For the Project II series, which featured a changing spectacle of inventive installations by prominent local and national artists.
From eggs, home fries, and pancakes to the turkey club piled with crispy bacon, the 24-hour South Street Diner nails the classics, then ups the ante with plates like chocolatey French toast and fried pickles (not together, thankfully). With Nitzer Ebb and Passion Pit on the jukebox and mimosas available until 1 a.m., we love South Street for the same reason we love Boston: It's steeped in tradition, but never short on quirk. 178 Kneeland St., Boston, MA 2111, southstreetdiner.com.
Yes, we’re recommending you see purposely bad art. In its most prominent location, tucked away in the basement of the historical Somerville Theatre, the Museum of Bad Art has the effrontery to proudly display the best of the worst. Does the artist utterly fail to portray any sense of perspective? Are the individuals in the painting a trifle nightmarish, and not in a charming Salvador Dalí way? All find a home at MOBA, which also offers comedic commentary next to its masterpieces. And lucky for repeat visitors, there’s often new bad art to admire. 55 Davis Sq., Somerville, MA 02144, museumofbadart.org.
On the second floor of a restored gray-shingled Edgartown Colonial lies an unlikely retreat. Bouclé may not be posh, but it has a gracious staff and ample charm in creaky floorboards, not to mention an extensive list of fairly priced services. Expect relaxing deep facials and cosmopolitan haircuts, as well as long-lasting manicures from the new nail care cottage in the backyard. Bumble and Bumble take-home treatments and flirty silk hair accessories for sale make leaving Bouclé with a shopping bag or two under the arm almost as much fun as walking in. 12 N. Water St., Edgartown, MA 2539, bouclespa.com.
It’s a snug, sophisticated, don’t-call-it-a-speakeasy space that opened during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic (yikes). Yet Offsuit pulled off its gambit on the strength of simple cocktails that nail everything that really counts: top-shelf spirits, fresh ingredients, and slow-melting bergs of hand-carved ice. The philosophy turns sleepy standards like the Dark & Stormy or gimlet into revelations, while house originals — such as the Lounge Act, made with chamomile-infused apple brandy — are no less impressive. 107 South St., Leather District, MA 02111, offsuitboston.com.
Seventy dollars a year to join, unlimited use of boats, instruction, and camaraderie. This just might be the best buy in town after Filene's Basement. 21 Embankment Rd., Boston, MA .
Notice how you never see entrepreneurial vegans hawking tempeh off the side of a truck? The reason is simple, really: To get people to follow you to random parking lots, to eat from Styrofoam cartons, to endure absolutely zero ambiance, the food has to be freakin' amazing—and that usually requires the involvement of fatty animal parts. M&M Ribs nails the whole formula, with chopped smoked pork tossed in tangy barbecue sauce and those namesake ribs, which make for smoky, (plastic-)fork-tender racks of carnivore heaven. Corner of Hampden Street and Norfolk Avenue, Dorchester, MA 2119, mandmribs.com.
A lack of hassle is one major thing to look for in a cleaning service; the other, sparkling results. The Maids are the sole local pros in the tidying-up business who nail both every time. Armed with a serious stash of cleaning products, the uniformed crews deploy from their sunny yellow vehicles with a speed-oriented, no-fooling-around plan that leaves every corner of the target home immaculate. And unlike some experiences we've had with other, larger services, the Maids have yet to mix up our keys with another client's, or let our indoor cat outside. 179 Boylston St., Jamaica Plain, MA 2130, .
One way to minimize your exposure to E. coli is to sail on Boston Harbor instead of the Charles River, and Courageous Sailing is the best way to go for the bucolic-urban experience. Courageous offers easy access to Harbor Islands State Park, where with a little advanced planning you can even go camping. The only year-round sailing center in Boston, it merits its name because of its iceboating events and other cold-weather adventures. 1 First Ave., Charlestown, MA .
Well-manicured hands and nails are the mark of the prosperous. Which is why you'll want to ditch the unpredictable results and spotty hygiene of quick-stop nail joints and pay a visit to this 20-year veteran instead. Using new tools for every client, Pagliarulo employs techniques she learned in her native Brazil to leave cuticles neatly trimmed and nails masterfully polished. 207 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, .
This is actually the mailing address and world headquarters office of this important cultural institution. The museum's exhibits can now be viewed in the basement of the Dedham Community Theater, 580 High Street, Dedham. Caveat emptor: Rumor has it that good art occasionally sneaks by curator Scott Wilson and executive director Jerry Reilly, but director of aesthetic interpretation Marie Jackson assures us she's on the case. 10 Vogel Street, West Roxbury, MA .
Scenesters flocked to the soaring lobby of this former prison seven years ago when it was transformed into a sleek hotel. While most assumed the jail-themed venue wouldn’t have staying power after the novelty wore off, strategic event programming—art, music, fashion, and so on—has continued to lure a coterie of on-the-pulse twenty- and thirtysomethings looking to eat, drink, and mingle, securing the Liberty’s status as the go-to gathering place for young professionals. 215 Charles St., Boston, MA 2114, libertyhotel.com.
Industry vet Tenzin Samdo has taken over the bar-director role at ArtScience with grace and ease, sticking to the tech-forward restaurant’s tradition of high-flying, science-forward cocktail craft while putting his own spin on things. Over the past year, he’s brought thoughtful, sustainably minded touches to the program, including pledging to forgo the use of plastic straws. And just as noteworthy, Samdo never fails to serve his cocktails with a wide smile and a side of old-fashioned hospitality. 650 E. Kendall St., Cambridge, MA 02142, cafeartscience.com.
E-mail, e-vites, e-cards—you've been there, e-done that. Lend your correspondence some off-line heft with a pilgrimage to this epistolary shrine, with its formidable collection of paper, cards, and craft supplies. Initially you may feel overwhelmed, so take advantage of the design-savvy staffers (many of them art school students), the nifty DIY invitation and letter-writing kits, and personal stationery consults—all of which can help give your every missive a signature style. 1361 Beacon St., Brookline, Boston, Cambridge, Wellesley, MA 2446, paper-source.com.
He carefully matches his approach to repairing your objets d'art to the amount you can spend. 621 Main Street, Waltham, MA .