Thanks to Zoo New England, little patches of wilderness from Africa, South America, Australia, and other parts of the world now dot Massachusetts. The non-profit organization operates both Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo, each full of exotic creatures and their habitats. These microcosms represent an ideal world, one where endangered species thrive and fragile ecosystems last for generations to come.
At Franklin Park Zoo, tigers display their exotic stripes in the Tiger Tales exhibit where guests are educated on the perils these animals face in their natural habitats. Elsewhere, thousands of plants as well as mandrills, ocelots, and a pygmy hippopotamus turn the zoo into a tropical rainforest.
Stone Zoo, meanwhile, places simulations of the world's highlands next to Spot Pond. One area focuses on the Sierra Madre mountain range, which spans Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. The elevated habitat counts jaguars, coyotes, Gila monsters, and cougars among its denizens.
A portion of every admission goes to the organization's conservation efforts, which supports projects both locally and globally. For would-be zookeepers, Zoo New England hosts various adult and kids' educational programs, and lets volunteers help in the care of zoo plants and animals.
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.
Bella Luna Restaurant & Milky Way Lounge, a winner of several “Best of Boston” awards from The Improper Bostonian and Boston Magazine, and a 2013 winner of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's Small Business of the Year award, is renowned for its upscale and creative twist on traditional Italian and American fare. Dig into gourmet pizzas, grilled Angus beef burgers, or flavorful entrees such as adobo chicken, cod picatta, and the signature, Better Than Your Mama's Meatballs. Behind a U-shaped bar, bartenders craft signature cocktails and pour pints of American craft beers, including Allagash White, Harpoon IPA, and Left Hand Milk Stout.
The eatery is decorated with a subdued sci-fi theme, with dangling star lights, sparkly blue barstool cushions, and Martian bouncers. Try your hand at Ms. Pacman or MegaTouch, or listen to live music on select nights.
Owner Richard Lanza began Open Doors as a metaphysical healing center and store in 1992, and he carried that healing spirit into the yoga studio he opened in 2003. At Open Doors Yoga Studios, Richard's goal is to create a space where people feel empowered to explore their personal beliefs on a path toward self-healing. Thus, yoga instructors at the studio's numerous locations help practitioners achieve their personal goals through accessible classes, each designed to build core strength while quieting the mind and increasing body awareness. From slow-flow heated classes to unheated Hatha sessions, students can participate in a variety of yoga styles geared toward beginners, more experienced participants, and those who only feel comfortable in a 98-degree room.
The staff at A & J Beauty and Day Spa can embed bliss in any part of the body with a lineup of massages, facials, body wraps, and nailcare services. Massage therapists deliver Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone treatments with the help of aromatic creams and oils or unscented products that leave less of a trail for hounds to track. Facials are customized to each client's particular skincare needs, and the selection of body wraps includes a seaweed body wrap, an exfoliating body mask, and a Parafango mud treatment. For nailcare, technicians perform manicures and pedicures and offer Shellac, a no-chip gel with a mirror-like finish that lasts for two weeks.
Anderson Comedy has its fingers in many comedic pies around Boston, hosting numerous events for local up-and-comers to make their names. The company’s The Gas comedy show takes over Great Scott’s stage every Friday night to exercise audiences’ stomach muscles with standup sets by local comedians and special guests. The comic confederation also hosts The Horse's Mouth show every first Wednesday as well as free open-mic nights on Tuesday, allowing unknowns to test their material in front of a captive audience and to control the venue’s laugh track.