Perusing Jan Gleysteen’s portfolio, one word repeatedly comes to mind: timeless. With nearly four decades of experience under his belt, the Wellesley architect knows his way around traditionalism, dreaming up classic abodes—such as a grand suburban homestead with coffered ceilings and dramatic archway—that are built to last. 888 Worcester St., Wellesley, MA 02482, jangleysteeninc.com.
Drop the guilt along with your little one at Tartt’s. The fourth-generation owners have perfected a curriculum that balances cognitive development (sign language, Spanish) with serious fun (like Urbanity Dance–taught “baby groove” lessons). 477 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118, tartts.com.
Books are alive and well at this charming Brookline shop, where owner Terri Schmitz helps kids of all ages find the perfect rainy-day escape, sans batteries. Catch her when the little ones are fully engaged and reminisce about all the authors you loved as a child. 237 Washington St., Brookline, MA 2445, thechildrensbookshop.net.
No one demystifies the buying process like Isis, where the "Stroller School" guarantees you'll choose the perfect wheels. Unsure about the Bugaboo Donkey's double-seat configurations or the difference between the Boppy breastfeeding pillow and My Brest Friend? Staffers here will steer you in the right direction. 800 Boylston st., Boston, MA 2116, isisparenting.com.
Economic downturn bedamned. This boutique is still standing tall, thanks to a rocking inventory that keeps the well-heeled masses coming. Find handmade Chelsea boots by Albert Fasciani, a one-of-a-kind Imp of the Perverse jacket with handpainted lining, and surface-dyed charcoal jeans from Boris Bidjan Saberi. 34 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, alanbilzerian.com.
The majority of this store's lines are stylish and durable, designed for kids who like to stand out from the crowd without standing still. The sales staff is always willing to search for a size or offer helpful suggestions and—of all—is sweet and patient with little ones of all temperaments. 69 Charles St., Boston, MA theredwagon.com/.
This Montreal-based store carries mostly moderately priced European imports. From pumps for women to rugged boots for men, there is something for every foot, but there's only one pair per size in most styles, so get there often. 180 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Whether your look is designer chic, fifties retro, or Elton John outre, this place can meet your specs. It's also one of only a few local sources for the popular Oliver Peoples line of antique-style frames. 755 Beacon Street, Newton Centre, MA .
Fur upkeep is a specialized craft, one that the artisans at this multi-generation family shop take seriously. Older shearlings and minks are repaired with care and stored during the summer, keeping them in pristine condition. M. Miller also makes its own line of stunning skiwear. 519 Albany St., Boston, MA 2118, mmillerfur.com.
After one too many blowouts left us looking like a Dallas cast member, we were ready to throw in the (salon) towel. Then came Tim Robishaw at Jeffrey Lyle, who transformed our limp strands into "look at me" locks that lasted the entire weekend. 135 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, .
While it might seem like a contradiction in terms, colored hair that doesn't look colored is precisely the effect of a coloring session with Joanna. She does not subscribe to the one-color look but prefers to mix a number of warm and cold highlights to create, even with the finest hair, a sense of vibrancy and vitality. Solus, 115 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
After quizzing you to establish expectations, Brady Brumfield will deliver a natural look that can be comfortably worn straight out of the chair—not one that starts awkward and takes several days to grow into. His attention to detail, from wash to product recommendations, adds a level of service seldom seen in run-of-the-mill chop shops. 134 Newbury St., Boston, MA roffisalon.com.
Boston doesn't yet have that one great health club, but in the meantime, BAC is the best thing in town. There are basketball, tennis, racquetball, and squash courts galore, not to mention the basics such as Nautilus and aerobics. It also offers cardio-boxing, golf, a hair salon, chiropractors, physical therapists, and massage therapists. 653 Summer St., Boston, MA .
Play high-speed racquetball or share the Gravitron with your crush, who is probably competitively athletic and making good money at Lotus or one of the other high-tech companies in the neighborhood. Then schmooze in the Jacuzzi or share an intimate dinner at the club restaurant. 215 First St., Cambridge, MA .
At a spot that has the feel of an Italian neighborhood trattoria (if said neighborhood were full of top-tax-bracket Italians, that is), this defining cocktail is appropriately light and socially lubricious, and sports a Mediterranean twist. Made of iced Ketel One shaken with fresh lime and garnished with shredded basil, it's like a burst of Tuscan sunshine. 79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA viamattarestaurant.com/.