A mosaic of metal parts forms a silver metal dog standing on its hind legs as it appears to catch a frisbee, while behind it, a brown dog, also made of various metal parts, stares attentively with ears up. These are just two of the sculptures outside the brick confines of Stonybrook Fine Arts, a celebrated studio where both teachers and students invent their own inimitable creations, whether they be jewelry, stone carvings, sculptures, or models for robot minions. Small group classes pepper the schedule, with rare selections such as foundry classes, which teach students to pour molten bronze into ceramic molds, and welding workshops, which inform all levels how to fuse and cut metals with gas torches and plasma cutters. Within the workshop, students are immersed in the entire metal-casting process, pouring and finishing their pieces under the watchful eyes of professional artists-instructors.
The patient care subsidiary of The New England College of Optometry, New England Eye is an emporium of eyeglasses and sunglasses that specializes in exceptional eyecare and community outreach. The eye-friendly organization showcases more than 2,000 frames from 30 top brands, including Coach, Giorgio Armani, and Silhouette ($150–$350 for complete eyeglasses). The aesthetically trained optical curators at New England Eye can help you find the perfect fashion-forward, vision-correcting specs for any face shape, mood, Jeopardy ability, or fashion sense. Pick up a pair of Ray-Ban aviators ($160) or elegantly accent your façade with Coach or Oakley designer sunglasses ($200–$250), which can be upgraded to prescription lenses in the VIP booth for an additional $120.
With a springy cork floor and non-toxic paint throughout, Mama & Me encourages tots to explore without fear of accident, injury, or being snatched by dingoes. Ages for each program class differ, ranging like the mighty bison from six months to five years. Parents can participate in parent/child classes, though drop-off classes are also offered. Regardless, your tot will be able to dive into a bevy of activities and amenities, including dress-up clothing, a wooden play castle, pint-sized gym equipment, hand puppets, building blocks, and more. Check the schedule to pick a time that works for you.
The teachers at Weston Wayland Success Learning Center have a variety of backgrounds and credentials, from early childhood education to advanced physics degrees from MIT. The staff use their vast experience and knowledge to help students tackle tough subjects and prepare for exams. They specialize in math (all the way through calculus), reading comprehension, and elements of effective writing, including grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary. They also guide students toward academic success with exam-preparation programs for the SAT, SSAT, ISEE (Boston Exam School Test), and SAT subject tests.
The staff at Good Vibrations aren't salespeople—they're SESAs, or Sex Educator-Sales Associates. The title was invented by the store to reflect not only the rigorous training that the employees go through, but also the open and empowering attitude that they project. They encourage questions about the stock of romantic accouterments, and dispense safe, respectful advice on enhancing erotic play. For the SESAs, knowledge is a stepping stone to pleasure. They've even employed the same sexologist and historian—Dr. Carol Queen—for more than 20 years to host a regular "Ask the Doctors" class.
Above all, the staff keeps a warm and welcoming shop—a characteristic that automatically distinguished Good Vibrations from its counterparts when it opened in 1977, an era when most adult shops were dimly lit and guarded by demons. Extending the positive, forward-thinking ethos beyond the shop's walls, the company has committed to environmentally friendly wares with its Ecorotic collection of natural lubricants—as well as eco-friendly packaging. The shop is also stocked with candles, costumes, and lingerie with the Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco locations carrying their largest supply of nightwear.