There’s plenty of good theater in Boston, but if you want to see something really innovative, chances are you’re going to the Huntington. Its most recent season included a production of a Sherlock Holmes play melded with Fujiko Nakaya’s wildly popular outdoor fog sculptures, as well as the brilliantly staged Indecent. The company has also proven it can attract—and retain—big names: Pose star and Met gala trendsetter Billy Porter will be returning this fall to direct The Purists. We can’t wait to see what the Huntington thinks of next. 264 Huntington Ave. , Boston, MA huntingtontheatre.org.
When Lana Barakat decided to rethink her two Beacon Hill clothing-and-gift boutiques, she envisioned one store catering to home décor and another specializing in apparel and accessories. This divide-and-conquer strategy created more room for something Boston has been sorely lacking: high-end women’s footwear. Handcrafted by European and American designers, Barakat’s collection includes everything from metallic leather boots with an offset heel to cheetah-print loafers to sneakers with a velvet knot tie—perfect for navigating the cobblestones in style as you stroll up Charles to check out what other treasures await at the December Thieves home store. 51 Charles St., Boston, MA decemberthieves.com.
When the Liberty opened last winter in the old Charles Street jail, following a $150 million building renovation, it was met with the requisite jokes about white-collar inmates and doing time in the Clink (one of the hotel restaurants). Penitentiary puns aside, the 298-room hotel has raised the bar for Boston accommodations: Its 24/7 fitness center, dining, and concierge services are all first-rate, and the rooms—exposed brick walls, Molton Brown toiletries, VoIP phones—are eminently comfortable. The magnificent vaulted lobby is worth a visit in itself. 215 Charles St., Boston, MA 2114, libertyhotel.com.
When your abode has become inhabitable, call on this Boston-based cleaning service for quick, friendly, and professional help. Founded in a small Beacon Hill storefront 10 years ago, MaidPro now keeps houses spick-and-span here and in 10 other states. With its 49-point checklist (are the baseboards clean? Lamp shades dusted?) there will be no surface left uncleaned. of all, MaidPro's team is well versed in the art of straightening, rather than putting away, so that all of your belongings will be exactly where you expect to find them—only neater. 180 Canal St., Boston, MA maidpro.com/.
Nicholas Penna's cuts are like Zac Posen's best dresses: sharp but with great movement, clasically shaped, flattering, and tinged with modern touches. And like Posen, Penna is full of promise. The 30-year-old has already won the Guillaume Award in Berlin for his styling (putting him in the company of such names as Vidal Sassoon and Anna Sui), and he snips, razors, clevates, and layers like a rock star. Even so, Penna is one of the most laid-back personalities in the Boston style world, so you can count on a refreshing lack of attitude, and a heartening plenitude of talent. 31 Lincoln St., Newton, MA saloncapri.com.
Open year round, Verrill's is the kind of farm stand where you can find every single ingredient you'd need for a last-minute gourmet party. Which is why visitors often find themselves elbow to elbow with famous Boston chefs choosing the best of the crop from the rows and rows of crisp, fresh-picked local produce. In addition to fruits and vegetables, the stand also stocks gourmet supplies including imported olive oils, fresh breads, seasonings, and pastas, while the on-site deli offers cheeses, soups, sandwiches, prepared dinners, and freshly baked desserts. The wide and stunning selection of flowers means your table will look as fresh as your meal will taste. 11 Wheeler Rd., Concord, MA verrillfarm.com/.
With so many excellent Irish pubs in Boston, it's tough to stand out. The Pig, however, is where to go when you want to feel both at home and 'back home.' Proprietors Sara Cole and Diarmund O'Neal are Irish nationals who honed their barman's craft at local institutions like J. J. Foley's, and after 12 years, their Mission Hill establishment retains a homey charm. Save for the Pig's remarkably good bar food, it's the closest you'll get to a Dublin pub without a plane ticket. 134 Smith St., Boston, MA 2120, .
If you follow the Boston music scene, you already know you can find your favorite up-and-coming rock stars on an almost weekly basis at T.T.'s, the intimate, gargoyle-adorned Central Square club so important to the rock circuit that it might as well be the living room of the local music community. T.T.'s perfect rock club layout lets you skip the opening act and still catch the headliner—or vice versa—while playing pool or hanging out at tables away from the stage, thanks to speakers that let you actually carry on conversation. 10 Brookline Ave., Cambridge, MA ttthebears.com/.
With album titles like Valentine Heartache, you wouldn't think Boston lesbian cult singer Melissa Ferrick was the gushy romantic type. But her powerful acoustic melodies and seductive, throaty voice regularly whip concert audiences—at venues from Avalon to Club Passim—into frenzies of agitated estrogen. You can bet that more than one swooning girl has taken her up on the offer when she's sung: "Grab the hand of the person standing right next to you and show them we are not afraid of who we are...." MA
The Minuteman Bikeway may seem the obvious choice for bike enthusiasts, but it's too straight for our taste. A good bike path needs some twists and turns, with long, empty stretches of solitude and glimpses of the city skyline. Only the Esplanade provides all that. The paths along the Charles River in Boston and Cambridge are usually so packed they require complete attention, but once you reach Newton and Watertown, the ride is all yours. The stretch? Watertown Square, where you glide over wooden bridges, swoop under low-hanging trees, and, for a few wonderful, brief moments, hear nothing but the crickets and the whir of your pedals. MA
Our New York friends won’t let us forget it: Boston doesn’t exactly abound with traditional Jewish delis. Even Manhattan, though, would be lucky to have Michael’s, which epitomizes everything you’re looking for in the deli experience — namely, sandwiches with meats stacked high enough to crack your jaw, bitingly sharp horseradish, and a hint of something green (and probably pickled). Remember to order a side of latkes for your mom, then stand aside and wait for your name to be yelled. Ah, yes! That feels just right. 256 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 02446, michaelsdelibrookline.com.
The Netflix treatment of Sean Ellis’s wrongful conviction and ultimate exoneration in the 1993 killing of a Boston police officer is both triumphant and infuriating, exposing cracks and rampant corruption in the criminal justice system that put him away as a teen. The eight-episode series also gives a major platform to familiar voices in the city, like GBH’s always excellent investigative reporter Phillip Martin, and introduced the world to Rosemary Scapicchio, the no-nonsense local attorney with an unforgettably spiky platinum-blond hairdo who spent years fighting to set Ellis free.
Since Idle Hands arrived early into the Boston area’s craft-brewery explosion in 2011, times have certainly changed: Plenty of other makers have joined the game, and you can now find a juicy, locally made IPA on every corner. But founder Chris Tkach continues to set the pace by adding trendier brews, such as the Kill Your Idles sour beer series, to a lineup distinguished by exemplary European styles. His flagship hop bomb Four Seam, meanwhile, is still one of the best hazy IPAs around. 89 Commercial St., Malden, MA 02148, idlehandscraftales.com/site.
Carri Wroblewski and Klaudia Mally founded Brix in 2003 on a radical idea: that inventory should be determined not by household-name popularity or distributor pricing windfalls but the owners' discerning tastes. Apparently, believing in every last bottle on your shelves wasn't a bad business model, as evidenced by their expansion to two additional locations, and by the city's patiently groomed taste for high-toned Burgundies, off-the-oaken-path Italians, and deep-track rosթs. Multiple locations. Correction, June 26, 12 p.m.: In the July issue of Boston, Carri's name was misspelled. We regret the error. 1284 Washington St., Boston, MA 02218, brixwineshop.com.
Moving in Boston is a special kind of hell. Just ask anyone who's dragged a hand truck over Beacon Hill cobblestones, squeezed a couch through a twisty Somerville stairwell, or extracted a piano from a South End brownstone. It pays, then, to enlist a mover with a deep knowledge of the city and all of its U-Haul-destroying perils. Enter Dorchester native Kamaul Reid and his crew, who've been racking up rave reviews for their meticulous work since 2009. Not only will they move that piano for you—they'll do it with a smile. 41 Bailey St., Boston, MA 02124, bostonraremovers.com.