Whether you need transportation for a big cheese from New York or just a ride to Logan at 3 a.m., traveling in a Boston Car Service sedan will do you right. Rates are easy on the check-book: From the Boston/Cambridge area to Logan, it's about $33 to ride in a swank Lincoln with a driver who asks your route and temperature preferences. Now this is living. 60 Kilmarnock Street, Boston, MA bostoncorpcoach.com.
Fortunately for men seeking a haircut, Dirk Diegel of Vidal Sassoon styles and cuts like he was born with comb and scissors in hand. Trained in Hamburg, Germany, Diegel has done his thing at Vidal Sassoon for five years. He's been the manager for more than a year, but he still lavishes his talent on upwards of forty heads a week. If you're lucky enough, you'll let Dirk work his magic on your locks. 14 Newbury Street, Boston, MA sassoon.com.
Whatever your car's sexual orientation, it may find its home away from home at Chicago Auto, which started out serving the lesbian community, but has some of the mechanics in town. Founded by Boomer Kennedy in 1984, Chicago Auto is committed to helping women and men understand their cars. Customers praise the individual attention and the honest, upfront communication about what their repair and maintenance options are. Another perk: Loaner cars are free. 35 Tudor St., Cambridge, MA .
Need help finding the perfect private school for junior? Bilello worked for nine years as director of secondary school placement at Fessenden, where he developed extensive contacts at secondary schools throughout the country. His honesty will help you sort through the realistic options for your precious offspring, and involve them in the process as well. Great at keeping kids motivated through the highly competitive application process. 91 Wymn Street, Waban, MA .
If you prefer a gym that's a glorified spa, look elsewhere. But if you want to train like a pro, then go where actual professionals work out. In the case of boxing, that's Peter Welch's Gym. Hidden in a warehouse in Southie, it's old-school, with real rings, real equipment, and real fighters leading each class. You'll learn proper punching and evasive techniques while getting the best workout of your life. 371 Dorchester Ave., South Boston, MA peterwelchsgym.com.
Earlier this year, Lotus relocated from Columbus to Tremont, and on crisp days, the shop's ambrosial array of flowers spills out onto the sidewalks. Watch the weekly parade of dramatic arrangements filing out to the parlors of tony South End townhouses, while you choose a set creation or design one of your own. Just be sure to request a few of their specialty blooms, including the gorgeous rare orchids. 977 Tremont St., Boston, MA lotusdesignsflowers.com.
Fireside lounge. Penthouse roof deck. Inhalation-therapy relaxation room. The amenities at this vast Newbury Street retreat are top-notch—as are the always-invigorating services. Whether you stop in for a deep-hydration facial or a quick post-lunch manicure, the staffers here will treat you like a star, leaving you looking and feeling your best. 278 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, g2ospasalon.com.
While not entirely indie—it's part of the Kimpton hotel group—Nine Zero is a singularly splendid place to lay your head. All rooms boast robes, European linens, and windows that open to let in the fresh air. But if you're lucky enough to book one of the Premier View offerings—or, even better, the Cloud Nine Suite—you'll be treated to some of the best vistas in the city. 90 Tremont St., Boston, MA 2108, ninezero.com.
What's your dream hair length? Want more layers? Or maybe a cappuccino? The staff at this salon asks all the right questions, ensuring that each client ends up with a gorgeous style to fit her taste, and gets a respite from the bustle of Newbury below. Plus, the well-spaced stations, ahh-inducing massage chairs, and large front windows bathing the place in natural light make the whole experience second to none. 77 Newbury St, Boston, MA 2116, bradleyanddiegel.com.
Peace and quiet don't come cheap. (If you have to ask how much, sweetie, you can't afford it.) But the Ranch's formula for relaxation is worth every buck: no cell phones, no booze, no table salt, and plenty of yoga and pampering. And since the resort's amenities also include nutrition classes and cooking demos, you're guaranteed to leave not only your stress behind, but a few pounds as well. 165 Kemble St., Lenox, MA 1240, canyonranch.com.
Even the prettiest picture becomes an eyesore when confined to an ugly frame. A cure for such unsightliness can be found at this Back Bay fixture, where owner Kerrie Thomas frames preschoolers' doodlings, World War II medals, and everything in between. Choose from thousands of moldings in such hard-to-find materials as 24-karat gold, sterling silver leaf, and Peruvian leather. Also available are a range of albums to store those photos tagged for-your-eyes-only. Like the ones from that night at Whiskey Park. 303 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, backbayframery.com.
A former Emmy-winning television producer, Leydon spices up traditional (but challenging) vinyasa-flow yoga with inspiring music and unexpected sequences to show aspiring yogis how to find their own path to limber inner peace. Free advice: "Remember that yoga is noncompetitive. We live in a culture that makes it hard to let go of egos, but when you're doing precarious positions for the first time, you have to back off and go at your own pace." 28 Arlington St.; 4 Avery St., Boston, MA 02116; 02111, exhalespa.com; thesportsclubla.com.
There are plenty of beauty rituals that can survive a rushed appointment. Eyebrow shaping is not one of them. Sadie Higgins spends a full 45 minutes studying the shape of your face while tweezing (no wax) a natural arch precisely where it was meant to be—even if nature had other ideas. She also dispenses at-home maintenance tips, all in a gorgeous loft space. 840 Summer St., Boston, MA sarrastudios.com.
Yes, $21 for two or three pieces of sashimi is pricey. But less is far more at O Ya, where chef Tim Cushman's top-tier ingredients and meticulous layering of flavors add up to the best mouthfuls in New England. Perfect bites, like fatty Scottish salmon belly with cilantro, ginger, and hot sesame oil, are presented with a careful balance of richness and bracing acid. So yeah, it's costly. But anything else that trips your pleasure centers like this will also cost a fortune—and probably isn't legal. 9 East St., Boston, MA 2111, oyarestaurantboston.com.
Most sommeliers keep their servers so oenologically clueless, it feels like a job-security scheme. Not so with Silirie, who arms every associate in Barbara Lynch's multi-restaurant gastro-empire with knowledge that extends far beyond by-the-glass pours. Ask about any esoteric bottling on Silirie's famously eclectic lists, and you'll be met with exuberant expertise, not blank stares.