With a café and lounge space and late-night hours, this 40,000-square-foot oasis of rock-climbing walls is a tempting way to break free from your Friday-night routine. If the upper-body burn and primal joy prove addictive, Brooklyn Boulders offers regular classes to help build your skills. But don’t be intimidated: Beginning climbers are also welcome, and there are knowledgeable instructors to help you get acclimated. Next stop Everest, or at least the Blue Hills. 12A Tyler St., Somerville, MA 02143, brooklynboulders.com/somerville.
The man has magic hands! Nezat, a recent transplant from the now-defunct Spa on Newbury, not only releases any stress-induced tension knotting your body with the fundamental Swedish massage, he can also pinpoint problem areas and offer sweet relief with more advanced techniques. With his strong yet gentle touch, you'll leave feeling like a wet noodle. And he'll do it for a whole hour longer than your Significant Other's brief obligatory poke-and-prod. Candela Laserspa, 28 Arlington St., Boston, MA .
A step of evolution beyond your average one-hour photomart, Panopticon is a true custom lab—it will develop your film in the developer you need, at whatever temperature you request, for as long as you like. The friendly staff are also happy to make suggestions (recently they told a hapless editor how to "push" standard film for use in poor lighting conditions). Despite the painstaking work that earned it its reputation, Panopticon is also fast enough to offer same-day servic 187 Bay State Road, Boston, MA .
If you've ever tried to make your own curtains, you know it's one of life's top-10 thankless tasks. Instead of spending weary hours over the Singer, call Paul Brown, who's been making swags for the stars since 1968. Whether you want gothic floor-to-ceiling velvet or the lightest sheers, your wish will be granted. 21 Drydock Ave., Boston, MA .
It's expensive, it's crowded, and the lobby has as much charm as an airplane hangar. But then, you don't exactly go to a movie theater for the ambiance. You go to escape reality for a couple of hours, which Fenway's stadium-style auditoriums accomplish exquisitely. Pay your nine bucks, nestle into your personal Barcalounger, drink in the immensity of a 63-foot-wide screen, and soak in the explosions from a Sony Digital Dynamic Surround Sound system. You'll swear those fighter planes are bombing Kenmore. 201 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA .
Can your Kindle feed you while you browse? Porter Square Books does, at its on-site cafթ serving delicious Iggy's pastries. Does your Kindle help out with the kids? Porter Square Books will, with reading groups for teenagers and preschool story hours. This place is constantly reminding us why bookstores still matter. 25 White St., Cambridge, MA 02140, portersquarebooks.com.
A stalwart of the Boston beauty scene, Katrina Hess has always been a go-to for special-occasion makeup. But she’ll also transform your daily makeup routine with private two-hour lessons at her Newbury Street studio. Bring along your own cosmetics bag, and she’ll even weed out the duds. 115 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, katrinahess.com.
A couple of years ago, Warren Asnes was a bureaucrat in the state's Office of Human Services. But last year, he decided to become a full-time housewatcher—a move inspired by his musing whether he or the other occupant of a two-family home was responsible for filling the house's boiler. Today he'll tend to the care and feeding of your home while you're away by walking your dog, watering your plants, forwarding your mail, even stocking your refrigerator for your return—all for seven bucks a trip. He comes with references, is fully insured, and is not put off by large numbers of pets: he once baby-sat 34 cats. Newton, MA
Gulio Cesare in Eggito, directed by Peter Sellars and Craig Smith. The full four and a half hours of Handel's original score and a Ronald Reagan look-alike as Caesar.
The unusually warm welcome is your first clue to this store's stellar service. The patient and skilled staff takes the necessary time (a good half hour) to discuss how to achieve the exact look you want, or will hang back when you'd rather make your own decisions. That, along with the store's good lighting, selection of diverse and colorful prints, and meticulously finished end products, all add up to one thing: a picture-perfect experience. 1089 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA .
Citizen Pub is still pouring the same vertiginously deep rosters of rye, bourbon, scotch and Irish whiskey with the same precise connoisseurship, ambassadorial exuberance, and jaunty Japanese ice spheres as it did when it opened four years ago, back when vodka swilling still held sway. Welcome to the dark side. 1310 Boylston St., Boston, MA 2215, citizenpub.com.
Ask any newlywed couple about their wedding, and you’ll hear a familiar lament: "It was over in a flash." You can’t stop time—but you can enlist Marcella Hoekstra, owner of Heirloom Pictures, to help make the magic last. The RISD grad excels at capturing the moments that mean the most (your heartfelt vows, the hug you gave your maid of honor), editing up to nine hours of crystal-clear footage into a 10-minute highlight film you’ll actually want to watch year after year. MA heirloompictures.com.
Just past the bustle of Kendall, a watery adventure awaits. Rent kayaks and canoes by the hour or day, or take a guided tour at sunset. Rolling with a crew? Take a spin on an XL paddleboard, which can fit up to eight. 15 Broad Canal Way, Cambridge, MA 02142, paddleboston.com.
Ditch the Google Glass and don a life jacket: In nice weather, there's no better way to spend your lunch hour than paddleboarding ($18) or kayaking ($15) up the Charles from the Longfellow to the Mass. Ave. bridge. 15 Broad Canal Way, Cambridge, MA 02142, paddleboston.com.
Rentals by the hour; you bring the entertainment. Actually, it's the only hot-tub rental we found in town, and it takes a cool three grand to install your own. 678 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA .