The search for a capable and honest auto machine is not unlike a snark hunt; we were shocked when we found one. The service is quick and efficient, the work reliable, and the price more than reasonable. 25 Chestnut Ave., Brighton, MA .
Thousands (yes, thousands!) of bottles to choose from and several hundred beers. If you're stuck for a selection or need advice, look for wine buyer Tom Schmeisser. He's one of New England's most knowledgeable oenophiles. 675 Washington St., Newtonville, MA .
Serious chocoholics, take note: one of these confections can make your day. Wonderfully chocolaty, moist and chewy, they're nirvana for brownie lovers. Also available at Starbucks and Coffee Connection shops. 8 Elm St., Brookline, MA .
Yes, his interview with Dan Quayle was a paradigm of powder-puffery. No matter. He's still one of the few TV reporters who break stores instead of eating newspaper smoke.
Smart, cares about the city, avoids hyperbole. Worth listening to. Edges out the Herald's Peter Lucas, who's written one too many pro-Bellotti pieces.
Acerbic, and willing to take what she dishes out. When she guest-hosted "People Are Talking," one of her regular targets, Nancy Merrill, filled Knopf's newspaper slot and trashed her.
Kraemer is one of the few TV "news" people who seem interested in conveying information, not image. His "Consider This" feature on the nightly news is a welcome relief from the cheesy razzmatazz that passes for social commentary on the tube. MA
She may not be the most beautiful woman in Boston, but she is undoubtedly one of the sexiest. Since she came onto the air, 34 percent of the male viewers have taken their TV sets to bed. MA
Small fleet, but select (all more than twenty feet, including a twenty-seven-foot catamaran). Expensive compared with community boating, but director Dave Franzel is considered one of the top instructors in New England. 54 Lewis Wharf, Boston, MA .
Hike one of the paths, trails, or terraces leading to the top of Bussey Hill. The 198-foot perch at the center of Harvard’s woodland research facility boasts the most scenic—and serene—views of the cityscape. 125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130, arboretum.harvard.edu.
Need a one-of-a-kind present for a house-warming or dinner party? Step into designers Don Carney and John Ross’s funky shop for vibrant throw pillows, fragrant soaps, and more. 46 Waltham St., Boston, MA patchnyc.com.
This pop-up turned restaurant excels at globally inspired comfort food (lobster-dashi udon, anyone?) and laid-back ambiance—a winning combination if we’ve ever seen one. 3710 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, MA brassicakitchen.com.
A multi-year winner, and still the best place around for great handcrafted jewelry, hand-blown glass, terrific pottery, fabulous clocks, and other one-of-a kind items. Copley Place, Boston, MA .
Earring collectors go into a frenzy over the racks of terrific earrings at Elements, all priced at $22 (the gold matte ones are great). Buy two pairs and a third pair is free. 103A Charles St., Boston, MA .
At $6 a window, this is one of the least expensive window cleaners in the area; indeed, it's half as costly as some competitors. And window cleaning being window cleaning, prices rule. 315 E St., South Boston, MA .