Bins of brushes, passels of paints, plus everything from buttons and beads to hand-printed papers and zinc plates for etching fill the two floors of this huge art-supply supermarket. And all art books are at least 20 percent off. 579 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA .
This small store has been catering to the Cambridge and Boston cognoscenti for nearly 30 years. Vintage clothing hounds flock here to pick through the recycled threads from the past five decades—and for the extensive selection of vintage jewelry and accessories. 1210 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA oonasboston.com/.
Adesso wins for its carefully edited selection of trendy pendants, sconces, lamps and track systems, all of the most refined design. Stainless steel, Murano glass, or paper fixtures satisfy even the most sophisticated of tastes. Fixtures to light up your life. 200 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
If you need to get those insurance papers in order and want to find out what the old table is really worth, give a call to Michael Wynne-Wilson at the Appraiser's Registry. His company provides an extensive resource, listing all the top appraisers according to their specialties (English silver, Chinese porcelain, etc.). Box 261, Westwood, MA .
The husband-and-wife team of South End caterers who opened Appleton last year make fresh muffins with delicious and often surprising combinations such as peaches and walnuts, and pineapple and coconut. For the adventurous, there's white chocolate and caramel apple; traditionalists will love the blueberry muffins. 123 Appleton St., Boston, MA .
When you find a place that provides tasty gourmet dinners without excess fat and salt, you remember the address. Baker's Best boasts dishes like grilled tamarind-glazed shrimp, fresh grilled vegetables, and peppercorn-crusted rack of lamb. The desserts are equally tempting. Plus Baker's Best offers a catering service. 27 Lincoln Street, Newton, MA bakersbestcatering.com.
Ellen Rothenberg, 42, of Cambridge, whose profoundly moving installation drawing on Anne Frank's diary was a major attraction of this year's "Boston Now 10" show at the ICA. Her works are ephemeral (she does performance art as well as making installations), but the MFA has a work on paper and others have bought objects from installations.
As challenging as combining two families may seem to a bride and groom, the caterer has an equally tough job: feeding them. East Meets West's creative menus promise to keep both sets of in-laws happy—chicken stuffed with mozzarella and pesto for his Mediterranean clan, mushroom ravioli with sun-dried tomatoes for her vegetarian relatives. Now, if only there were a way to get everyone on the same page about the reception music... 212 Old Colony Ave., Boston, MA eastmeetswestcatering.com.
Season to Taste’s creative farm-to-table menus make a big impact at wedding receptions without creating a big carbon footprint. Chef-owner Robert Harris is passionate about sustainability in catering, showcasing the season’s bounty in ever-creative ways: take his summer heirloom-tomato bar, which offers six or seven varieties prepared to order with mozzarella, basil purée, balsamic-cider reduction, and crusty bread. Staffers will even deliver leftover food to a homeless shelter upon request, making sure absolutely nothing goes to waste. 2447 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 2140, seasontotastecatering.com.
Even in a sea of emailed wedding invites and digital birthday wishes, nothing beats the power of pen and paper. Especially when said stationery comes from this minimalist workshop/real-life Pinterest board, where the shelves teem with artisanal greeting cards and a rainbow’s worth of writing utensils. 21 Union Sq., Somerville, MA 02143, loyalsupplyco.com.
There's no excuse for men to ignore their feet when the variety and selection are this good. Whether it's a pair of comfy Campers or Silvano Lattanzi custom oxfords, they have it here. And in a refreshing twist on one of the largest selections of fashion-forward (think Helmut Lang and Prada) dress shoes in the city, Louis even sells flip-flops. 234 Berkeley St., Boston, MA louisboston.com/.
Hill dwellers flock to this chic little bistro for its cozy atmosphere and inspired French cooking. And while the long, narrow dining room is packed most nights for dinner, weekend brunch is the real draw, with mouthwatering fruit-topped pancakes and fluffy omelets—perfect accompaniments to coffee and the morning paper. 19-25 Charles St., Boston, MA beaconhillhotel.com/bistro-hours/.
An adorable selection of threads from Petit Bateau, Kissy Kissy, and Pink Chicken is displayed here among hanging paper lanterns and decorative flags. The icing on this charming confection of a children's boutique is the sweet-as-pie staffers, who are more than happy to elucidate on the mysteries of newborn sizing as they ring up their cotton-candy clothes. 10124 Great Plain Ave., Needham, MA 2492, pollywogskids.com.
"Glo-cows debating nuclear power" cards available at Bassil & McNichols, Quincy Market. Plain white cards cut in the silhouette of nuclear power plants, with two little pink glowing cows in the foreground. Comes with a map showing all U.S. nuke facilities. Quality watermarked paper, $1.50 apiece. Quincy Market, Boston, MA .