From the hallowed field at Fenway Park to the educational havens of Harvard and M.I.T, Boston's history is written across its skyline. The area's nearby waterways allow for mostly unencumbered views of these sights, and guided boat tours let sightseers experience the city in a relaxing way. To this end, Charles Riverboat Company's vessels embark on journeys across the Charles River and Boston Harbor. Architecture tours guided by an expert from Boston by Foot and run together with BSA Space, Boston?s premier cultural institution on architecture and design, and home to the Boston Society of Architects, the tour's captains and crews point out historic sights such as famous buildings or the 100-story kettle used during the Boston Tea Party. Sunset tours offered under the warm glow of the setting sun wind through the river as music plays. Charles Riverboat Company also charters their boats for groups of up to 150.
What began as a small operation out of founder Jennifer Velarde’s studio apartment is now a celebrated handbag business with three stores in two cities, an online boutique, and a slew of media accolades from magazines such as InStyle, Good Housekeeping, and Real Simple. The business owes its proliferation to Velarde’s touted lineup of custom-designed shoulder bags, bridal clutches, and totes. The creative trendsetter also provides her customers with a bevy of fabric swatches and styles so they can create their own designs during in-store or at-home handbag parties.
Voted Best Cigar Shop in the 2010 Boston A-List contest, Cigar Masters houses a fragrant collection of fine cigars and smoking accessories in a sophisticated setting. The shop maintains an aromatic armory of over 50 brands of chic cigars, from time-tested classics like Romeo y Julieta ($10), to specialty smokecicles such as La Flor Dominicana ($13). Refined unwinders can send each other sophisticated smoke signals with the smoldering bouquet of Liga Privadas ($16 each) or replace their signature Slim Jim with a more dignified Don Pepin Garcia ($10). The knowledgeable staff receives ongoing education, keeping them keen on the latest lighters, cigar cases, and stylish smoking bibs. A luxurious, urbane lounge creates an ideal haven for aficionados who wish to bask in the glow of varnished wood and leather seats amidst an aura of refined conversation and stuffed trophy scotches. The lounge offers a full selection of libations and requires proper evening attire after seven. Cigar Masters supports a variety of local charities, including the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Back Bay Association.
L.A.-based hipster brand American Apparel is not for the faint of taste. Depending on the season you can find barely there gold bathing suits or a skirt that looks like it was made out of a space-age fabric. The selection of gloves, scarves and T-shirts in a groovy array of colors are the first thing that greets shoppers at this trendy Newbury Street clothing store. Splashes of color and texture in the form of skirts, sweaters and pants are complemented by accessories such as nail polish, umbrellas and backpacks. Small and extra small sizes are plentiful here, which can be frustrating for folks sized M or L. Don't forget to check out the fun lingerie department in the back of the store. American Apparel is sweatshop free, supports fair trade wages, and everything in the store in made in the USA.
Boston’s Newbury Street is packed with trendy restaurants, expensive shops and high-end beauty salons, but when you descend a few steps below street level into the storefront of international lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, the scenery becomes more akin to someone’s sexy boudoir. The shop, a pink and black affair, is small, but artful displays of slinky lingerie and other intimate accoutrements of the bedroom offer quite an eyeful. Anyone who is a fan of the Fifty Shades books would certainly be at home here. Drawers along the walls promise more intriguing items like masks and whips, and the helpful staff is at hand to offer their expertise with sizes and discreet explanations, if needed.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.