Whether you're seeking clay for your next sculpture or an easel for an al fresco painting adventure, this well-equipped emporium (who knew a whole aisle could be dedicated to canvases?) will furnish the right tool. And because many of the staffers are artists themselves, they're certain to steer you toward the appropriate horsehair brush for that imminent masterpiece. 401 Park Dr., Boston, MA dickblick.com.
Just down the psychedelic stairs at this subterranean Central Square art-supply mecca you'll find artfully arranged rows of paints, brushes, paper, and tools for every possible occasion. The unpretentious, approachable staff sprouts encyclopedic knowledge of everything from paint viscosity to the finer points of epoxy. 580 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA artistcraftsman.com/.
The 20-plus artists employed by this low-profile, 83-year-old, family-owned company repair some 20,000 cracked, shattered, faded, worn, or burned objets d'art per year for clients from around the world. The talented group can fix or restore just about anything, from furniture and paintings, frames and glass, to ivory, jade, metals, and marble. No job is too challenging, no repair too trivial. And when your favorite piece is ready, it will shine as brilliantly as when it was created. 29 Tower Rd., Newton, MA .
Unsettling, luscious, provocative—fine-art photography should be all of these things. Gallery Kayafas, a loftlike space in SoWa, showcases work of precisely this sort, with a majority of artists having local ties. All credit goes to the owner, Arlette Kayafas, who has the connections and the courage to mine the incomparable talents among us. 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA gallerykayafas.com.
Lee—a collector herself—is something of a matchmaker, pairing great pieces with the right clients. She's on first-name terms with top local galleries and artists, but will happily hit the road in search of the perfect painting or sculpture. Like all good yentas, she's as much an educator as a connection-maker, giving her customers the confidence to buy what they like while developing their art savvy. 35 Fisher Ave., Brookline, MA 2445, barbaracolelee.com.
The gallery moved last year from its swank Newbury Street location to a more intimate South End setting. Toale's edginess is more than topographical however: He represents many of the city's most promising younger artists, such as Ambreen Butt, David Hilliard, and Lucy White. His is also the gallery of choice for many shows of national significance, such as last year's posthumous exhibit of photographer Francesca Woodman. Between exhibitions, Toale sponsors readings, video installations, and the occasional fashion show. And once again this year, he'll use his gallery's clout for a good cause—as chairperson for ARTcetera 2000, the biennial fine arts auction that benefits the AIDS Action Committee. 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA .
For its risky decision to open a new space in Jamaica Plain for large installations. 73 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Krakow's consistency, quality, and business savvy make her the hands-down winner. 10 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Challenging work in the best of the alternative spaces. 35 Kingston St., Boston, MA .
Chef-owner John Casas has great skill with desserts. 81r Union St., Newton Centre, MA .
When Constantine "Gus" Hampers didn't get the job as head of W. R. Grace, he tried, and failed, to buy back Waltham-based National Medical Care, the subsidiary that he'd sold to Grace a decade ago.
Receiving a wedding invitation in the mail is always exciting. But when your guests open the envelope and discover, say, a custom illustration of your venue or a folding card with the weekend’s agenda, it’ll be even more so. Along with personalized invitation suites, these Southie-based stationery savants can dream up vellum menus, playful cocktail cards, and foilstamped napkins. And if you don’t have the time (or the calligraphy skills) to address the envelopes yourself, they’ll make sure each one is signed, sealed, and delivered. shopfete.com.
Miss seeing your favorite writers in living color? The good news is the beloved author talks at this bibliophile’s paradise are still happening as many as five times a week online, now with an added perk—celebrity moderators. Recent pairings include longtime Globe book critic Gail Caldwell discussing her deeply personal memoir with Gloria Steinem, and former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy chatting about his latest book on health with former First Daughter Barbara Bush. 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138, harvard.com/index.php?.
This P-town bar has become the de facto cocktail klatch for the pre-cabaret and post-disco crowds, practically guaranteeing you’ll run into familiar faces from the South End gay scene. But the waterfront lounge attracts more than strictly LGBTQ vacationers thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the waves, as well as a pier where revelers rest stiff cocktails on rails and shoot the always-delightful breeze while the tide rolls in. 359 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA 02657, theharborlounge.com.