Kids? Reading? Ha. Pass the remote. Fortunately this Porter Square independent publisher and bookshop still emphasizes literacy and creative storytelling, matching up unequaled illustrations with cross-cultural tales to create award-winning titles such as The Gigantic Turnip and the celebrated My Daddy Is a Pretzel. In-store craft sessions, sing-alongs, and community store hours further the case for imagination—no batteries required. 1771 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA barefootbooks.com/.
High-end tuxedos by Matteo Mass and Denise Hajjar as well as standard lines like Ralph Lauren and Perry Ellis. This place rents tuxedos to celebrities like Ted Danson, as well as various and sundry Celtics and Patriots. Didn't realize it was a black tie event? In a pinch, it'll get you tuxed in a few hours. 249 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
In some stores you search for hours for a decent title. In others, like City Video, you instantly strike gold. Maybe that's because its shelves aren't stuffed full of 6,000 copies of lame summer blockbusters, but instead feature an overwhelming and diverse selection of cult movies, foreign films, and classics. If you do get stuck, the literate staff bubbles with picks and suggestions. Take advantage of the "Two-for Tuesday" offer to help the week pass that much quicker. 23 White St., Porter Square Shopping Center, Cambridge, MA .
Few pedicures truly exfoliate tired, rough feet; even fewer actually redeem them. The capable hands of Claudia Grimaud can do both. The kindly, experienced Brazilian has earned a justifiably devoted following since opening her sunny spa last year. The reason is clear: her talent for banishing calluses, whisking away rough spots, unearthing shiny and soft new skin, and finishing a perfect polish in under an hour. 115 Lewis Wharf, Boston, MA .
Sushi restaurants these days often look like futuristic temples, and the newfangled rolls they serve are themselves elaborate works of architecture. So it may seem surprising that a cramped 13-seat spot with nightly hour-long waits continues to inspire such reverence. And then you taste the fish: buttery baby hamachi scattered with slivered jalapeño; a teacup full of creamy Kumamoto oyster sashimi; and, for timid eaters, stellar samples of standard tuna and salmon. 612 Hammond St., Chestnut Hill, MA 2467, oishiiboston.com.
True, many happy couples found their love in the Ralph Lauren paint department of Homo Depot—er, Home Depot. But Sunday morning Mass at the Jesuit Urban Center spawns more blessed pairings. The Urban Center's liturgy is both classic and contemporary; its mixed congregation is mostly gay; its AIDS and HIV support programs are some of the in town; and its coffee hour is a great place to get phone numbers. 775 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA .
If Chuck E. Cheese is for country mice, this place is definitely for city mice. A longtime (since 1959) magnet for neighborhood families, it boasts 44 bowling lanes (30 ten-pin, 14 candlepin), 12 billiard tables, 80 video games, a free indoor playground, and tasty pizza. It's also open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so it draws its share of singles, too. 820 Morrissey Boulevard, Dorchester, MA .
From eggs, home fries, and pancakes to the turkey club piled with crispy bacon, the 24-hour South Street Diner nails the classics, then ups the ante with plates like chocolatey French toast and fried pickles (not together, thankfully). With Nitzer Ebb and Passion Pit on the jukebox and mimosas available until 1 a.m., we love South Street for the same reason we love Boston: It's steeped in tradition, but never short on quirk. 178 Kneeland St., Boston, MA 2111, southstreetdiner.com.
With a brewery, distillery, and winery all surrounding one chill courtyard, this is the perfect place to while away a few afternoon hours on the Grey Lady. Sip a Summer of Lager, slurp oysters (if you're lucky enough to catch the occasional raw bar), and play cornhole, all set to live tunes played by local musicians. Bonus: It's located off the new Hummock Pond Road bike path, so you can safely coast there and back to town. 5 Bartlett Farm Rd., Nantucket, MA ciscobrewers.com.
Planning a back splash in your kitchen? A mosaic in your bathroom? Tiling your entryway or looking for flagstones for your patio? The selection might be overwhelming, but the consultants are adept at navigating you through the many lines such as Country Floors, Grazia, Emil Ceramica, and Tagina. They'll also help answer any design questions. 1 Design Center Place, Boston, MA .
Sure, go ahead, get your pants shortened at your local cleaners. But if you have a more challenging job, why not entrust it to someone who understands complex clothing construction? Boonsom Pasooktham, of Bonnie’s Boutique, was trained in pattern-making, and while she can shorten, nip, or tuck your duds, she can also make just about anything from scratch. Which means, of course, that if you were so inclined, your tailor could also become your own personal designer. That’s an option we think is worth exploring. 43 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 2445, bonniesboutiquema.blogspot.com.
Do you know if your left scapula juts out farther than your right, or if your right hip rides higher than your left? Kathryn Van Patten will know. While many Pilates instructors drag their clients straight to the "Cadillac" or the "Reformer," Van Patten—an ex-ballerina with top-level certification—does a complete body check to see how she can balance out all your "idiosyncracies." Then she drags you to the Cadillac and the Reformer. of all? Her studio is in a beautifully appointed Beacon Hill townhouse. 12 Joy St., Boston, MA bostonbodyworksstudio.com/.
Anyone who's been over-processed to a disastrous shade of orange can appreciate Sullivan's careful approach. He'll be honest if your chosen color won't suit you or your hair, and he'll guide you through highlights, lowlights, and permanent color to find your hair solution. Besides perfecting your shade, his treatments enhance the shape, texture, and condition of your 'do.
When you work with Caitlin Spaulding, you won’t just get custom wedding invitations—you’ll send out one-of-a-kind works of art. Whether she imagines your wedding venue in watercolor on your envelope linings or depicts your love story in a colorful illustrated map, the footwear designer turned stationery guru understands the impact of personal touches. Her talents go way beyond invites, though: She can also carry your design vision through to your save-the-dates, place cards, menus, programs, signage, and more. wouldntitbelovely.com.
This Central Square pub's many TVs play the Sox, the Bruins, and NFL games, depending on the time of year. But its true draw is football—the non-American kind, that is. Soccer fans crowd the Phoenix Landing's tiny space to watch Premier League matches during the weekend's earliest hours—especially those who favor Liverpool FC—thrilling in each goal while tucking into Jameson pancakes with a side of cider. 512 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, phoenixlandingbar.com.