This Realtor about town markets some of the city’s most exclusive properties, primarily in the South End. One key project is the Lucas, a condo conversion at the former German Trinity Catholic Church site. His listings are glam, and so is he: Rodriguez has also been a creative director for fashion designer Daniela Corte. But he’s refreshingly down to earth, too—the rare real estate agent who feels less like a salesperson and more like an old pal. 137 Newbury St., Boston, 02116, ricardoboston.com.
A stock of syrups, infusions, and other mixology gimmicks is unnecessary when your way with the classics is so sound. Such is the case at Shepard, where bar manager Nic Mansur mixes one mean Manhattan, among other elegant, restrained cocktails. Factor in the Francophile wine list and eclectic array of apéritifs, and you’ll want to spend the entire evening at the bar, away from the dining room din. One Shepard St., Cambridge, MA 02138, shepardcooks.com.
Executive chef Brian Rae credits his pasta-making prowess to his Italian family, not to mention one Jody Adams, of Rialto fame. That expertise shows in every al dente ribbon of malfade slicked with lemon oil; in every tender nub of rigatoni swimming in pork-sausage ragu; and in every strata of lasagna shellacked with brown-butter balsamic sauce. Go on, get the full order. 669A Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, centrestreetcafejp.com.
The august ensemble approaches its bicentennial season in peak shape, with an artistic director, Harry Christophers, who understands that early music should be not just "authentic" but also, you know, musical. With excellent guest conductors like Scott Metcalfe and Richard Egarrand programming that last year ranged from Purcell’s The Indian Queen to Beethoven’s Seventh to Christmas music by four different Bachsit’s not only the oldest continuously performing arts group in America, it’s also one of the best. handelandhaydn.org.
Let us, for a moment, break down this spot’s chicken shawarma sandwich: rotisserie-carved poultry, crunchy pickled turnips, fragrant sumac-spiced onions, a handful of fresh produce, and garlic sauce, all layered strategically within crisp saj bread. While this one stunning sandwich alone justifies the long ride on the B Line, the menu’s other Lebanese specialties, such as deep-fried cauliflower and crisp falafel, are equally alluring. 133 Harvard Ave., Allston, MA garliclemons.com.
At Craigie on Main, Tony Maws’s cultish burger is available off the menu, in limited quantities only. At Maws’s new gastropub, the Kirkland Tap & Trotter, however, his cheeseburgera peppery patty topped with kimchi Russian dressing and Emmentaler cheese, on poppy-seed briocheis very much on the menu, and very much worth ordering. Where other gourmet burgers feel greasy and heavy, this one doesn’t bomb your stomach. All the better, because you might want to have seconds. 425 Washington St., Somerville, MA 2143, kirklandtapandtrotter.com.
Neighborhood running shops really have to go the extra mile (sorry, we couldn’t resist) to compete with the big guys these days. And South End Athletic Company does just that, with a carefully chosen selection of footwear and apparel from Mizuno, Brooks, and more. Staffers use video gait analysis to put you in the right shoes, then invite you to christen them at one of their free running clubs. 652 Tremont St., Boston, MA 2118, southendathleticcompany.com.
Local parents, rejoice: Magic Beans more than fills the void left behind when one-stop baby-equipment shop Isis Parenting shuttered last winter. At the Coolidge Corner flagship and various outposts, employees steer moms and dads through the wheeled forest of UPPAbaby and Bugaboo strollers and offer guidance on endlessly confusing car seats, childproofing items, and nursing gear. Parenting may be hard work, but Magic Beans makes shopping for all the necessities as easy as 1-2-3. 312 Harvard St., Brookline; and other locations, mbeans.com.
Yeah, yeah, everyone talks about sunset in Menemsha, but you know the same show is playing at every beach with a western view, right? Great Rock Bight Preserve, one of the MV Land Bank properties, offers an excellent, secluded alternative to the crowded affair by the docks. Hike down the trail to the beach—there’s a short and a long way—and take in the view from there or, if you’re feeling adventurous, from atop the large rock just off the shore, for which the beach is named. Chilmark, MA 02535, mvlandbank.com/34great.shtml.
Who needs dinner and a show when you can simply spread out a picnic blanket on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and watch the sky turn vibrant shades of red and orange? The sunset is beautiful anywhere along the expansive shoreline, which can be accessed by foot, bike, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, permitted over-sand vehicle. Only the dolphins that swim nearby could make the view even more breathtaking. Provincetown, MA 02657, nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/race-point-beach.htm.
In a crowded field of wedding photographers, Carly Yarbrow has emerged as a visionary. Her images’ signature rosy-hued aesthetic instantly elevates any wedding, elopement, or engagement shoot to a heavenly realm. One especially bright spot in Yarbrow’s divine portfolio? Her portraits, in which even the most camera-shy of subjects radiate with natural joy and love. Plus, her eye for detail is unmatched (see: her skill in sending a veil billowing beautifully into the breeze). carlymichellephotography.com.
The best handbags become extensions of who we are, and fiber artist Sophie Truong’s leather creations are no exception. Her SoWa storefront—which just celebrated its one-year anniversary—is an accessory lover’s paradise, stocked with hand-stitched hobo bags and adorable shearling cross-bodies that you’ll never want to put down. 63 Thayer St., Boston, MA 02118, stitchandtickle.com.
Wallflowers need not apply: Made from materials such as Lucite and even recycled paper, the bold, chunky necklaces at this Copley Place boutique owned by the ultra-stylish Ophelia Bakon and her sisters are conversation pieces that can turn even the simplest outfit into a showstopper. Throw one on with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt or your favorite LBD, and you’ll be hearing “Where did you get that?” all day long. Copley Place, Boston, MA 02116, stylenu.com.
Spend one evening lounging around a fire pit on the water-view terrace with your family, and you just might decide to make a stay at this Brewster retreat, centered around a Victorian-style mansion, an annual tradition. And why wouldn’t you, when there are enough amenities here—a Nicklaus-designed golf course, bar-adjacent private beach, luxe day spa, and full-service tennis courts—to make it so you never have to leave? oceanedge.com.
Recycling has never looked better. Founded by twin brothers and self-professed beach bums Mike and Alex Faherty, this company is making waves by blending salvaged plastic into fabric to create quick-dry bikinis, reversible one-pieces, and custom-printed swim trunks. And unlike your post-vacation glow, these suits won’t fade, thanks to natural indigo dyes and a special finishing technique that protects against chlorine and saltwater. 115 Newbury St., Boston, MA fahertybrand.com.