Last year, Q joined the exodus that has seen just about every cool band, club, and scene relocate north of the Charles. Leaving the South End, Q's owners took their two vintage sound boards, a Neve 8068 and a Trident 80Band, and headed for the burgeoning Davis Square. Along the way, they acquired the requisite computer gizmos and hired engineer/producer extraordinaire Matthew Ellard. Even with the plush lounges, oodles of classic equipment, clients like James Taylor and Aimee Mann, and infamous annual who's-who-in-Boston-music Christmas party, Q still remembers the little voices: Local bands are welcome with open ears. 363 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA qdivision.com/.
Thanks to James Joseph's new little sister, an affordable Newbury salon finally exists. Cuts start at $40, but it's worth springing for Michelle Lee's $50 stylings—they often outshine her neighbors' more expensive handiwork. 168 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, jamesjosephstudio.com.
The Yoga Studio's Barbara Benagh gets high marks for her gentle but firm approach to Hatha yoga. With more than 20 years under her belt, Benagh has built up a stellar reputation in the city. Watch out, though. Her beginner classes on Beacon Hill are often overflowing with new students. 74 Joy St., Boston, MA .
It's not just that stylists here can take your hair from bed head to pin-straight in a friendly flash—though that would certainly be enough. Nor is it only that you'll find an international dream team of products, from Kérastase to Bumble and Bumble to Kiehl's. It isn't even that the helpful, affable counter staff goes out of its way to avoid the fabled Hingham hauteur. It's the intersection of all of the above—which is precisely where you'll find Andrew Zona Studio. 65 South St., Hingham, MA .
Flowers, at their essence, are really just plain fun. And no one has more fun with flowers than Suphoj Chancheaw, who infuses each of his arrangements with a sense of effervescence and a clear appreciation for sculpture. Whether you opt for next-day delivery on a custom or pre-designed arrangement or join a floral workshop led by the master himself, you’ll find it’s easy to transplant Chancheaw’s passion for blooms into your own life. 769 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02118, bloomcouturestudio.com.
When the avant-garde salons of Newbury Street mistake overzealousness for creativity, only one man can come to the rescue: Antonio Vitale. You won't find posh ambiance here; Vitale revels in his tiny Kenmore Square studio's perfunctory décor and pretense-free atmosphere. Instead, come for careful, thoughtfully rendered hair coloring. The 29-year-old sixth-generation stylist started working with hair at 11 in his father's studio and came back to it after years of toiling as an artist. That's exactly what he still is—an artist layering subtle shades of color to tone down or brighten in all the right spots, fixing what has been put asunder and putting his clients at ease through every step of the process. 464 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA studioforhairboston.com/.
Energetic dancers, engaging repertoires. 1927 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA .
First comes love, then comes the wedding florist, who can singularly set the tone for your big day. Ensure a blossoming affair with Rose Mattos and Erin Heath’s ethereal bouquets and centerpieces, characterized by stunning foliage, fruiting branches, and local, seasonal blooms. Some of their recent floral feats include wrapping lush white flowers around a wooden archway, stringing garland on a vintage Volkswagen, and swathing tree branches in lace. foretdesignstudio.com.
1120 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA karmayogastudio.com.
Is it even an art class if they don’t come home with paint all over their arms and legs? This airy SoWa space is a haven for pint-size makers as young as 18 months. 71 Thayer St., Boston, MA 02118, minni.space.
As floral trends evolve, no one has answered the call for nature-inspired and greenery-infused arrangements like Rose Mattos and Erin Heath. From a windswept delphinium archway to a cascading bohemian-style bouquet, their organic pieces seem sculpted, not just assembled. In fact, you could say they take on a beautiful life of their own. foretdesignstudio.com.
Each week, director Liz Vance comes up with several new projects—from doll quilts to magnetic sculptures to homemade slime—and arranges supplies on tables in her studio. A helper or two is always around, but the tidy, colorful stations are so inviting, you'll likely find yourself up to your elbows in oobleck, too. 1776 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02140, muckykids.com.
Just when you thought fitness fads had reached their zenith, Helena and Brian Collins turned the notion of working out on its head. Forget long lines for treadmills, aerobic Amazons, and nightclub noise: Synergistics is a calm haven where trainers work one-on-one with clients. The Collins' approach to fitness uses sculpting, balancing, and strengthening programs in addition to Pilates, target eight training, and martial arts techniques. Brian is trained in the art of Huo Tuo Tui-Na, a massage therapy thought to alleviate migraines, lower back pain, and stress-related health problems. 9 Newbury Street, Boston, MA lifeinsynergy.com/.
It never gets old: walking up to what looks like a convenience store and entering through a door disguised as a soda machine, only to discover a boutique that by virtue of visiting makes you instantly cooler. All of the heavy hitters in streetwear are here, from Midnight Studios to Stone Island, plus some store originals: Don't miss the vintage sweatshirts with embroidery resembling paint splatters from local artist and employee Pat Peltier. Plans are in the works to open another outpost in L.A., though the jury's still out on whether it, too, will have a trick door. 6 Clearway St., Boston, MA 02115, bdgastore.com.
This locally owned studio leads the pack with top-notch amenities, including free shoe rental and impeccably clean locker rooms stocked with Aesop products. The various options—from super-sweaty hot rides to all-levels community classes—offer the perfect blend of cardio, core work, and conditioning. 101 Federal St., Boston, 617-951-9900; 50 Central St., Wellesley, 781-772-1920; bspokestudios.com. 101 Federal St., Boston, MA 02110, bspokestudios.com.