Ida Goldstein brings contemporary colors and lines to traditional Boston. 16 Munnings Drive, Sudbury, MA .
Even a lowly Toyota can sidle up to Kathleen Sullivan Alioto's Rolls-Royce here. Boston School Committee, 26 Court St., MA .
Bronson Alcott's utopia here failed, but the idyllic setting won't fail to please.
Call her the nail whisperer: Having notched 20 years on Newbury, Rak can tame even the scraggliest, most ill-behaved digits into a groomed and gleaming set. 38 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, .
Steep hillsides, storm-surge zones, and ill-placed parking areas are no problem for LeBlanc Jones, which relies on native plantings—not to mention a vast understanding of local terrain conditions—to create swoon-worthy gardens, terraces, and courtyards. Boston, MA leblancjones.com.
The Premier Restaurant, 1130 Washington St., Roxbury, remains this city's premier Jewish deli. One taste of its cabbage soup, kasha varnishkes or corned beef sandwiches (with Russian dressing and coleslaw) and Yassar Arafat would enlist in the JDL. 1130 Washington St., Roxbury, MA .
It has overcome the hotel bar stereotype—that of the elevator music-themed nightcap—and regularly packs in a crush of yuppies and guests. Dim lighting and Azure chef Robert Fathman's specialty liquors provide all the courage you need to sidle up to the eye candy from room 202. 61 Exeter St., Boston, MA 2116, citybarboston.com.
At the Ayurvedic Rehabilitation Center in Brighton, Loretta Levitz practices in the 5,000-year-old Indian ayurved tradition, which uses herbs and other means to bring the body into balance. Although she specializes in severe and chronic illness, much of Levitz's work is devoted to developing herbal, nutritional, and spiritual "lifestyle" plans for her clients. 103 Bennett St., Brighton, MA .
<p>The life span of most nightclubs is short, largely because crowd loyalties tend to change about as often as the Republican candidate for governor. Fortunately, however, that fact has always kept the city's impresarios on their toes. Local club owners know that to make it, they've got to make it happen. With clean sight lines and state-of-the-art acoustics. Or an interior that's as sleek as it is comfortable. Or a consistently solid lineup. Or the right kind of crowd.</p> <p>Club managers Sam Marcus, Robert Gregory, and Chloe Sachs have put together all those elements—under the same roof, no less—at Nightstage, an upscale Cambridge music room that opened a day after Hurricane Gloria, and with all the storm's gusto, last September.</p> <p>Six years ago, Sachs, a devoted fan of the Ann Arbor Blues Festival, sensed a blues revival coming and gambled on it. "Our basic love was the blues," says Sachs. "But we were tired of seeing the acts we wanted to see in such grody conditions."</p> <p>According to Sachs, the concept behind Nightstage, located at 823 Main Street, was "to create a comfortable and sophisticated space in which to hear the music we wanted to hear and to attract the kind of crowd we wanted to attract—namely, people in their middle twenties and older." Six years later the reality is exactly that.</p> <p>Although Nightstage—a two-level room coated in muted lavender, taupe, and gray with recessed lighting, wall-to-wall carpeting, and a mahogany bar—is arguably the best-dressed club in the area, its real success has hinged on the breadth of its nightly (except Monday) performance schedule.</p> <p>Since opening, Nightstage has attracted top names in blues (Memphis Slim, Sippie Wallace, Albert King), jazz (Sun Ra, Carla Bley), folk (Leo Kottke), Latin (Tito Puente), pop (Girls' Night Out), and bluegrass (Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys), plus local talents like the Screaming Coyotes.</p> <p>Says Sachs: "The best part of it all has been the diversity of the crowds and the music we've been able to pull in. We feel that culturally we have really given something to the city, and that's been incredibly gratifying."</p>
Boston is full of places to grab a beer, a greasy burger, or wings on the cheap. But for a brew and tasty bites that won't cause a morning-after food hangover, sidle up to a barstool—or cozy banquette—at Audubon Circle. The crispy duck salad with sage vinaigrette, the pork schnitzel with pickled onion, the chévre cheesecake—this is the kind of inspired fare that convinces you to sit back and order another Fisherman's Ale...and another. 838 Beacon St., Boston, MA 2115, audubocircle.com.
This gorgeously untarnished world of sweeping dunes and fresh Atlantic air is about as idyllic as nature gets. That may seem to be true of many Cape shorelines, but this one stands out from others for its spectacular and endless stretches of perfectly undisturbed white sand. With nary a touch of human architecture for miles, this slip of coast also provides a view of the sunrise that approaches the sublime. Rte. 6, Truro, MA .
The contagious only-in-a-karaoke-bar camaraderie at Charlie's has crooners of all ages forgoing television remotes in favor of their own version of American Idol. During the always entertaining Tuesday night ham-fests, gleefully off-key patrons cover everything from frizzy '80s power ballads such as "Don't Stop Believin'' to campy oldies like Peggy Lee's "Fever." There's no prize for the best cover at this diner-bar; thankfully, there are no incoherent ramblings from Paula Abdul, either. 10 Eliot St., Cambridge, MA 2138, charlieskitchen.com.
It's strange to refer to a 35-foot-tall sculpture as a "hidden" gem, but this bronze-and-copper marvel (originally created by Italian-Jewish sculptor Arrigo Minerbi in tribute to the Catholic order that harbored him during the Holocaust) seems to inhabit a world of its own from its hillside Orient Heights perch. Those who make the pilgrimage will be rewarded with breathtaking city views—and handy proximity to Belle Isle for an après-awe lobster roll. 150 Orient Ave., East Boston, MA 02128, .
This is where shoppers from both the 'burbs and Chinatown buy their lime leaves, shrimp balls, bok choy, and soy "pork," in a Star Market-sized store crammed with tidy isles of Asian goods. Bilingual signs and a friendly staff make 88 accessible to the uninitiated; 10 minutes of wandering, and you'll be ready to fire up the wok. No wok? Buy it here. 50 Herald St., Boston, MA .
This is the place to truly get away from it all. Located on the idyllic (and blissfully quiet) northern side of Nantucket, here you can indulge in an Atlantic seaweed wrap or wildflower-and-herb-infusedmassage at the spa, get refined with port and cheese in the library, explore the quaint town of 'Sconset on bikes, or simply relax on the hotel's private beaches. And if you're for some reason missing the crush of day-tripping tourists, you can hop the complimentary water taxi to downtown Nantucket. 120 Wauwinet Road, Nantucket, MA 2584, wauwinet.com.