Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Boutique Shopping in Boston's South End

Amazing Boston shopping is unique and inspiring in our neighborhood.  On the picturesque and charming South End streets, you'll find fantastic jewelry, one of a kind pet stores, bright and airy baby boutiques, and more inviting storefronts than you could possibly peruse in one day! Take a look at our staff picks and some of the favorites of our Boston bed and breakfast.

Gifted - 2 Dartmouth Street
This adorable gift boutique sits on the corner of Dartmouth and Tremont Streets. They feature a wide array of quality gifts created by local artists, as well as a huge selection of hand-made pottery, glassware, baby clothes, handbags, and jewelry.  The accessories selection is fun and funky, with both handmade pieces and familiar brand names.

Flock - 274 Shawmut Avenue
Flock is tucked away in the historical district of Boston's South End. Trendy moms and fashion-forward daughters can shop a mix of laid-back West Coast lines and hard-to-find independent labels. The owners and staff are helpful without being pushy, and offer wonderful insight to their inspiration and vision for this whimsical neighborhood boutique.

Coco Baby - 1636 Washington Avenue

This specialty children's boutique offers a range of baby and toddler products, from furniture and accessories to toys and games. Centrally located on Washington Avenue, Coco Baby is a popular shopping destination for young families in the South End. Familiar and popular baby brands stock the shelves alongside independent and local labels.  They offer gift registry services for parents-to-be, and their retail space also hosts neighborhood play dates and fun children's events year round!

Sault - 577 Tremont Street
Owned and operated by a 10-year South End resident and experienced visual merchandiser, Sault is a welcome addition to the boutique shopping scene in our neighborhood. A beautifully designed space and meticulously detailed displays, the shelves and racks of clothing and gift items offer plenty of new items to peruse each time you visit. With everything from locally-sewn neckties and pocket squares to vintage shaving tools to high-end designer messenger bags, this menswear mecca has something for everyone - even the man who has everything.

Polka Dog - 256 Shawmut Avenue
This wonderful one-stop-shop specializes in homemade treats for canines and kitties, but offers a wide array of toys, food, and general pet care supplies as well.  Owned by dog lovers, the Polka Dog Bakery has everything you need for your loyal best friend, and genuinely cares about the pet-owner relationship as well. With a few shops in and around the greater Boston area, they are committed to giving back to our four-legged community as well.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Play Scientist For A Day at the MIT Museum

As one of the most respected universities on the globe, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also has a world class museum focusing on the sciences that draws crowds year round. Recently at the MIT Museum, guests of our Boston bed and breakfast got to see some really interesting exhibits after learning a bit more about how the MIT Museum grew into what it is today!
The MIT Museum came about in 1971 as a gathering space for all the historica artifacts scattered throughout the MIT community.  Originally called the MIT Historical Collections, it was renamed the MIT Museum in 1980 and began to develop educational programs and exhibitions based on the Museum’s sci-tech focused collections.  Due to the uniqueness of the Museum's collections and exhibits, it was able to attract over 100,000 people in the last year, about 30 percent foreign - a remarkable number when appealing to such a specific demographic of visitors. Most of the exhibits exemplify work done by MIT students, faculty and alumni.  Information and artifcatits portraying MIT’s contribution to revolutionary scientific and technological advances that are a part of our everyday lives were on display in a recent exhibit celebrating MIT's 150th anniversary.
When you're there, check out the Holography exhibit - a darkened room with three dimensional representations of actual people.  Insanely realistic and totally exciting!  In April, the Museum launched the Rivers of Ice exhibit, a really interesting study of the earth's ecology and the role of glaciers, and the effects that climate change is having on our weather and populations.
The Robots and Beyond exhibit shares the Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations taking place over the last few decades at MIT.  A behind-the-scenes look at this inventive concept showcases the great contributions that MIT's AI labs have made in medicine, entertainment, global exploration, and more. You can even see how socially-intelligent robots interact with their environment in eerily human-like ways!
The MIT Museum also offers the opportunity to attend lectures, panel discussions, and performances. The Soap Box is a series of forum-style conversations with newsworthy scientists and engineers about important ideas and issues in science and technology. Sponsored by the museum each spring, the Cambridge Science Festival features hundreds of events, performances, talks, lectures and demonstrations for all ages.  And just for fun, ask about the annual piano drop - it started as a student experiment and evolved into a fun ritual for graduating seniors!