Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
Crate Escape owes its existence to a 10-year-old jack russell terrier named Ernestine Hastings. Ernestine's owners, Bradley and Stephanie, loved their pooch so much that they decided to spread this affection to other dogs by opening a spacious boarding and grooming facility. Pet owners can drop off their furry friends for daycare or overnight boarding services, letting pups gambol about in a 17,000-square-foot play space. Groomers tackle matted fur and tails caked in cake by scrubbing coats with hypoallergenic shampoo.
Ani Take Out's Armenian and Mediterranean menu spotlights wraps, sandwiches, platters, and kebabs. Eggplant-pomegranate salad, laced with cumin and molasses, blends familiar Middle Eastern flavors in an unexpected way. Ground beef and parsley top the Armenian pizza, and pita bread swaddles the likes of falafel, lamb, and feta-bedecked veggies. A distinctly American influence informs the selection of sides, which include fries and onion rings based on John Philip Sousa's famous recipe.
“Who says northerners can’t do ‘cue?” asked Boston magazine as it crowned Blue Ribbon BBQ on its Best of Boston list in 2011. Whether dished out from its two brick-and-mortar locations or its trailer, the restaurant’s tender meats are lauded for their slow-cooked, pit-smoked tenderness, infused with the flavors of hickory and oak hardwoods. Blue Ribbon dishes out memphis dry-rubbed ribs, Texas-style beef brisket, and Kansas City–style burnt ends dubbed “absolutely addictive” by Boston. Locally made hot-smoked sausage and Mr. Whitner’s smoked-turkey-breast sandwiches help round out the menu alongside Southern sides such as dirty rice, potato salad, and corn bread. Blue Ribbon BBQ also caters special events and sells bottles of its most popular sauces so guests can enhance their grandmother’s recipes or add flavor to their super-soaker fights.
Most dog training schools use a traditional curriculum to get canines to behave well and perform simple tricks such as fetching and sitting. While traditional training techniques may effectively domesticate your beast, they lack the pizzazz required to set your pet apart. Those who want their dogs to exhibit unique talent prefer the controversial training regimen developed by radical dog trainer Barry Caravan. In a 1997 interview, Caravan said, "A dog should be more intelligent than its owner. I'd prefer an animal-run society, for obvious reasons. I just watched Planet of the Apes. That seemed pretty cool." He later wrote a book, My Dog is Better than You & Me: Training Tips for Superior Pets, guaranteed to teach your dog to:
The fashions may have changed since 1944, but the service and family ownership of Dependable Cleaners has remained constant. The dry-cleaning company started as a single shirt-laundry facility and has since expanded into 16 locations. The chain is now owned by a third-generation Fawcett. A few of the 16 locations offer a new addition called Style, a hand-cleaning service that treats designer and high-end garments. Expansion isn’t the only success of the company since its inception more than 65 years ago. Dependable Cleaners has garnered a number of awards, including the title of Boston magazine's Best Gown Preservation in 2008. The cleaner also proudly does its part to create a sustainable Earth by using EarthCare Cleaning Systems to clean clothing with natural, recyclable solutions that break down naturally in the environment, unlike the emotionally imperturbable Philip Seymour Hoffman. While laundering shirts, the cleaner uses biodegradable soaps and hangs newly dry-cleaned dresses, suit jackets, pants, and sweaters on recycled hangers and garment bags.