The only place in town to catch big-name out-of-town acts like Sonny Rollins, Cassandra Wilson, and Tito Puente. A front-row table here for Betty Carter or Christian McBride is one of the most intimate world-class jazz experiences around. Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge, MA .
They can churn out music that sounds intensely tortured one minute, gently sentimental the next. Maybe it's just us, but is Evan Dando (the group's lead singer and guitarist) brilliant, or what? Who else could write a song about his stove?
Finally, a lash enthusiast who also cares about your eyes. While applying lashes one at a time, Allie Tuminelli insists on taking breaks to let your peepers rest. During the downtime, you’ll examine her work together, letting her add as needed. The result: fuller lashes, with less discomfort. 551 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116, vegavitality.com.
If the sophisticated dark wood paneling didn’t already clue you in, one look at the backlit bar—showcasing a fine selection of whiskeys and excellent draft beers—reveals that this is a pub for the refined Irish drinker. Drop in on Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m. for completely free, no-strings-attached oysters. 14 Harvard St., Brookline Village , MA 02445, .
In a saturated yoga market, studios have two routes to survival: They can push flashy classes and retail, or they can elevate the basics to an art form. The latter's what you'll find at Down Under, where Patricia Walden, one of America's foremost Iyengar yoga practitioners, is on the faculty. Multiple locations. 1054 Beacon St., Brookline, MA 02446, downunderyoga.com.
Very few people look at a rug and see a great pair of shoes. Milicent Armstrong is one of them. Made from intricate, colorful kilims sourced from Turkish bazaars, her smoking slippers and loafers are casual enough for a weekend stroll and fancy enough for a groomsman. 119 Braintree St., Allston, MA 02134, artemisdesignco.com.
BU's swim program can teach any child, from infant to teenager, to flourish in the water. A warm, shallow recreational pool helps instructors ease wee ones into the wet; as learners progress, they can move over to the deeper competition pool to improve their strokes. 915 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215, bu.edu/fitrec.
This is the most intense workout we’ve unearthed. The only sound louder than the whir of treadmills was our panting as we sprinted on a 12 percent incline for one minute straight. Barry’s will leave you sweating, shaking, and planning your next masochistic workout. 30 Chauncy St., Boston, MA 02111, barrysbootcamp.com.
Brookline Arts Center remains one of the most forward-thinking schools around. Popular offerings include comic-book classes for grade schoolers, a jewelry course for teens, and anything taught by engaging studio coordinator Léonie Little-Lex. Before and during longer classes, kids can shake their sillies on the adjacent playground. 86 Monmouth St., Brookline, MA 02446, brooklineartscenter.com.
Owner Andrea Halliday and her team create pieces ranging from fragrant, fresh strung garlands to mossy terrariums with carefully perched succulents. Simple and modern or baroque and traditional, Table & Tulip's arrangements come packaged in a range of beautiful vessels—or you can bring in one of your own for an even more personal touch. 461 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA 02118, tableandtulip.com.
There's only one decision you need to make at this waterfront institution: regular roll ($16) or large ($19)? After that, pull up a chair and tuck into the sturdy bun overflowing with fresh lobster, heavy on the tail meat and tossed with just enough mayo. 15-17 Northern Ave., Boston, MA 02210, jameshooklobster.com.
Housed in an 1872 mansion, the NCAAA is one of the region's largest depositories of art from the African diaspora. The biggest draw is the replica burial chamber of the sixth-century B.C. Nubian King Aspelta, rescued from a Sudanese dam project. 300 Walnut Ave., Boston, MA 02119, ncaaa.org.
The egg in a jar is one of Boston's most-talked-about dishes, and for good reason. But don't let that overshadow West Bridge's many other offerings—rather, grab a spot at the bar, befriend the knowledgable bartenders, and let them guide you through a small-plate odyssey. 1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge, MA 02139, westbridgerestaurant.com.
The MFA may be a world-class marvel, but not for a nightcap. At gallery/restaurant Liquid Art House, striking visuals—starting with an enormous, scorpionlike Murano chandelier—complement boundary-pushing cocktails at the circular marble bar in the center of the art-bedecked atrium. Drink one or two. Or three. Say, were those paintings always so blurry? 100 Arlington St., Boston, MA 02116, liquidarthouse.com.
The stunning before-and-after photos (not to mention testimonials from current and former pro athletes) say it all: These guys know how to bring hair back to life. Doctors Robert Leonard and Matthew Lopresti offer a range of options for the follicularly challenged, including hair transplant surgery (which they say is less painful than a visit to the dentist) and noninvasive treatments. Whatever you choose, one thing’s for certain: You’ll never cover up with a hat again. Multiple locations. hairdr.com.