Since 1937 Childs has been a flagship of Boston's fine art market. Specializing in pre-World War II American and European paintings, prints, drawings, and sculpture, Childs is where you go to find treasures ranging in importance and price from a small thing of beauty to a centerpiece of an established collection. Owner Roger Howlett's knowledge of his expansive inventory makes Childs nothing short of a museum with price tags. 169 Newbury Street, Boston, MA childsgallery.com/.
The new South Boston, recently referred to as "SoBo" by the New York Times, may eventually earn such a sobriquet around town thanks to relative upstarts like LaMontagne Gallery. Since 2007 the gallery has introduced a wide range of contemporary artists to the Boston scene, garnering regional and national attention for its exhibitions. 555 E. 2nd St., South Boston, MA lamontagnegallery.com.
Since 1980, owner Robert Klein has been quietly amassing fine-art photography and selling to major collectors. He carries work by the likes of Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston, as well as contemporary pieces, all skillfully curated by a true connoisseur. 38 Newbury St. #402, Boston, MA 2116, robertkleingallery.com.
Buckminster Fuller architectural prints. Richard Serra silkscreens. Works by Jenny Holzer, Bruce Nauman, Tara Donovan, and Ellsworth Kelly. Over the past 12 months, all have graced Barbara Krakow's stark white walls. That caliber of contemporary and modern art would be the envy of many museums, but this little gallery manages to pull it in and keep it coming. Bonus: With its annual exhibition that raises tens of thousands for AIDS relief, the gallery is a good citizen as well. 10 Newbury St. #5, Boston, MA 2116, barbarakrakowgallery.com.
Nielsen brings Boston the most painterly painters, including New York abstractionist John Walker. 179 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
This year's clustering of new and relocated galleries in the first block of Newbury Street, where they might actually attract some browsers able to buy. See especially the Bernard Toale Gallery, an out-growth of the couldn't-be-less-Newbury-Streetish Brickbottom Gallery in Somerville.
Fine space, stable avant-garde artists. 36 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Could easily be in New York City given the sophistication and consistency of the shows. Lincoln Station, Lincoln, MA .
Nina Nielsen's vision is unique, and she has stuck with it. 179 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
The best galleries have a knack for spotting cool things early. In recent years, the Harrison Avenue space featured Andrew Masullo’s cartoony paintings before he appeared in the Whitney Biennial and presented "Not About Paint," a survey of gonzo assemblage that went on to inspire a deCordova show. Last year’s coup was Ben Sloat’s "One Blast," which explored how technology modulates everything via paintings of a dazzle-camouflaged ship riding digital waves. 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 2118, stevenzevitasgallery.com.
There are gems for meat eaters of every stripe at this Somerville shop: owner Michael Dulock’s expert cuts of New Englandsourced, pasture-raised lamb, pork, and beef for steadfast locavores; a rotating selection of inventive sausagesbloody mary-inspired beef links, brats infused with Slumbrew’s Happy Solfor those just looking for something tasty to throw on the grill. For the most adventurous of carnivores, there’s Dulock’s Meat Club, which offers up 5 pounds of the butcher’s finest nose-to-tail cuts for a reasonable $50 a month. 201A Highland Ave., Somerville, MA 2138, mfdulock.com.
Yes, Tosca always wins in this category. And, yes, it's always packed. Here's why: butter-warmed local lobster tails with broccoli shoots. Duck breast roasted with rosemary potatoes and apple sausage. And a porcini and asparagus pizza—laced with a robust truffle oil—that's so addictive, it might as well be illegal. Count on sharp flavors, sharper service, and still sharper design—with high ceilings and dramatic iron lamps that beckon the eye toward chef Kevin Long's open kitchen. With food this good, complaining that Tosca always wins the region's top culinary awards is like complaining that Martin Scorsese always gets Oscar nominations. 14 North St., Hingham, MA toscahingham.com/.
If you need to get something somewhere in this perpetually gridlocked city quickly, you have two options: hire City Express, or . . . okay, you've got only one option. Rain, wind, traffic jams, and subway breakdowns fail to thwart this company's army of messengers, who quietly, safely, and responsibly complete rush deliveries, often along custom routes established for regular customers. Full disclosure: We use City Express. Fuller disclosure: We use City Express because they're the most reliable and efficient service out there. And—novelty of novelties—they staff the phones 24 hours a day to fine-tune delivery schedules. 201 South St., Boston, MA cityexp.com/.
With brick-and-mortar record stores boarding up left and right, this local chain—launched in 1978 by a pair of MIT students—has acquired fresh polish on its cherished-institution status. But the truth is that its balanced inventory of the arcane and the mainstream has always trumped the competition. Though the flagship store in the Back Bay has the most comprehensive selection, Newbury Comics' suburban outlets smartly follow the same model of covering every genre and offering a strong supply of imports, used discs, and new vinyl. From Stravinsky to Stereolab, Neil Young to Young Jeezy, you can find it here—and may it ever be so. 332 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2115, newburycomics.com.
Here's the secret every Boston queen already knows: The best gay club in the city isn't a place at all—it's a moving target. Enter the Welcoming Committee, a group of party boys who pick a bar/pub/club for the Guerrilla Queer Bar one-night bash, spread the word via social media and e-mail, then set out a few times each month to have "an inappropriately good time." And now the crew is expanding beyond its famous one-night stands, offering organized workout events, fundraisers, and more.