Precious coffee is expertly brewed and measured at Voltage Coffee, which pours custom blends and premium chocolate concoctions into the cups of thirsty customers. The tasteful menu demonstrates the breadth of the store’s sippables, a roster that includes exotic creations such as the paper plane latte, which, like most actual planes, is powered by cardamom, rose water, and honey ($4 for 12 oz.). Three single-origin hot-chocolate drinks provided with tasting notes will please cocoaholics ($4 for 12 oz.).
The Griffin Museum of Photography was founded more than two decades ago to honor Arthur Griffin, a famous photojournalist whose work appeared in Time and Life, and who was the first photographer to capture baseball player Ted Williams and boxer Joe Louis in color. The non-profit museum is comprised of three galleries, one of which is solely dedicated to displaying Griffin's own photographs.
In the main gallery, rotating exhibits spotlight contemporary photographers that have included Peggy Sirota, known for her striking celebrity snapshots, and a selection of picture curated by NY Times Magazine director of photography Kathy Ryan. Up-and-coming artists take center stage in the museum's Atelier Gallery, while Griffin's pioneering photojournalism fills the Griffin Gallery.
The museum also hosts digital and night photography workshops, where you can master being on the other side of the lens. It also sells photo books and other merchandise, including black-and-white posters of Fenway Park and souvenir mugs.
Every year just before ski season opens, the Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo gathers representatives from the sport’s foremost gear manufacturers and destinations under one roof for deep discounts and an unveiling of the latest models. Visitors can slalom from booth to booth, where they’ll be able to check out shiny new skis by Völkl and Salomon, take advantage of season-pass discounts from resorts across the country and the Northeast, or practice their shadow puppetry while wearing gloves by Marker. Meanwhile, interactive exhibits invite audience participation, and live demonstrations aim to wow onlookers.
Now in its 32nd year, the 2013 Expo also includes a massive sale of East Coast Alpine skis and snowboard and a beer garden brimming with beer from Long Trail Brewing Co. Killington Ski Resort looks to regale guests with acrobatic antics during the Flying Aces! Trampoline Show, and WBZ News Radio plans to operate a Kids Snowpark and Learning Center where youngsters can get ready for the winter without standing in front of an open freezer for days on end.
The Paramount’s brightly illuminated Broadway-style sign in the Theater District has taken over the role of eye-catcher along Washington Street, now that the Filene’s infamous clock tower is no more. The space was originally opened as a cinema in the 1930s, but was forced to shutter in the mid-1970s, a time when the entire downtown area needed to be revitalized. In 2005, Emerson College purchased the building, renovated the interior and transformed it into the intimate 596-seat venue it is today. With large gold columns and artistically painted walls, The Paramount’s main stage stands out. But the facility also hosts nine rehearsal studios, four classrooms, a sound stage, the Bright Family screening room and two smaller performance spaces that host everything from comedians and dance troupes to more official theatrical productions.
Shopping has never been more interesting than it is at Shake the Tree. This unique boutique features a little bit of this and a lot of that, from beautifully scented candles and rich hand lotions to a collection of perfume from various designers. Hand-milled soaps and silk scarves stand out for their uniqueness, while wool hats, locally-made jewelry, contemporary dresses and leather wallets and handbags are also available, each set perfectly on a beautiful display inside the sunny shop. Gift ideas include Sriracha cookbooks for home chefs, leather totes for the modern fashionista and even stuffed animals for youngsters. Shake the Tree also hosts monthly cocktail parties featuring some of the designers, with food from area North End restaurants.
The chefs at 29 Newbury arrange fresh ingredients into artfully presented, gourmet cuisine for guests dining between crisp white walls or on the outdoor patio. Both the eatery's menu and the local art adorning its walls rotate with the seasons to incorporate the latest harvests and trends in art criticism. A starter of steamed clams and mussels prepared with white wine, chorizo, and garlic warms up palates for a pan-roasted entree of sesame-encrusted salmon, which floats atop a blizzard of snow peas drizzled with soy-sesame sauce. Warm lobster salad tosses together sautéed white beans with mixed greens, avocado, and basil-lemon vinaigrette. Patrons concerned with etiquette debate between dessertspoons and grappling hooks before spelunking into layers of 29 Signature tiramisu or sojourning through heaps of homemade whipped cream topped with seasonal berries.