Amid a flurry of cleaning services catering to on-the-go urbanites, the Jamaica Plain outpost of this national operation shows an unbeatable blend of polish and professionalism. After setting the appointment and sending an e-mail confirmation, your cleaning team will arrive armed with grime-busting equipment and a dozen sprays, as well as a rigorous 22-step plan for restoring your home's sparkle. The Maids will even pick up and drop off your keys at work—another excellent reason to fork over the $159 fee, which is lowered if you book monthly follow-ups. 179 Boylston St., Jamaica Plain, MA 2130, .
All of our local museums have responded to 2020’s challenges with aplomb, working hard to launch online programs that keep the public connected. But the MFA has gone above and beyond with offerings as labyrinthine as its physical complex on Huntington Ave. In addition to a deep dive into the landmark Basquiat exhibit, the museum also uploaded artist interviews and art classes for kids on its website and YouTube channel—to say nothing of its immaculately produced collection tours on Google Arts & Culture. 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, mfa.org.
The ICA is on a run that would be the envy of any museum: In the past year alone, it hosted a range of dynamic exhibits, including Pakistani artist Huma Bhabba’s massive and haunting sculptures, and opened the Watershed, a 15,000-square-foot satellite across the harbor in Eastie. And with the high-profile acquisition of one of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s famed Infinity Mirror Rooms, on view beginning this September, it seems the best is yet to come. 25 Harbor Shore Dr. , Boston, MA icaboston.org.
This annual extravaganza isn't just about seeing contemporary work—it's about immersing yourself in it. Along with musical, dance, and theater acts, you'll find a poetry tent, huge wild-animal puppets, and beatbox workshops. In other words, sweet, sweet sensory overload. cambridgema.gov/arts/programs/riverfestival.
Diana Stelin’s beloved art school is officially in Brighton, but her classroom is really the city of Boston. She totes her pupils and paints outdoors to find inspiration in local parks and gardens. 320 Washington St., Boston, MA 02135, plein-air-academy.com.
The past couple of years have been big for hybrids—see the grocer-meets-restaurant Commonwealth, the sandwich-shop-meets-restaurant Tavern Road, and the coffee-shop-meets-bar Ames Street Deli. But none match Café ArtScience's scope and ambition. Sure, it's a forward-thinking bar, product space, and classroom. But it's also one of our finer modern French restaurants. 650 E. Kendall St., Cambridge, MA 02142, cafeartscience.com.
Original art, hand-pressed paper. When you care enough to really send the best. 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA .
You know you've come to the right place when you read a sign that says "Unless constantly nurtured, nothing is as short-lived as a good customer." Abiding by that philosophy, Dave Poutre treats each customer—as well as each item brought in to be framed—with care. Whether it's a beautiful watercolor or a black-and-white family photo circa 1920, your print is in expert hands. With a huge selection of frames and mats to choose from, Poutre goes to work, offering you frame and mat combinations until you're satisfied. Soothing background music and Poutre's good sense of humor are an added bonus. Nestledin a cozy locale in the heart of Charles Street, Boston Art & Framing ensures your picture is worth a thousand words. 100 Charles Street, Boston, MA bostonframing.com/.
From jewelry to furniture and everything in between, this gallery has something for every taste. The hand-blown glass from thumb-size miniatures to slender Art Noveau orbs are stunning examples of the glassblower's art. And they are modestly priced. Copley Place, Boston, MA .
This cavernous space is stuffed to the rafters with paints, pencils, brushes, canvases, sketchpads—basically, all the tools needed to create a masterpiece, or just a big, pretty mess. Everything is arranged in supermarket-style aisles, the better to help aspiring Pollocks and Hoppers conserve mental energy for their work; classes led by the artsy employees teach the rest of us how to tell our alkyds from our acrylics. 401 Park Dr., Boston, MA dickblick.com.
Thanks to its innovative exhibits, even the Museum of Fine Arts is taking a close look at new local art. 955 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
Be warned: Faina has a devoted following, so prepare to book at least a week ahead for an appointment. The wait is worth it for the extra-long hand massage and meticulous nail polish application. Some fans swear it's possible to get two weeks out of her manicure. 95 Central Street, Wellesley, MA trilliumbrewing.com/wordpress_blog.
She spends so much time on your nails you'll think you're her only client for the day. Grimaud pampers you with a soothing hand massage and expertly takes the rough edges off your talons. Most important, her multicoated polishing will take you through a week and then some. 9 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
We brought our feet to Jeanne Lee's no-frills salon after a long winter of neglect. Without a drop of judgment, Lee whipped our rough nails into sandal shape and smoothed our calloused heels, leaving us with soft, polished tootsies too pretty to confine to boots. 125 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, jeannesalon.com.
Despite her long list of furry clients, Kelly Acone always remembers who likes a long topknot and who gets a princess cut. Her love of dogs is obvious in the way she coos at them while clipping their nails, calms them during the scary blow-dry, and posts their adorable makeovers on Facebook. 248 W. Newton St., Boston, MA 02116, .