European folk art jewelry, hand-painted chess sets, nesting matryoshka dolls, exquisite beads—there's a treasure trove of discoveries in this tiny shop—a great browse. 228 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
It used to house a Howard Johnson's. Now it's gourmet Italian for Provincetown refugees (and anyone else who appreciates fine modern art and an attractive setting, and who has the patience to wait out the sometimes agonizingly slow service). 500 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
There's a good reason Museum School grad and MassArt prof Taylor Davis captured the ICA's Artist Prize: her minimalist plywood installations deconstruct spaces and myriad truths with beautiful simplicity.
Set up in the lobby of an old theater, this place radiates history, stays open most nights until 4 a.m., serves homemade-tasting food, and sponsors poetry readings, jazz performances, and art exhibits. 610 Washington Street, Boston, MA .
State-of-the-art facilities (two complete studios, synthesizers, in-house musicians and engineers) on a hundred-year-old farm. Sauna, Jacuzzi, horses, the works. It was good enough for Stevie Wonder. West Brookfield, MA
The seasonal outdoor arts-and-crafts market remains SoWa’s headliner, but the indoor vintage market, open year-round and filled with all manner of antique gems, has also become a perennial favorite. sowasundays.com.
An opening at the Institute of Contemporary Art, which hasn't succumbed yet to the need to attract suburban hordes a la the Metropolitan Center.
Always graceful, always strong. Young was the tantrum-proof center of the Boston Ballet. She will remain as director of the Boston Ballet II and the Summer Dance Program.
This team of masters—including a metalsmith, a furniture restorer, and a wood-carver—can restore anything antique: furniture, metals, paintings, and objets d'art. 45 Bartlett Crescent, Brookline, MA .
Annabelle and Simon Hunton worked hard to maintain the integrity of their 1908 Arts and Crafts manor when transforming it into the seven-room Nobnocket Boutique Inn, but that doesn't mean they've skimped on the plush amenities: Expect loaner bikes for exploring, croquet (naturally), and one of the island's finest breakfasts, best taken on the veranda. 60 Mount Aldworth Rd., Vineyard Haven, MA 2568, nobnocket.com.
The western ’burbs have no shortage of fine Italian restaurants, none as transportingor as lovelyas this Waltham mainstay. The artfully prepared cuisine (tagliolini with fresh lobster and shrimp, duck-confit-and-fig pizza) and warm, rustic atmosphere (fresh flowers, wooden beams, hanging pots and pans) offer a window to southern Italy by way of Main Street. 504 Main St., Waltham, MA 2452, lacampania.com.
Forget staid Knoll or uptight George Nelson. In Peter Levis's world, midcentury modern is an absolutely exuberant period full of whimsy. Offering everything from Ico Parisi consoles to FontanaArte chandeliers, the mastermind behind this wonderfully chaotic Hingham emporium has inspired a cultlike following among the area's in-the-know designers. 15 Shipyard Dr., Hingham, MA 2043, beyondgorgeosity.com.
With artfully arranged pedestals of bowls, vases, and handcrafted housewares, Simon Pearce comes off more like an MFA gallery than a gift shop. These pieces, made by master potters and glass blowers at the Quechee, Vermont, flagship store, are undeniably luxurious, yet still affordable. 103 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 2116, simonpearce.com.
Novice bikers tend to get intimidated by drivers around here—and for good reason. But the gratis Bike Tours of Cambridge—led by the Cambridge Bicycle Committee and escorted by police—will put worried minds at ease. And where else but the People's Republic would you find themed treks covering everything from string theory to public art?
Waterworks boasts a gorgeous catalog of responsibly made and stylishly designed bathroom fixtures and accessories, from freestanding copper bathtubs and Carrara-marble vessel sinks to graceful accessories like art deco inspired soap trays and braided organic jute bath rugs.Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 147, Boston, MA 02210, waterworks.com.