Boston's answer to the Strokes was spawned at Northeastern when undergrad Jason Bergman joined up with three classmates (Timmy Miles, Jason Sibilia, and Jim Williamson) to form Camden in 2010. This rocking, Stones-influenced quartet has an impressive following at Great Scott, and a few self-pressed vinyl releases to its name. See them now, before they explode: They're in the studio working on a jazzier full-length album, expected to be released by spring 2013.
About every eight weeks, from September to June, the LVAC shows innovative, provocative contemporary work in all media by established and emerging artists, including the likes of Kiki Smith and Louise Borugeois. There are a total of three gallery spaces—more than 4,600 square feet—in this grid-patterned building, designed by MIT alumnus I. M. Pei in 1985. And the atrium, where a giant, colorful Kenneth Nolan painting sprawls across an entire wall, is by far one of Boston's most beautiful sanctuaries. 20 Ames St., Cambridge, MA .
Front Street's bar (260 Berkeley St., Boston) is a quiet, secure haven, protected by Horgan. A five-year veteran of the bartending wars of Boston and Cape Cod, Horgan knows his regulars and what they drink, and he protects their privacy. "This isn't a pickup bar," Horgan says. "People come here to relax. Single women come in by themselves and trust me to see they're left alone. People know that no one will bother them here." Front Street, 260 Berkely St., Boston, MA .
Last December, the Boston Marathoner went to the Globe with a sob story about how evil Bank of Boston was foreclosing on his happy Dover home to settle a bank loan to Rodgers's running-goods store. Lo and behold, four months later, Rodgers announced that the bank had given him a fair price on his home and had signed him to a personal-services contract. Hmmm.
The Massachusetts review editor for Art New England, he began reviewing shows for the prestigious Art in America about a year ago. Since then, he has gained a reputation as Boston's brightest reviewer and something of a cut following among artists and museum curators. (Honorable mention to Nancy Stapen, whose reviews in the Herald have raised the profile of the local arts scene.)
From their home at the Boston Center for the Arts, the folks at SpeakEasy manage to do it all, regularly hosting Boston and New England premieres, staging crowd-pleasing productions, and reaching out with socially conscious theater, including Allegiance, about a Japanese-American family held in a World War II internment camp. The upcoming season promises an even more engaging, eclectic lineup, with School Girls, a self-described "African Mean Girls play" about a boarding school in Ghana; The View UpStairs, a glam-rock musical set in a 1970s New Orleans gay bar; and a staging of the Tony-winning show Once. Stanford Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116, speakeasystage.com.
Sounds like virtue, tastes like vice: That's the MO of By Chloe, the quick-service vegan empire that's winning hearts, minds, and Instagram feeds with its sinfully sloppy portobello-and-seitan barbecue sandwiches. Don't be fooled by the Roald Dahl-grade whimsy (beet ketchup? kale ice cream?). In both taste and texture, these creations manage to soar over the uncanny valley where so many other faux meats have crashed and burned—our favorite being a smoky shiitake bacon that even shatters the way real bacon does. 107 Seaport Blvd., Boston; 100 Van Ness St., Boston; eatbychloe.com. 107 Seaport Blvd., Boston, MA 02210, eatbychloe.com.
One of Boston's newest and most talked-about spas, Grettacole boasts a staff that is petite, blonde, and warm—and an impressive services-to-square-foot ratio. Need a pedicure, facial massage, haircut, and makeup application? With such one-stop shopping, you'll be there long enough for the friendly staff to order your lunch from a neighboring cafe. Tired of aestheticians who spend half the session out of the room? While your masque is drying, they'll massage your feet. The product range is impressive, but there's no hard sell. Another big plus: There are no downtown parking travails. 300 Boylston St., Atrium Mall, Chestnut Hill, MA .
Bright lights, big sushi. These are Ginza's trademarks—even after Boston's bedtime. This Chinatown mainstay is open until 4 a.m. on the weekends, luring hungry night owls with plentiful portions and a frenetic table-hopping scene. Behind the sushi bar, chefs meticulously hand roll caterpillar and scorpion maki, while petite waitresses glide around in decorative black robes. The extensive menu lists sashimi, rice soups, noodles, and tempuras along with a well-chosen selection of beer and wine. For the ultimate Japanese sampler, try the Ginza Cruise. 16 Hudson St., Boston, MA ginza-boston.com.
Other CSAs (community-supported agriculture, or farm-shares) have more-convenient pickup spots or more-varied plans. But for produce quality, there's no beating Chris Kurth's Siena Farms in Sudbury, where he grows the most beautiful tomatoes and the tenderest greens you'll find anywhere. Kurth's wife, Ana Sortun, is one of Boston's best chefs (at Oleana) and weighs in on what to plant. And now that Kurth offers both a membership-style deal that gets you a discount at the farmers' markets and the traditional weekly box of produce, he's beginning to close the gap on convenience, too. 113 Haynes Rd., Sudbury, MA 1776, sienafarms.com.
We like our dance clubs sexy, and nothing's sexier than beautiful, sweaty couples twisting to Latin-flavored conga beats. Sophia's, which has that and more, is a sure-fire fun night on the town. Diners clamor for tables to sample tapas and sangria; on the dance floor, after the free beginner salsa and merengue lessons, the Saturday-night crowds burst into full-fledged dance marathons. The multilevel club also offers a choice of music, with live bands playing endless salsa on the first floor and DJs on the second and third floors spinning the hottest Latin hip-hop. For mellower folk, the roof deck provides an incredible—and romantic—view of Boston's skyline. Looking to meet someone? Come solo and you will. 1270 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
This pizza is not unlike many of the customers of the female persuasion who dine in the café at Louis Boston itself: high-maintenance, but, frankly, divine. To put a finer point on it, there's only a small handful of predetermined choices, they're expensive, and they don't reheat well. But after one bite of the fresh, free-form pies, you'll understand why we're hooked. The grilled calamari pizza is the standout, with its spicy sauce and tender rings of battered squid. But the arugula pizza, with its rich crust, tangy cheese, and peppery greens, will have you looking at salad in a whole new light. Being high-maintenance has its privileges. What else do you expect from Louis Boston? 234 Berkeley St., Boston, MA .
Al Jarreau's 1982 summer concert on Boston Common.