covers, owner John Smith infuses his passion for music in every aspect of his store. Offering signature e-juice flavors with heavy metal monikers like School's Out, Stand & Deliver and Summer Breeze, Rock N Roll Vapes blazes past its corporate contemporaries.

In a drab plaza on Wycliff Avenue, the hair salon next to a Dickey's barbecue shop from the outside looks indistinguishable from all the other hair salons that dot strip malls across North Texas. Inside, however, is a pleasant surprise — a youthful boutique filled with bags of long hair and lots of pink. Delilah Hair is really two businesses — one is a brand of hair extensions created by local hairstylist Marcos Venegas in 2007. The extensions, real hair that comes from China, Malaysia and Russia, are installed into clients' hair using cold fusion and tape fusion methods, which Venegas found to be less damaging than the harsh heat and chemical methods still used by many brands. "Delilah's first rule of business is keeping your natural hair intact," Venegas writes on the Delilah website. The salon, called the Delilah Damage Free Extensions Salon, opened in January, employing stylists who are trained in installing the extensions, and in keeping with the theme, have long, thick heads of natural-looking hair themselves. This salon is definitely partial to long, fluffy hair, but they're also happy to give regular-old short haircuts, no extensions necessary. Stylist Stephanie Meier recently gave a creative graduated bob cut to a Dallas Observer employee who was missing a large chunk of hair from the back of her head because of an at-home hair-cutting accident.

There are a few human beings equipped with a big enough reservoir of internal motivation that they can endure several months of arduous, time-consuming training. The rest of us occasionally need a bit of external motivation, and aside from a vein-bulging drill sergeant, there's nothing quite so effective as a large group of fellow runners quietly shaming you for sitting on your ass. The Dallas Running Club is such a group. It's open only to members ($40 per year), but otherwise there's no hurdle. There's space for 6-minute milers and 12-minute milers.

Dallas has made some drastic improvement in terms of making certain neighborhoods more bikeable, but sometimes it's getting between those 'hoods that seems daunting. While cycling from East Dallas/Lake Highlands to Deep Ellum hasn't traditionally been difficult, it's made inherently easier by the Santa Fe Trail. For a particularly tasty day without too much exertion, start out at T&P Hill at White Rock Lake, and jump on White Rock Creek Trail for a nice downward slope toward the Santa Fe Trail, taking it on to Deep Ellum. The five-and-a-half-ish miles have a few modest hills and plenty of intersections, so pedal pushers should be mindful of right-of-ways. But this isn't your typical fitness path. We chose this as our best bike trail because sometimes one just wants to leave the spandex at home (but bring a good bike lock). Once in Deep Ellum, Monkey King Noodle Company is our cycling destination for soup dumplings on the roof (BYOB), then it's the Cane Rosso patio for some Neapolitan carbs, or Pecan Lodge's patio for burnt ends in honor of bike butts everywhere. If timed well, Twilite Lounge, Cold Beer Company or Black Swan can provide some refreshment between stomach linings (drink responsibly). On the return, the Lot offers a final cold drink or sweet treat before reaching the bike racks back at the lake.

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