Matthew Reed Baker

The Arts Beat: Can Dog Biscotti Save Downtown Crossing?

WE USED TO CALL IT Downtown Crossing; now it’s just the Hole in the Ground, a Filene’s-shaped chasm threatening to swallow the once-vibrant retail district. While the nonprofit Downtown Crossing Partnership can’t do anything about the hole — that’s the mayor’s…

Omnivore: Hatfield’s Quiet Farewell?

When indie-rock icon Juliana Hatfield puts out Peace & Love on 2/16, fans will find her usual well-crafted songs but a different approach. Hatfield played every instrument, producing and engineering the album herself in the back room of her Central Square apartment—and at 42, she isn’t sure when, or if, she’ll make another one.

Then & Now: The Combat Zone

A photography exhibit remembers the city’s red-light district, while a new generation of Hub photographers shoots its cleaned-up streets.

New England’s Best Small Towns: Shelburne Falls, MA

  There’s nary a Walmart in sight in this Deerfield River hamlet, which only stands to reason: Few places are more antichain than Shelburne Falls, where everything—and we mean everything—is handmade. Its streets hum with the energy of artisans making…