It all started with a deflated basketball. Though longtime friends Mike Kennedy and Eric Martin scoured downtown Boston for an inflating needle to fill it, no shops in the area carried one. They were frustrated—and they realized that other Bostonians looking for athletic gear were likely frustrated too. So in 1983, they opened City Sports, a shop stocked with all the footwear, athletic apparel, and sports equipment that the metropolis had been missing.
Nearly three decades later, Mike and Eric's neighborhood business has expanded to 20 shops across the East Coast. In addition to stocking popular brands such as Vibram, The North Face, and Patagonia, the store engineers its own CS by City Sports line. Shoppers include yogis, cyclists, and tennis players—anyone seeking to outfit active lifestyles, whether they're playing a team sport or braving the hike up the world's largest gumdrop. In addition to footwear and apparel, the staff stocks fitness equipment such as kettlebells, lifting gloves, and dumbbells.
Amaryllis offers a bounty of limited-edition, handcrafted jewelry, featuring the sparkly creations of lesser-known artists and local artists, such as Karen Clark, Zoe Chicco, and Mark Edge. Peruse the daily-changing selection of necklaces, sets of earrings, or home adornments inside Amaryllis's sleek, 500-square-foot studio. Bangle bracelets ($18+) and glass necklaces ($12+) make for classy dermal decoratives, while giftables, such as a hand-painted picture frame ($58.50) or a Baggallini purse ($40+), are appropriate for birthdays or Labor Day. Amaryllis’s warm and knowledgeable staff makes it a priority to ensure customer satisfaction, going to great lengths to hunt down unexpected jewelry gems.
South Moon Under is an upscale retailer that offers an eclectic mix of clothing and home décor for fashion-savvy shoppers. Browse digital or physical shelves stocked with brands and designers including Marc by Marc Jacobs, French Connection, UGG, and more. Women's apparel includes stylish staples such as Michael Stars v-neck tees in a rainbow of season-flattering hues ($49.75), and menswear includes shirts such as the whimsical Topo Ranch tour bus tee ($39.50). Undercover princesses can peruse jewelry adornables such as a bow-bedecked Floral bracelet, sure to punch up colorless ensembles and add color to ensemble punch parties ($38). Present the ideal present with a prettily practical Vieta whip-stitch saddle bag ($49), or accessorize homes with touches such as an Illume monogram votive, ideal for a thoughtful personalized gift for anyone who still spells their name using the alphabet ($12).
Urban Chic is a contemporary clothing boutique that keeps one finger on the pulse of brand-new trends and the other sleeved in established brands. Citizens of Humanity, Shoshanna, Paige Premium Denim, Joe's Jeans, Trina Turk, Susana Monaco, and more can be found hanging around on the racks and shelves in the stylish shop. Achieve a sleek look by sheathing walking sticks inside Citizen of Humanity's Avedon Skinny Leg jeans ($185), wrapping torsos in a MinkPink parallel-lines top ($55), or swaddling shoulders with an Urban Expressions' Antonella bag ($63). Let the boots do the talking with Hunter Original Gloss boots ($125) or keep your head firmly attached with a warm and secure Shawlsmith Dune scarf ($38).
It's not every day that online shopping includes as much personal attention as you get from Stoneside Blinds. In most areas, their online-shopping process starts off with a free house call from a designer, who helps clients pick out materials and styles for their window dressing. Once the client has made their choices, the company will send out teams to measure the window frames and, later, install the final product for a flat fee. Their handiwork, and the blinds themselves, are backed by a rigorous guarantee that lets customers change their minds within 30 days and safeguards against defects up to a year later, so customers never have to cover up faulty blinds with a poster of their backyard. The only online part of their signature process, really, is placing the order. Minutes after the order is placed, the team at the production warehouse gets to work making it a reality, whether it's roller shades in a custom fabric, sleek solar shades, or classic wooden blinds.
Each suite at the Brookshire Suites contains a bedroom and a separate living room furnished with a sofa and oversized desk, providing you with all the amenities that come with the territory and none of the tigers that guard it. Along with fresh bathrobes, you can use a complimentary pass to work out in the nearby MAC Wellness Center, a world-class health club with more than 60 cardio stations, five pools (not stacked unvertically), four squash courts, a sauna, and a variety of yoga, Pilates, and spinning classes in six studios. Type-A guests who like to multi-task will enjoy full access to Brookshire Suites' business center, high-speed Internet, long-distance calling, and complimentary Bible and phonebook (don't mix them up). You'll also be steps away from Harborplace, home to many of Baltimore's finest waterfront restaurants, attractions, and hotspots. Come the dawn, you can load up at the Cloud Club's full breakfast buffet before heading home.