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.
Spanning two floors and 6,000 square feet, Rodney's Bookstore houses more than 100,000 new and used titles, including rare and out-of-print tomes. With the selection ranging from used textbooks and cookbooks, to children's picture books and popular fiction, the store promises a tactile readable for any interest ($3–$35 for used books). Large sections on art and architecture will provide budding designers with ample resources to construct the world's first fully recyclable house, while retro decorators and nostalgic robber barons can peruse the catalog of more than 1,000 vintage advertising posters ($19.95 for a 20"x30" image).
Wireless Store is Boston's first T-Mobile limited retailer, offering a sizable selection of wireless phones and accessories. Conversations can be held hands free while driving down the highway or riding on horseback with advanced Bluetooth headsets made by Jabra, Plantronics, Motorola, and BlueAnt. Other wireless accessories, such as chargers, cases, screen protectors, and batteries, keep phones clean, shiny, and fully charged. Though it wears the T-Mobile logo as proudly as a rebellious teenager in a Cramps T-shirt, Wireless Store is a locally owned and operated establishment.
Ali Mohammad and Nadeem Mazen never got the memo that it was dangerous to play with lasers; they’re willing to carve intricate graphics into almost anything, including the 215 loaves of bread it took to animate the autumnal music video for OK Go’s “Last Leaf.” Now, from their shop—whose sign warns passersby that “it’s the future in here”—they etch equally creative messages and images into the gadgets and gewgaws of their clientele. Laptops, iPhones, and other electronics take on customization, as well as items stocked by the shop itself, from metal business cards to pint glasses and hardwood planks awaiting to become personalized kindling. The showcase demonstrates their expertise with pictures of previous projects, such as a guitar body carved with an elaborate swan and a kitchen knife inscribed with an ominous message.
Though SEE Eyewear’s specs are only found in their stores, their designs sprout from imaginations around the world. Winner of reader's choice awards in cities ranging from San Francisco to Nashville, SEE Eyewear stocks its frames directly from fashionable frame crafters and passes on the savings of doing business at the source to customers. The company calls on fashion designers from France, Italy, and other style-conscious countries to create one-of-a-kind designs to be featured on store shelves and client faces. Before that happens, though, each potential frame goes through a rigorous design and review process to ensure its distinctiveness and quality before it can be added to the national eyewear shop’s exclusive coveted selection.
From cat-eye to horn-rimmed and perfectly round to wayfarer-inspired, the cost of each frame includes single-vision lenses, giving customers the simplicity of a flat price that doesn’t require customers to pay an extra prescription fee or mine their own bifocal quarry. SEE Eyewear also trains its staff members to be aesthetically savvy so they can find the perfect fashion-forward, vision-correcting specs for any face shape, mood, or fashion sense.
For more than 25 years, Benjamin Stoller has shaken cocktails and perfected the foam-to-brew ratio in a pint glass. He shares his insider knowledge during fun, hands-on classes taught at the Queen's Head Pub inside Harvard's historic Memorial Hall. Courses focus on the art of mixology, or crafting inspired cocktails with balanced ratios of liquor, mixers, and paper umbrellas. They also delve into specialized skills such as how to present drinks and keep patrons safe.