From its creative workshops and tattooed employees to the epic collection of papers, every inch of the Art Store inspires creativity. The meticulously organized setting is the perfect place to lose track of time as you meander through wide aisles neatly packed with everything from standard paints, brushes, canvases, frames, journals, gifts, scrapbooks, and wrapping paper. Whether you're in the market for professional art supplies, a photo album, or rainy day children's games, the Art Store is the place to find your inner Degas. 401 Park Dr., Boston, MA .
Looking for just the right-size saute pan or properly weighted knife? This family-run shop has all the best accouterments for the kitchen and is notable for its knowledgeable sales staff and selection of gadgets. If you don't see it there, they'll find it and order it for you. What more could you want? 161 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
With its three venues—the Cutler Majestic, the Paramount Mainstage, and the Jackie Liebergott Black Box—ArtsEmerson certainly dominates the Theater District, but its artistic reach goes far beyond the city. This year, executive director Rob Orchard landed the following: Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, reimagined by Brooklyn company Mabou Mines; a musical about the Shakers called Angel Reapers, co-conceived by Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur grant winners; and The Speaker's Progress, which used Shakespeare's Twelfth Night as the basis for a satire about the Arab Spring. The organization's biggest coup, though, was convincing Cambridge's reclusive John Malkovich to star as a serial killer in The Infernal Comedy. artsemerson.org.
Some playgoers escaped art Robert Wilson's Quartet (ART), his sopoforic rendering of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, by nodding off into dreamland; others escaped through the side exits.
This small metaphysical supply store brims with incense, Buddha statuettes, and jewelry. But don't let the ritual bent scare you off—it's browser-friendly and filled with positive vibes. Maybe it's all those energy crystals. 153 Harvard Ave., Boston, MA 02134, .
Other art stores have handbaskets. This huge emporium has big shopping carts perfect for navigating the wide, immaculate, organized aisles. Start by perusing the rows of pens, pencils, and paints before moving on to the walls of sketchpads and rolls of canvas. The Art Store has all the standard fare, and then some—Kolo albums, handmade stationery, a wide array of journals. And in case aspiring artists need more help than the friendly sales staff can give, there's a selection of how-to books and in-store demonstrations every weekend that will have you creating mosaic candleholders or embossed letterhead in no time. Landmark Center, 401 Park Dr., Boston, MA .
Yeah, we know it's a chain. But it's got all the accessories a starving artist—or, at least, an aspiring one—could ever need. And in this case, bigger is better. The warehouse-like space is stocked with brushes, paints, pens, easels, sketchpads, and practically every doodad imaginable. From acrylics to oils, origami to crafts, most of the inventory is organized supermarket-fashion and is reasonably easy to find. Even if you're not a budding artist, there are plenty of other goodies to tempt the creative shopper: photo albums, notebooks, colorful bins, design books. Who knows? You might even find some inspiration. 401 Park Dr., Landmark Center, Boston, MA .
Next time you need a hard-to-find imported baking pan, follow your inner Escoffier to Kitchen Arts. From culinary esoterica (a one-inch funnel or a rolling mincer) to basics (need your knives sharpened?), these kitchen wizards have it all, including five lines of high-performance cookware. There are good old American brands alongside fancy European makes, and no fewer than 20 types of coffeemakers (stovetop percolators, French presses, and filter drips). Don't worry if your cooking skills extend little beyond boiling water. The employees know of what they speak and want you to enjoy the time you spend in your kitchen. 161 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Sharon may be a bit of a drive for some, but it's sure a lot closer than New York, which is where you'd have to go to find rugalah as good. 374 South Main Street, Sharon, MA .
Culinary cats, get ready: Kitchen Arts is a veritable candy store for gadget-hungry chefs. Its Newbury Street shelves are packed with everything from the oddly named "clam rams" to the oddly shaped cannoli forms. Of course, purely practical items (mixing bowls, baking pans, measuring cups, storage tins) are in abundance, too, as are sleek chef's knives and showoff espresso machines. Tools like these will help you cook up the solution to any culinary conundrum. 161 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
A good sharp knife makes the difference between sawing through cooking chores and slicing through them. Don't get sucked into the manufacturer's preselected set of top quality knives. Kitchen Arts discounts all the top brands (up to 30 percent off three or more knives). Best prices around for Wusthof, the BMW of cutlery. Knowledgeable salespeople help you assemble your at-home arsenal. 161 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
ArtsEmerson certainly brings the world to its stages. This season alone, it hosted acrobatic feats from Montreal's troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main in Traces; Isabella Rossellini in her cult-tastic one-woman show, Green Porno; an oil-drums-and-marimba reimagining of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, by South Africa's Isango Ensemble; and, from the Hub's own Israeli Stage, a North American premiere of the affecting Ulysses on Bottles. Most impressive, ArtsEmerson realizes its global vision while remaining audience-focused and community-centric. (Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont St., Boston) 559 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111, artsemerson.org.
A good cook knows a sharp knife is the fundamental ingredient of any recipe, and Kitchen Arts is the place to find a knife that will satisfy your inner Mario Batali. (It also sells sharpening steels for gourmands who want a surgeon's edge.) Once you get past the knives, you're ready for the nirvana of kitchen tools and accessories here, from tea strainers and seafood forks to copper pots and pans. 161 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Caught between bare-bones restaurant-supply stores and overstyled kitchen emporiums, home cooks in search of a good sharp knife and a turkey baster are left with meager options. They'd do well to head to KitchenArts, where the basics (colanders, oven mitts) are blessedly abundant, and the array of gadgets (gnocchi paddles, avocado slicers) has a way of making even takeout devotees want to pick up the culinary hobby. As for those knives: KitchenArts' reasonably priced blades include Forschner, Messermeister, and Wüsthof—and the staffers, who are all avid gastronomes themselves, are happy to opine on their favorites.