A word to bosses of the nineties: if you can't give your staff raises, let them eat cake. This outfit will deliver a party—including balloons, noisemakers, napkins, and a scrumptious golden or chocolate cake—to your office doorstep. 8 Park Plaza, Room 174, Boston, MA .
Ona cold winter's day, when the city crowds wear at your nerves and your psyche cries out for stillness, slip into this serene cafe and order a lemon scone and a "pot of hot chocolate." 85 Newbury Street, Boston, MA .
Common-wealth copped five Sigma Delta Chi awards this year—not bad for an eighty-page, four-color magazine that grew out of a four-page newsletter. Just think what we should expect from the Globe. Boston University, Boston, MA .
Boston's three-mile walk through America's history. Start at the kiosk near the Park Street subway station. Don't miss the USS Constitution, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House.
Not since Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker's first date has understated elegance sat so close to attention-grabbing glamour. The frocks at Serenella—meticulously cut, pressed, and hung—are a whirlwind of sophisticated designs. Start with the impressive collection of European imports: whimsical Moschino ensembles, sexy Blumarine pieces by Italian designer Anna Molinari, and a sunny lineup of Roberto Cavalli gowns in saturated colors that will steal your heart (if not your paycheck). Your sensible side will be seduced by Narciso Rodriguez's latest lean looks. The compilation is so artistic, it even pulls in hard-core Pucci collectors, ardently looking for the Next Big Piece. As for the rest of us, we're just happy to wear the stuff, which we do whenever the evening calls for something special. 134 Newbury St., Boston, MA serenella-boston.com/.
The long, winding boardwalks and grassy dunes at Crane Beach can magically readjust the tired mind of even the most citified creature. After sinking your toes into the beach's soft white sand, you may decide to trade in your power suit for a bathing suit—permanently. Bird lovers, bring your binoculars—Crane is home to more than 200 aviary species, including wild turkeys. Getting there a problem? For those without wheels, take the commuter rail to downtown Ipswich, and then bike five miles to the beach. For those who drive: Stop to go antiquing in nearby Essex on the way. For kids of all ages: Don't miss Crane's annual sand-sculpture competition on August 12. Beach amenities: ample parking, refreshments, clean bathhouses, and outside showers. Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA .
Finally, a lash enthusiast who also cares about your eyes. While applying lashes one at a time, Allie Tuminelli insists on taking breaks to let your peepers rest. During the downtime, you’ll examine her work together, letting her add as needed. The result: fuller lashes, with less discomfort. 551 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116, vegavitality.com.
This is your parents' jeweler—in fact, it might even be your grandparents'. Dorfman is still the kind of place where you go for serious baubles with a touch of high drama, plus subtle and sophisticated pieces from Bulgari, Patek Philippe, and Van Cleef & Arpels. Expect service of the old-school variety: classy and courteous. 24 Newbury St., Boston, MA dorfmanjewelers.com/.
Painting your next masterpiece starts here. Blick has a deep selection of everything you'll need, plus folks behind the counter who are artists themselves—meaning they'll be delighted to expound on the differences between papyrus and parchment, suggest the best brushes for your buck, and point you toward the perfect frame. 401 Park Drive, Boston, MA 2215, .
Where else can you satisfy your craving for the latest magazine about fly fishing, your favorite foreign commentary, or the current issue of Bus World? With more than 4,000 magazines and 500 newspapers, foreign and domestic, this tiny space has been a window on the world since 1955. Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA .
Your trusty auto deserves some proper pampering, and the friendly staffers at Allston Car Wash are happy to oblige. Choose from the extensive menu of services, then watch as your vehicle is whisked away for a rigorous vacuum and a thorough scrubbing in the automated washing tunnel before getting dried lovingly by hand. 434 Cambridge St., Allston, MA 2134, allstoncarwash.com.
You can find any item of clothing—cheap!—in this warehouse filled with has-been fashions and disquieting decor. Visit the Dollar-A-Pound level on weekends (where the floorboards are literally strewed with clothes) to remind yourself what your room looked like in your teens. Kids' clothes and costumes galore, as well. 200 Broadway, Cambridge, MA .
She spends so much time on your nails you'll think you're her only client for the day. Grimaud pampers you with a soothing hand massage and expertly takes the rough edges off your talons. Most important, her multicoated polishing will take you through a week and then some. 9 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
A star among dance schools for four decades, Joanne Langione raised the bar even higher last year by opening a 10,000-square-foot facility complete with four modern studios. Many alums have gone on to careers in professional dance companies. 38 Border St., Newton, MA 02465, jldancecenter.com.
When your project calls for more than a coat of paint, Arteriors dials up the drama. Whether you envision a metallic-infused ceiling finish or a custom mural in your playroom, the Natick-based business comes prepared with designer paints and plenty of know-how. 45 Lakeview Ave., Natick, MA arteriors.net.