Kathy Van Patten's small private gym in the heart of Beacon Hill is the best home in town of the avant-garde exercise technique known as Pilates. An exercise trend since the early '90s, Pilates is actually a system of workouts that incorporates balance, posture training, and muscle toning; it is particularly favored by dancers and athletes for its effects on coordination. Van Patten is a trained professional who studied at the Pilates Studio in New York before opening her own studio five years ago. Her friendly demeanor, enviable physique, and mastery of the unique Pilates equipment ("the reformer" and "the universal Cadillac" are just two of the highly-specialized pieces) make her a stand-out. 12 Joy Street, Boston, MA bostonbodyworksstudio.com.
Cardiofunk, new exercise machinery, high-energy instructors, awesome sound, views of Copley Square. 561 Boylston Street, Boston, MA .
There is a personalized Nautilus program, introductory fitness testing—even physical therapists on hand to coordinate individual exercise programs. These folks really care. 1079 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA .
Third year in a row, and they've added to their fleet. Lewis Wharf, Boston, MA .
Five-day lesson plans with a fleet of 27-foot boats. Large enough to get a sense of sophisticated sailing, small enough for a novice to handle. 54 Lewis Wharf, Boston, MA .
Rumor has it, the strong java at this American-style café has found fans even among the traditionalists at nearby coffee-roaster Polcari's. 97 Salem St., Boston, MA 2113, .
Both have an exhaustive selection, well-organized and easily accessible. Boston; Cambridge, MA
Imagine rosé cascading down tabletop fountains during a springtime caviar "egg hunt." Silver platters loaded with watermelon at a rooftop pool party. Gin cocktails propelling raw oysters via an ice luge into partygoers’ waiting mouths. Memorable dinners are all about the details, something East Boston Oysters founder Alexis Cervasio knows all too well. The woman behind this secretive supper club—which anyone can snag tickets for by signing up for her email newsletter—isn’t just curating chefs’ dinners and corporate events, though the well-connected hospitality pro does both extremely well. She’s creating experiences worth shelling out for. MA eastbostonoysters.com.
With travel outside the state still a gamble, we’re lucky to have this riverfront resort casino right in our backyard, providing top-notch dining options; gorgeous rooms with marble-tiled bathrooms; and, of course, a Vegas-worthy gaming floor to those in need of a break—preferably a lucky one. The one thing this place doesn’t roll the dice on? Guests’ well-being, with reopening plans developed in conjunction with public health experts. One Broadway, Everett, MA 02149, encorebostonharbor.com.
Until we evolve beyond having hair in unwanted places, you can count on Tanya Kalissky to remove it. Like a secret password to enter an exclusive club, the master aesthetician’s name is whispered frequently on Boston’s party-circuit crowd, who count on her to make a typically unpleasant experience as painless as possible. How? By being both fast and meticulous, friendly but not too familiar. 235 Newbury St., Boston, MA safarboston.com.
Old World spirit mixed with New World magic: That’s the mantra of Boston Yoga Union, located in the former Back Bay Yoga space. In an inspiring environment that includes a tapestry in the lobby and a 300-year-old carved archway imported from Rajasthan, India, in one of the practice rooms, co-owners Emily Tevald and Tim Kelleher provide instruction that’s both relatable and empowering for all skill levels. 1112 Boylston St., Boston, MA bostonyogaunion.com.
Hire Boston Common Band, and they’ll treat you to a private concert. Watch as the lighting crew heightens the energy in the room with orange and red fixtures, and while the sound team keeps the music playing with state-of-the-art technology—all in the name of ensuring the eight-member group can focus solely on their music. Able to belt out anything from Adele to Queen, the band can even work with hometown hero Keytar Bear—available by request for cocktail hour—to start the evening on a high note. 290 Needham St., Dedham, Massachusetts 02026, bostoncommonband.com.
If you’re on the gala circuit, you know that the similar guest lists can make it feel like one big night on repeat. But this year, with a vivacious crowd (perhaps thanks to first-time co-chairs Charles Carignan and Michael Cerruti), the Boston Ballet Ball stood out—particularly for its stunning preview of Full on Forsythe, by legendary choreographer William Forsythe, a whole month ahead of its opening at the Opera House. How’s that for a night to remember? bostonballet.org.