H. Teller Archibald opened the doors of the first Fannie May in 1920, delighting the passing palates of Chicago’s LaSalle Street with exquisite chocolates that continue to tickle taste buds today. Though nearly a century has passed, Fannie May’s alchemists still rely on the same recipes as the first store, refusing to budge on quality even when faced with shortages during war times and the never-ending Gregory Middle School food fight of 1997. Renowned for sweetness and attention to detail, the chocolatiers’ treats stand as an institution of inventive eats, from the gooey pecan and caramel of their Pixies to the sunny, toasted-coconut-encased dark chocolate of their Trinidads.
Boston Flower Market's 3,000-square-foot herbology center is packed with the aromatic fecundity of spring's choicest specimens. An open storefront bathes the eye with rich colors that seem to radiate beyond the borders of their petals. While the availability of the freshest roses will always determine what colors are available, customers can anticipate a classic spectrum of vibrant red, white, and pink roses that stand elegantly in the company of yellow, orange, peach, and synaesthetic, a color that tastes like the number nine yet sounds like how cinnamon smells. All roses are prepared to handsomely fill a vase and turn a dining room into a well-groomed rose garden, though they tend to look best when delivered by mouth while swinging in on a chandelier.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Louis W. Mian cloaks counters, vanities, and fireplaces in flat, shiny garments made from different types of natural stone and tile. Shoppers can visit the showroom to seek out inspiration from artful displays of stone furniture or to arm themselves with hundreds of removable sample boards to beat back the Tupperware gremlins living inside their kitchen cabinets. All staff members have experience with natural stone and can help counter coveters pick from more than 200 material options, including 1.25" thick white Carrara marble ($39/sq. ft.), 1.23" thick absolute black granite ($45/sq. ft.), and week-old pizza dough. Prices for custom jobs vary, but cutting and materials for a countertop, vanity top, or fireplace usually costs around $29 to $50 per square foot.
Family-owned Flood Square Hardware offers a plethora of home-improving products and helpful services to ease minds and shorten lengthy to-do lists. Clear pipes of rent-dodging hairballs with Liquid-Plumr (one quart for $4.99), or grime-fight on the go with a wheeled trash barrel ($19.99). For giving walls fresh attire, Flood Square Hardware stocks Benjamin Moore paints. Handy rentals such as the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner provide ease of mind and peace of plush ($26.99 for 24 hours), scrubbing away dirt, dust, and embarrassingly cheap wine stains. Or opt for simple services such as a double-sided key copy ($2.85) to self-actualize lonely hide-a-keys. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable enough to help you plan out any project and find anything in the store, even if it’s lost hope.
From way off Broadway to slightly off-Broadway comes the Chicago-born phenomenon Flanagan’s Wake. One of the longest-running shows in Chicago theater history makes the jump to NYC by way of the intimate Sweet Caroline’s theatre. For $20, you'll get one ticket to the show, a $50 value. Your Groupon can be used at any performance you want, but not for stealing hats backstage. Choose between: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; or the Sunday matinee at 4:30 p.m. The runtime is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission, so regulate your liquid intake accordingly.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.