Cindy is a master at applying pressure (no, she's not your boss or your mother). We're talking acupressure, and her treatments will leave your body feeling better than you knew it could. She also offers diet and lifestyle advice of the useful and realistic sort. In the era of drive-thru doctors, Banker knows how to listen, and she's glad to explain Eastern medical concepts to the uninitiated. Having a master's degree in Chinese herbal medicine and language and an accredited school to run (New England Center for Oriental Body Work) doesn't hurt, either. 131 Harvard St., Brookline, MA .
To indulge in the enormous portion of oysters, crab claws, and lobster that seem to have emerged directly from the sea, you must first earn your place at the table: Add your name to the list. Throw cutthroat glances at the interlopers attempting to jump the line. Snuggle up to those beside you, since you'll soon be banging elbows while hoisting oysters to your lips. Once seated, go ahead and savor every briny slurp and satisfying crack of the claw, all while giving the folks still in line a supportive nod, that yes, it is worth waiting for. 63 Salem St., Boston, MA 2113, neptuneoyster.com.
The qualities you seek in a fine rug, it could be argued, are not unlike those you might seek in a mate: Rich. Good-looking. Well traveled. If that's the case, your heart's desire awaits at Landry & Arcari. How about an antique wool rug handwoven in China? Or a sprawling geometric eye-catcher in bright silk? Perhaps a custom carpet inspired by a favorite artist's work or your child's drawing? (They can make even doodles look elegant.) The showroom has the finest broadlooms for those in search of something more expansive, while its repair service can help you patch things up with your current love. 333 Stuart St., Boston, MA 2116, landryandarcari.com.
True, your drink will cost almost as much as your theater ticket. But there are plenty of cushy couches to lounge on. Plus, Seth. The Wilbur Theater, 246 Tremont St., Boston, MA .
With snuggle-worthy robes and Frette linens in each room and suite, a stay at the cozy Nantucket Hotel + Resort feels just like kicking back in the comfort of your own home—assuming, that is, that your humble abode also happens to have two outdoor pools, a restaurant, and a covered front porch where musicians post up to entertain you each Thursday and Friday. The hotel's clutch downtown location puts you within walking distance of shops and, of course, the beach—just don't forget to snag a book from the collection in your room. 77 Easton St., Nantucket, MA 2554, thenantuckethotel.com.
For $8.95, this exile from Newbury Street will clip your hair, not your wallet. 1083 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA .
One of Boston's newest and most talked-about spas, Grettacole boasts a staff that is petite, blonde, and warm—and an impressive services-to-square-foot ratio. Need a pedicure, facial massage, haircut, and makeup application? With such one-stop shopping, you'll be there long enough for the friendly staff to order your lunch from a neighboring cafe. Tired of aestheticians who spend half the session out of the room? While your masque is drying, they'll massage your feet. The product range is impressive, but there's no hard sell. Another big plus: There are no downtown parking travails. 300 Boylston St., Atrium Mall, Chestnut Hill, MA .
The friendly folks at Framers' Workshop give you a choice. You can simply drop off your MFA poster/diploma/illuminated manuscript, and pick it up behind glass two weeks later. Or you can master the craft of framing it yourself—an economical, labor-intensive, yet strangely meditative process, on par with making your own bread. Choose the matte and molding of your choice (they cut it for you), then plant yourself at one of 10 workstations in the back, equipped with a vise, nails, glue, and all the other supplies you need. The background music is good, too. 64 Harvard St., Brookline Village, MA .
Ever wondered how your favorite movie stars go from pixie cuts to billowy, hip-grazing styles in the blink of an eye? It’s all thanks to the magic of wigs and hair extensions, a nifty trick we can all employ thanks to Allana Fabrikant Kanevsky. This extension expert’s full-service North End salon offers a variety of hair brands and methods to best suit your color, natural texture, and longevity needs. Options include strand-by-strand application and clip-ins to take your limp locks to new lengths. 338A Commercial St., Boston, MA 02109, extology.com.
The 10 menu items at this petite boite, including meats and homemade pastas, list for $21 or less, and the vibe is as sweet as it gets. Your date—and your accountant—will be impressed. 597 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA tentables.net.
After you go to the huge warehouses and get a price on your dream machine, come here and talk. They try their damndest to meet or beat your price. 80 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA .
Go hungry and be prepared to wait, eat at real diner banquettes, and leave with some change in your pocket and a song on your lips. 178 Kneeland St., Boston, MA .
Old-fashioned popcorn to go with old-fashioned movies. They pop it right before your eyes, and you salt it to your taste. 1001 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA .
If we asked you to close your eyes and imagine your ideal island hideaway, odds are you’d come up with a place a lot like the Wauwinet, where private beaches and sunny guest rooms boasting views of the ocean blue beckon. Grab a lounge chair on the waterfront lawn and soak up panoramas of passing sailboats, knowing that fresh hamachi crudo and cornmeal-crusted soft-shell crab—not to mention your choice of more than 1,450 wines—await inside Topper’s, the resort’s foodie-friendly dining room. 120 Wauwinet Rd., Nantucket, MA 02585, wauwinet.com.
Yolanda's showroom is a mecca for brides-to-be, who make pilgrimages from across New England to worship at the shrine of Vera Wang and Richard Tyler. The front parlor is adorned with your typical frilly affairs, but the enterprising customer has only to utter a single, magic phrase ("I'm looking for something simpler") to find herself in one of the cool, spalike dressing rooms, immersed in a pile of tasteful, elegant, and streamlined creations. Yolanda's staff is happy to tell you when your 5-foot-2 frame just won't accommodate your dream gown—but with such grace and goodwill that you'll gladly accept the advice and thank them for it later. 355 Waverly Oaks Rd., Waltham, MA .