Not to diminish the culinary efforts of consulting Greek-cuisine guru Diane Kochilas, but this hot spot is one chic meat market (and we’re not talking about the keftedes). Singles sip cocktails at the three-sided bar that dominates the industrial-inspired dining room. As the hour gets later and the Euro house beats thump harder overhead, sharply dressed twentysomethings are the biggest catch. 50 Northern Ave., Boston, MA 02210, committeeboston.com.
It may not have 24-hour lanes or the pervasive stench of stale beer, but Kings is nevertheless the city's premier spot for throwing rocks. Dim lighting, dozens of flat-screens, good music, and a menu of pizzas, sandwiches, and appetizers provide the needed backdrop, and sustenance, for some very heated matches—and should you find yourself spending a lot of time in the gutter, there are eight pool tables with which to salvage your sporting reputation. 10 Scotia St., Boston, MA kingsbackbay.com.
Decide to update from your Timex Indigo or last year's candy-colored Swatch? Alpha Omega has watches for people who have arrived (on time, of course). No need to settle for cliché—even Rolex offers a modern classic, the Cellini line, as well as the venerable Oyster. Each maker seems to display a singular character along with the hour: genteel Baume & Mercier, brazen Bulgari, obsessive Tissot, and precious Ulysse Nardin. 57 JFK St., Cambridge, MA .
Still rubbing your wrist on that magazine fragrance strip? Quelle catastrophe! It's all too easy—and only civilized—to spend hours in this tiny wonder shop, sampling the world's most exclusive fragrances (including matching soaps, spray deodorants, and body creams). Experts behind the counter, including a nose-in-training, will help you distinguish between floral, Oriental, chypre, green, and modern blends. There's also a color-coded testing system on the wall—making the search for a signature scent a fun experience. 49 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA .
Name a place—any place. Name it any time—even hours before you need to get there. Now toss in some tough-to-meet requests: You need a periwinkle blue Lexus waiting for you when you get there, say, or you want a meeting booked in Manhattan's most popular restaurant. Park Plaza Travel can set it up. All of it. The always-courteous, cost-conscious, and efficient, and staff is as fast on the draw and as detail-oriented as most companies get—probably yours included. 2 Park Plaza, Boston, MA .
Back in the Pre-Pandemic Era, the Chinatown stalwart’s stunning three-course Peking-duck feast required preordering 48 hours in advance. Now you can phone it in by 3:30 the day before. The epic spread includes hand-pulled noodles stir-fried with the shredded meat, a bone-broth soup, and, of course, house-made pancakes for making hoisin-moistened wraps with the (ahem) quack-ling crisp skin. 60 Beach St., Boston, MA 02111, chinakingboston.com.
At Adam Lantheaume’s two-hour workshops ($70 per person), you’ll learn stirring and shaking techniques, get schooled in proper mixology terminology, and prepare your own seasonal drink using quality cocktail equipment. You’ll also receive discounts on Boston Shaker purchasesand, with any luck, a gentle buzz. If you arrive early, Lantheaume suggests meandering a few doors down to Spoke Wine Bar (see right) for a pre-class nibble and swill. 69 Holland St., Somerville, MA 2144, thebostonshaker.com.
On nights when you need to make an entrance, make a pit stop at the Loft first. Miami-bred owner Michael Albor does gravity-defying updos and soft, luscious curls like no one else. More important, his looks are upscale, not uptight—meaning that after a few hours of cocktailing, dancing, and otherwise having a ball, your piled-up 'do will look even better than when you arrived. 253 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, theloftsalonanddayspa.com.
Fitzpatrick operates out of a tiny South End storefront (65 Berkeley St.) under the name Appleton-Berkeley TV. He charges a flat rate (either ten or fifteen dollars per hour, depending on whether your set is tube or solid state) and sells used TVs as well. "We're an established business," Fitzpatrick explains, "and for the ten dollars we charge, other shops may charge as much as sixty dollars." Appleton-Berkely TV, 65 Berkeley St., Boston, MA .
Our poor pores are no strangers to painful excavations, or to being smothered in flowery-smelling goo. That's why they haven't quit thanking us since we introduced them to Anne-Cécile Curot, spa director at Marc Harris's new Financial District location. A Bella Santé alum, this cheery Frenchwoman delivers what we once thought impossible: After an hour on her table, our complexion was the softest, clearest, and most line-free it's been since before puberty (and spring chickens, we are not). Better yet, her ultralight touch and gentle organic products from Rhonda Allison left us feeling blissed out, not roughed up. Salon Marc Harris, 125 Broad St., Boston, MA 2110, .
When most shoe-mending outfits say "instant," they mean "come back tomorrow" or "maybe next week." But at Downtown Crossing Instant Shoe Repair, a tiny stand in the Downtown Crossing T corridor (near the Orange Line northbound platform), we've been known to sit barefoot on a barstool while Steve Ismintsev resoles our riding boots and replaces our cobblestone-ravaged heel taps in a matter of minutes. Given a few hours, he can rescue vintage kicks that seemed beyond saving. "It was the best I could do," he'll say with a frown—and hand back shoes that look better than they did the day you bought them. 7 Chauncy St., Boston, MA 2111, .
The customer-service orientation of this new mom-and-pop (and son) store ought to be a model for others. We love the 24-hour movie-drop-off box and the drive-through pickup window. A popcorn machine (help yourself!) and pizza restaurant are in the same space. It delivers movies and pizza to your home, if you're lucky to live anywhere nearby. 87 High St., Danvers, MA .
Hair color is like a fine wine—richly layered and smooth. But unlike a delicious pinot noir, it doesn't get better with time (especially when it turns a shade too brassy, gray, or ashy). Laurel Elliot can take color that has soured and restore it to a resplendent radiance in under a couple of hours. Be warned that reserving a spot with her isn't easy. You may have to wait in line, but you'll do it with eager anticipation. 14 Newbury St., Boston, MA sassoon.com/.
Order it hot with butter, or cold with mayo. Either way, sizable chunks of lobster will overflow the warm brioche roll, leaving you to dig in with a fork before attempting to pick up any stragglers with your hands. Do not be distracted by the delicious, massive pile of accompanying fries; the sweet claw and tail meat is why you came—and why you waited an hour for a seat at this tiny gem. 63 Salem St., Boston, MA 2113, neptuneoyster.com.
No self-respecting Townie goes to this older-than-God tavern for the food. You go for the beer, the too-loud music, and the chance to see your cousin, your neighbor, your accountant, and your handyman getting a little sloppy over a fifth round of Sam Adams—sometimes all at the same table. Have a couple of cold ones, and the fish and chips will seem like four-star cuisine. 2 Pleasant Street, Charlestown, MA 2129, .