October 2009 Issue

New England's Best Small Towns

From mountains to shoreline, our region offers no end of burgs filled with postcard ingredients: gleaming church spires, warm old red brick, jewel-like town greens. The 15 best towns, though, have something extra—a certain flavor that offers not just great snapshots, but also a great escape.

Feature

Take Two

While owners looking to expand their home—or even simply to modernize it—may be tempted to rebuild from the ground up, these local case studies show how you can create a dream house (and keep the local zoning board happy) by thinking inside the box.

Top of Mind: Lydia Shire

Chef-restaurateur, Julia Child protégé, dieting foe, sports nut, Hub culinary icon, age 60, Weston

In the Shadow of Woburn

Twenty-five years after taking on the case of his life, and a decade after A Civil Action made him famous, Jan Schlichtmann is back in the spotlight—this time going after the Turnpike Authority in a half-billion-dollar lawsuit. But has he learned his lesson from Woburn? The jury's still out.

Billy Idol

As a TV host, radio sidekick, charity gala emcee, pop music DJ, car wash grand opener, and chili cook-off taster, Billy Costa has become an ever-present local icon, the Hub's pop-culture mascot. But as he approaches 60, one question remains: What makes Billy go...and go...and go?

Department

Rack Race

Reckless drivers and monster potholes won't keep Bostonians from biking. But not enough parking will.

A True Man of Boston

How the city shaped Ted Kennedy—and how he shaped the city.

Dispatch: Sex and the School District

Desperate to catapult its schools into the upper ranks, Arlington brought in a savvy businessman to be its superintendent. But then came the threats, and the raunchy e-mails, and the scandal that showed just how divided the town really is.

Restaurants

Dining Out: Il Casale

Raised on Italian home cooking, chef Dante de Magistris brings irresistible family flavor to his new restaurant in the 'burbs.