The fortunes of mainstream movie theaters may ebb and flow with the success of the latest comic-book adaptation, but this small theater will always have a stellar lineup of the odd, the obscure, and the cultishly adored. Whether it's running a Bad Hombres/Nasty Women series (grit your teeth like Clint in A Fistful of Dollars) or taking part in film festivals throughout the city, the theater is sure to introduce you to the next movie that makes you rethink cinema. 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138, brattlefilm.org.
The master closet deserves as much consideration as the living room and kitchen, and while custom built-ins may look nice, few builders can match the innovative kit of parts offered by the Italian furnishings company Poliform. Wooden and glass doors, pullout trays for shirts and slacks, shoe racks, and LED lighting are just a few options available in this ultra-sexy modular system, available exclusively at Showroom.240 Stuart St., Boston, MA 02116, showroomboston.com.
What better way to take in the latest indie rock than with a side of chicken-liver mousse and steak tartare? That’s the kind of rock ’n’ roll lifestyle you can enjoy at the Sinclair, which reliably draws in many of the country’s best new acts while serving up food that you’d eat even if you weren’t seeing a show. 52 Church St., Cambridge, MA 02138, sinclaircambridge.com.
An ill-fitting bra can ruin your outfit and your mood. Thankfully, the experienced staffers at KM Hudson understand shape and comfort, sizing clients up with just a look before taking precise measurements. Of course, proper sizing is only one part of the equation: After measuring, they’ll happily sift through their enviable stock of 6,000 bras to find the perfect undergarment for your shape. 125 Charles St., Boston, 02114, kmhudsonltd.com.
From the outside, Wally’s looks like your average anonymous dive. But the drab exterior belies its storied history: This place has put live jazz acts on stage 365 days a year since 1947. Squeeze in among the regulars, order a beer, and get ready for top-notch jazz, funk, or Latin jazz salsa right up until the joint shuts down at 2 a.m. 427 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA 02118, wallyscafe.com.
B/Spoke, with its intense 45-minute classes, arm workouts, and free shoe rentals, gets top honors in a competitive category. The downtown location is a hit with commuters and city dwellers alike, and the top-notch amenities (read: Aesop products, open rides) set it apart. Often, cycling classes can be more about the chatty instructor than the workout, but at this studio, we feel like we're the focus. 101 Federal St., Boston, MA 02110, bspokestudios.com.
This charming bakery is already legend- ary for its pies, breads, and cookies, but in the era of brunch al fresco, it’s also a can’t- be-beat breakfast joint. The hot, fresh, and just-greasy-enough breakfast sand- wich is perfect for a picnic (if you can wait that long to eat it), but there are more and less healthy options, too (hot ancient grains with apples and cinnamon, and a loaded breakfast burrito, respectively). 977 State Rd., Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, scottishbakehousemv.com.
Looking to bolster your collection of anti-racist literature and books about the Black experience? This Nubian Square mainstay has you covered. But what makes owners Leonard and Clarrissa Egerton’s shop an irreplaceable part of Boston’s literary scene is its role as a hub for book groups and social gatherings where both authors and readers of color can feel welcome and be celebrated. Bostonians across the city are vowing to finally listen to Black voices—Frugal has been amplifying them for 12 years and counting. 57 Warren St., Roxbury, MA 02119, frugalbookstore.net.
The selection of coveted craft brews has long been the main attraction here. But it’s a good thing that dry, fruity Belgian-style ales—the backbone of owner David Ciccolo’s beer list—also pair so well with food: New chef Joe Cooke has upped the ante on the Publick House’s culinary program big time, sourcing whole pigs and sustainable seafood for menu upgrades such as house-cured bacon and frequently changing crudo. 1648 Beacon St., Brookline, MA publickhousebrookline.com.
The hush-hush August wedding of Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress Eliza Dushku, a Watertown native, and local real estate exec Peter Palandjian started with the bride and groom joining the Boston Bike Party and ended with a bash (and this sweet photo) at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln. The dreamiest part of the festivities, though? Their intimate ceremony in the courtyard of the Boston Public Library, where the couple swapped vows.
When it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, Dorchester has an embarrassment of riches—and the greatest treasure trove is found at Anh Hong. The seven-course beef tasting—covering salad, sausage, soup, and fondue—is justifiably famous. But the expansive à la carte menu hits every craving: Communal hot pots, super-fresh spring rolls, and steaming bowls of pho are all big winners, especially when polished off with condensed-milk-sweetened Vietnamese coffee. 291 Adams St., Dorchester, MA anhhongboston.com.
Situated on 30 acres of lush green fields, this full-service grooming and boarding facility offers large private kennels for all of its four-legged guests, each of whom get a gated outdoor space and a deluxe doggie bed. If you’d like to treat your pampered pooch to a vacation as lavish as your own, upgrade to a luxury suite and take advantage of à la carte services such as nature walks, play sessions, and face time with Fido (via Web cam). 1040 Central St., East Bridgewater, MA 2333, secretgardenpetresort.com.
With its efforts this past year focused on footwear, Louis Boston now rivals national department stores in quantity—and beats them outright in quality. Delicious flats by Devotte and Gryson line one wall, while heels both timeless (Mayle) and risk-taking (Proenza Schouler) perch along another. And although $800 Balenciagas remain part of the offerings, it's possible to score an equally dynamite pair of Coclico sandals for a few hundred bucks (as, unable to resist, we did). 60 Northern Ave., Boston, MA 2110, louisboston.com.
IBC mechanics are so thorough in teaching you to fix your bike, you may never need to go back to their Boston or Newton shops. But go back you will, if not for a new ride, then for parts, accessories, and clothing by brands such as Trek, Giordana, Nike, and Pearl Izumi. The store also organizes group rides along scenic city routes, plugging new pedalers into Boston's bike-loving community. 88 Brighton Ave., Allston, MA 2134, internationalbike.com.
Cracked elbows, oily T-zones, and damaged locks all require different care routines, which is why C.O. Bigelow fills its floor-to-ceiling shelves with enough creams, soaps, balms, masks, and bath salts to satisfy even the biggest product pack rat. Favorites include Kevyn Aucoin makeup, Frederic Fekkai hair care, and exclusive skin-care treatments from Patricia Wexler M.D., as well as the store's eponymous line of quince and grapefruit hand and body lotions. Copley Place, Boston, MA 2116, bigelowchemists.com.