Somewhere between the grunting at Mike's Gym II and the primping at Sports Club/LA falls Fitcorp's new Prudential Center location, which strikes just the right balance of sweating and socializing. At 31,000 square feet, it's Fitcorp's largest health club, and it's become the gym for those who'd rather not pay for the more upscale fitness-cum-spa experiences around town. With this gym's more than 100 machines (from treadmills to stair-climbers to recumbent bikes), yoga and aerobics classes, big-screen TVs scattered all over, and 10 p.m. weeknight closing, any excuse not to join sounds like just that—an excuse. Prudential Center, Boston, MA fitcorp.com.
A quick ferry ride from Straight Wharf drops Sunday gourmands at the Wauwinet, where the garden at the inn's restaurant, Topper's, isn't just for show. In the hours before the brunch rush, chef David Daniels (formerly of XV Beacon's Federalist) can be seen plucking herbs for his refined recipes, which include Wauwinet turkey hash, cinnamon-sugar beignets, and a Kobe beef-and-short rib burger. Elegant yet comfortable banquettes and sweeping views of Nantucket Sound have encouraged many a brunch-goer to linger; sometimes all the way till dinner. 120 Wauwinet Road, Nantucket, MA 2554, .
While the Metrosexual dithered over exfoliants and the GQ Dandy sweated his tie width, a new male animal was emerging from the sartorial ooze. Or so declared the Times of London this spring, coining the term 'Nouveau Lad' to describe he who embraces the 'stealth-smart' of eye-catching, long-lasting sportswear. Funny—he sounds an awful lot like Peter Mark Guy to us. Everything at this five-year-old outpost suits his knock-around handsomeness, from sturdy Agave tees and jeans to color-splashed Robert Graham button-downs and funky but functional Triple Five Soul hoodies. 10 Market Sq., Newburyport, MA 1950, .
In an era when there’s a boutique fitness studio for every day of the week and personality type, local mini chain Fit Revolution manages to offer one-stop sweating without the feel of a bland big-box club. Sure, there’s the latest equipment for gym rats and the now-standard hyper-luxe locker rooms. But there’s also boot camp, indoor cycling, yoga, barre, boxing, and personal trainers at the ready. Owner Michelle O’Connor even offers a program for would-be fit kids. Multiple locations. 23 Concord St., North Reading, MA 01864, fit-rev.com.
When you’re ready to escape to the Cape sans beach toys and boogie boards, book a stay at this 170-year-old former sea captain’s home. Overflowing with New England charm, the retreat is open only to guests 16 and over, and that’s just the way we like it. Tuck into a gratis breakfast, made fresh every morning with veggies grown right on the property, in the breezy sunroom; savor a meditative moment on the tree swing in the perennial garden; or just snuggle into the crisp Matouk sheets. If the goal is to break away from the daily grind, there’s no place better to do so. 364 Old Harbor Rd., Chatham, MA 02633, chathamgablesinn.com.
Named for a rare Piedmont grape, Charles Draghi’s Erbaluce is the rare 2018 restaurant that manages to do just about everything right without calling too much attention to itself. Maybe it’s the tucked-away Bay Village location, or, more likely, the fact that the veteran chef isn’t on Instagram and hasn’t tweeted in years, but is still in the kitchen night after night, churning out a soulful deep dive into northern Italian cooking, from wild boar meatballs that resemble breakfast sausage in the best way possible to an impeccable duck-egg-yolk carbonara with house-made bucatini. 69 Church St., Boston, MA 02116, erbaluce-boston.com.
With a lot of things having gone "poof" lately, it's good to have something tangible to hold on to—and even better if that something comes in high-thread-count Egyptian cotton, baby-soft cashmere, or even lamb nappa. Admittedly, the four-figure price tag on a sheet set from Milan-based Frette, that luxest-of-the-luxe bedding specialist that arrived on Boylston Street last year, might make one blanch, but the overall aesthetic of these wares is surprisingly restrained; the quality, downright uncompromising. In a time when most folks just want to go back to bed and pull the covers over their heads, the covers might as well feel this good. 776B Boylston St., Boston, MA 2199, frette.com.
Admit it: Even the inevitable grass, food, and spit-up stains won't discourage you from dressing your tot to the nines. And who can blame you? A trip to Lester Harry's could persuade every parent that the little pumpkin should be outfitted in the finest of European fashion: Bienvenue sur Terre shirts and tees, Marcel et Leon linen shorts, Lili Gaufrette sundresses. While you're at it, pick up a couple of sets of custom-tailored crib sheets. By the time you leave, you won't know what's cuter: your angel-faced nipper—or the store. 140 Washington St., Marblehead, MA lesterharrys.com/.
There are gyms, and then there are sports clubs. Mike's Gym II is unmistakably in the former club. And it's for neither the soft-hearted nor the soft-bodied; with seven rooms of equipment, no flab escapes this place alive. Weights and equipment are situated according to muscle group, so you don't have to hike to complete your workout, and there are plenty of aerobics classes and cardiovascular equipment to get your heart pumping. And if yours happens to be a softer heart, well, take note: Clients come to this South End spot to lift, and they look like it—shiny with sweat and muscled to the max. If you're easily intimidated, don't come looking for a boost to your self-esteem. 560 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA .
These days, "gym" is such a bandied-about catchword, people barely know what it means anymore. Well, we do. It means a no-frills establishment where people come to sweat, not be seen in Spandex or loiter over echinacea smoothies. Mike's, a South End staple, takes equipment seriously—in fact, we dare you to name an apparatus they don't have. Who cares about the lack of décor and amenities when there are seven rooms of machines, free weights, and cardio equipment? The clientele's chummy demeanor and the clean locker rooms make you feel right at home. Getting back in the habit? Just look around at the burly shoulders and pumped pecs for inspiration. 560 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA mikesgym.org/.
Let's be blunt: Kieron Reynolds kicks ass—literally, with a medley of cardio and strength exercises. In addition, his heavy brogue and constant quipping make the workout whipping a comedic treat. When Reynolds is not bolting around the room to check your form, barking an inspirational word, or holding a punching mitt in front of you, he doubles as a deejay and keep the place booming with techno tunes. If you haven't sweated enough during Reynolds' hour-long aerobics class, his 30-minute ab session that follows is sure to finish you off. 542 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA .
Too busy, too tired, too pale, too preoccupied hunting down errant sneakers...there are ample excuses to skip the gym. The trainers at Equinox dont want to hear it. Theyre toned, tough, and, when not in one-on-one sessions, inclined to roam the 40,000-square-foot gym handing out sweat towels and stretching tips. While the classes are choice and the equipment upscale (oh, hello, Kinesis machine!), a welcoming vibe is what gives Equinox a leg up on the more intimidating Sports Club/LA. Plus, the chains new Financial District location doubles the convenience, further cutting down on the excuses. 131 Darmouth St., Boston, MA 2116, .
For gym rats who take their sweating seriously, the Sports Club/LA is as type A as its notably toned clientele. Some 114,000 square feet of equipment, including more than 150 cardio machines, means rare is the occasion that you're forced to idle by the water fountain, waiting for Sweaty Guy to max out his half-hour limit; deluxe locker room amenities mean you can look just as good leaving the gym as you did going in. And a schedule of 120-plus classes a week, among them an average of 10 daily yoga sessions at the new MindBody studios, means there's instruction for every fitness (and coordination) level. 4 Avery St., Boston, MA 2111, thesportsclubla.com.
For implementing the cliché You Get What You Pay For. Contractors looking for speedily issued building permits reportedly had to pay cash to the appropriate bureaucrat.
Some couples just aren't black-type-on-ecru people. Enter Rugg Road, a shop chock-full of carefully chosen papers and paper accessories far more unique than formal. Distinctive options abound, including hand-pressed floral papers, silvery-hued sheets, and gampi paper made from a plant found in the mountains of Japan. The process of custom-designing your own invitation can be daunting, so the staff will assist at every step of the way, from helping to select the perfect font to cutting your paper to just the right size for laser printing. 105 Charles St., Boston, MA ruggroadpaper.com/.