Hidden in the parking garage of the Atrium at Chestnut Hill is this whiz with the sewing machine. Yelena, mother of Tatiana (as in Bridals by Tatiana), is the seamstress with the mostest. No alteration is too difficult or too hurried for her. We tested Yelena with a pricey Vera Wang gown that had to be refitted in 24 hours; the job included ripping seams, restructuring a bodice, and hemming a fitted-waist A-line skirt. The result: Not a thread out of place. 300 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA tailoringservice.com.
Embracing the mononymy of Cher, Prince, and Christo before him, Bridaa delivers an expert cut for $25—or about a quarter of what you'd pay at many a chichi salon. Soft-spoken and affable, the Moroccan-born barber creates an oasis of calm in a South End shop better known for its laugh-a-minute frenzy. He forgoes pleasantries in favor of genuine, unforced conversation. Or, if you prefer, he'll just shut up and give you a great cut for the price of an hour of downtown parking. 603 Tremont St., Boston, MA 2118, bladebabershop.com.
These days, salons need more than Kérastase products, a funky soundtrack, and an edgy interior to stand out. Kenneth Wildes sets itself apart with highly trained stylists who spend a full hour on each cut and know how to properly frame a face or fix flyaway layers. Owner Wildes specializes in razored short cuts so distinctive, regulars swear they can spot a 'Kenny' a block away. 9 Beacon Pl., Newton, MA 2459, kwsalons.com.
The waves that lap practically at the doorstep of this harborside spa can take decades to turn a shard of glass into a smooth, luminous thing of beauty. Good thing SpaScape's pros work faster. Armed with bespoke scrubs of sea salt and fine oils, seaweed wraps, and Maine mud treatments, they polish clients from head to toe in an hour or two, as the tranquil ocean vibe smooths out any rough-edged psyches. 3 Mill Wharf Plz., Scituate, MA 2066, spascapedayspa.com.
Finale has the whoopie down to a sweet science: Two palm-size triple-chocolate cookies sandwich a white-chocolate cream-cheese filling. The local dessert chain, which also bakes bite-size whoopies, has late-night hours and multiple locations, letting you take care of those cake-and-cream cravings at (almost) any time. 1 Columbus Ave., Cambridge, MA 2138, finaledesserts.com.
This refreshing addition to Chinatown has lots of blond wood, modern lighting, and great food. Start with the Penang Poh Piah (steamed spring roll) or Crispy Pork Intestines (you might enjoy this one more if you order in Malaysian). Vegetarian entrees—especially the bean curd—are terrific, as are the varied seafood selections. Late hours are a plus. 685-691 Washington St., Boston, MA .
It's three hours from Boston, but it also has the lasagna this side of Naples. Sal, formerly of Sal & Ciro's in Provincetown, uses homemade noodles, sausage, and hard-boiled eggs in his recipe; since he serves lasagna on Sunday nights only, until he closes for the winter at the end of September, you'll have plenty of time to budget calories in advance. 99 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA .
If Williamstown is the pro-totype for a picture-perfect country hamlet, its Pine Cobble Trail is the picture-perfect country hike. The wooded 4-mile ramble tops out at 2,100 feet and offers uninterrupted views of Williamstown, North Adams, and the taller and more touristy Mount Greylock. The moderate climb, steep at times, can be completed in two hours, but why rush? Come in September, and the surrounding hills will be ablaze with orange and gold foliage. Pine Cobble Road, Williamstown. Pine Cobble Road, Williamstown, MA 2167, .
Master puppeteer Basil Twist's adaptation of Stravinsky's ballet about a tragic love triangle among a clown, a ballerina, and a Moor managed to convey humanity and grace in the movement of Japanese-style marionettes. One compact hour long, it begged for repeat viewings from both kids and adults. Unique productions like this during ArtsEmerson's inaugural season have proven that this organization should be central to Boston arts for years to come. 559 Washington St., Boston, MA 2139, artsemerson.org.
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.
With Instagram-friendly candlepin lanes and lively, unfakeable old-school charm, the nearly 80-year-old Sacco's holds its own as the area's best. It's more than worth the hours'-long wait to play, especially if you come hungry (and thirsty): Flatbread Company mans two huge pizza ovens off to the side, complemented by an equally impressive beer selection. The crowds should thin—at least a little bit—when the pizza/bowling concept expands its good-time vibes to another location in Brighton this year. 45 Day St., Somerville, MA 02144, flatbreadcompany.com/sacco.
Despite draconian MBTA policy, the party continues until (or past) the witching hour at Lone Star, where chef Rian Wyllie slings tostadas and tacos until 1:30 a.m. Not only are his two taquerias the only places to catch a spaghetti western with a basket of freshly made chips and choriqueso, his grilled street corn—topped with cotija, cilantro, and chili-lime aioli—is also a surprisingly sound buffer for all the hooch that led you there in the first place. 635 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 857-285-6179; 479 Cambridge St, Allston, 617-782-8226. 635 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02141, lonestar-boston.com.
You might want to join this club for the parking alone. Where else can you pay $1 during peak hours for an indoor spot? New owners have done a complete rehab on the old Allston-Brighton Squash Club, which now pulls its weight with the other big-name clubs in town. To wit: acres of cardio machines, including the hot new elliptical walkers; brand new Cybex; free weights of every description; six squash courts; a huge aerobics studio (that doubles as a gym); and a dedicated spinning room with enough colored lights on the ceiling for a Broadway show. 15 Gorham St., Boston, MA .
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.
Bring them your frizz, your layers, your tired locks yearning to breathe free. This high-tech, low-key salon will liberate them. 306 Washington St., Brookline, MA .