Attending a show here is not unlike sitting inside a gigantic inverted wedding cake. Three years after a painstaking $30 million restoration, the Opera House shines once again as the city's most opulent venue. As for the performances—whether flashy Broadway tours, big-name rock acts like the White Stripes, or Boston Ballet's Nutcracker—all seem to gain a bit of extra polish from this gilded Beaux Arts masterpiece. The 1920s proscenium mural alone is worth the ticket price. 539 Washington St., Boston, MA broadwayacrossamerica.com.
If you like vintage-inspired menswear from Ben Sherman and Rogues Gallery, you'll love Bobby from Boston, a time capsule of a boutique owned by world traveler Bobby Garnett. He specializes in filling his expansive South End space with collegiate sweaters, stadium hats, well-worn denim jackets, army surplus coats, and other goods you wish your grandpa had kept around. The reasonable prices suggest another era, too. Want more? Garnett also takes private appointments at his 5,000-square-foot storage warehouse in Lynn. 19 Thayer St., Boston, MA 2118, .
Although he would be the first to credit Doug Flutie as being an extra coach on the field.
Signs of authenticity in the book world: the musty smell of old paper and bindings; the creak of the wooden floorboards; a house cat lounging on the counter as if she owns the place. Add seemingly endless warrens of well-organized books and you have the prototype for the perfect used bookstore. Room after room has been organized here into such eccentric but irresistible categories as "Polar Exploration" and "Disasters." The store also offers recent releases and first editions. (A larger collection of rare books is in the company's 705 Centre Street branch in Jamaica Plain.) 908 Beacon St., Boston, MA .
This 230-room palace has bragging rights locked up, thanks to its flawless waterfront view from Rowes Wharf. The whole scene—billowing sails, bright blue slices of sky and harbor, and a breathtaking panorama of the cityscape—is straight out of a postcard fantasy (and will even make you forget the chaos of Big Dig construction out front). The interior views aren't too shabby, either: luxuries including a plush spa, gracious suites, experienced concierges, and a terrific restaurant. 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA bhh.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 .
Nothing says charming like this adorable restaurant, situated in a cottage complete with a garden of tulips. Once inside, you'll be sated by apps like delicate ahi tuna tartare with wonton crisps, and homey entrées like cod cakes with zucchini fries. The whole experience proves that sometimes, a book can be judged by its cover. 224 Boston St., Dorchester, MA 2125, 224bostonstreet.com.
This sparkling group of <bon vivants will lighten even the most mundane of occasions and bring a special kind of glitter to events which already have their own penache.
Courteous drivers and obsessive punctuality make Boston Coach's discreet gray sedans the Hub's best black-car service—as long as your employer is footing the bill. 151 Everrett Avenue, Chelsea, MA .
This annual series of dinners with the country's most noted winemakers is outstanding. The discussions are edifying, the wines have been wonderful, and the food is great. The Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA .
This is where to send tourists who don't know beans about Boston. 37 Union St., Boston, MA .
In five short years, Tony Ginewicz's firm has garnered a citywide following with its same-day service and knack for curing what ails all major brands. 66 Charles St., Boston, MA 2114, .
Not a single Massachusetts media organization—not even the Globe—challenged then-Superior Court Judge James McHugh's order to seal all the documents in the case of pedophile priest John Geoghan until a full year after McHugh was urged by the archdiocese to issue it.
Picking up where his predecessor, the estimable Joan Vennochi, left off, Bailey hasn't missed a beat covering the business-politics beat. On the contrary, whether he's writing about the Fleet-Bank-Boston merger, the Fenway deal, or the backroom maneuvering to bring the Patriots back to town, Bailey knows the game, he knows the players, and he knows the hidden agendas that make Boston such a grand place.