Best Shopping in Boston 2003

Children's

2003 Best Children's Bookstore

Is Junior grappling with the moral implications of a carnivorous diet? Take him to Porter Square to read Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon. Barefoot Books’ sunny little children’s nook, stocked by...

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Children's

2003 Best Children's Clothing

The European skin-care products are almost too posh for the too-young-to-toddle set, but Lester Harry’s boutique stocks plenty of functional elegance, too. If cozy robes won’t keep the cold out...

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Children's

2003 Best Toy Store

Children grow up way too fast. But at Stellabella Toys, everything slows down—at least long enough to free the inner child—in as many parents as kids. More of a play...

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Children's

2003 Best Baby Accessories

Whether you’re an expectant or new parent, or just gift-shopping for one, Back Bay baby haven Mulberry Road will have you cooing over its one-of-a-kind accessories. There’s no shortage of...

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General Shopping

2003 Best Luggage

Now that the Concorde has gone the way of the luxury steamship, there’s nothing that courts robbery on an AirTran carousel like a Louis Vuitton suitcase. Safer to go with...

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General Shopping

2003 Best Ski Shop

The Boston alpinist’s Valhalla sells all the gear you’ll need to get down the hill—and look damned good doing it. Bob Smith’s stock of sticks is on a par with...

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General Shopping

2003 Best Music, New

Newbury Comics is to Nick Hornby as music megastores are to Carson Daly. The trucker hat—wearing kids who staff this eclectic pop culture emporium truly know their stuff, and they’re...

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General Shopping

2003 Best Bookstore

The Boston area is blessed with several world-class independent bookstores, all of them vibrant proof that the megachains are soulless vampires, slaves to the mass-market title and the Starbucks outlet....

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General Shopping

2003 Best Sex Shop

A sex boutique, without the emphasis on booty, tucked like a Venus charm inside Brookline’s kosher bosom. Owner Kim Airs gets a lot of press (see our profile of her...

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General Shopping

2003 Best Gifts

After perusing the wares at Flat of the Hill, you’ll either wish you had more people to buy gifts for or you’ll break down and buy something for yourself. From...

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General Shopping

2003 Best Newsstand

What separates the men from the boys when it comes to newsstands? Easy: the selection of newspapers. Store shelves and kiosks with broad selections of glossy magazines are everywhere these...

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General Shopping

2003 Best Smoke Shop

The war against smokers has been waged with shock (by kicking them out of bars) and awe (by taxing tobacco to the moon). Beleaguered refugees take cover in Peretti’s, a...

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General Shopping

2003 Best Watches

This is what we call good timing: Just as the country is starting to take watches as seriously as Europe does, ubiquitous local watch retailer Alpha Omega opens a new...

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General Shopping

2003 Best Snowboards

Boston has no shortage of snowboard shops. Some have good selections, some good service. One has both. Whether you huck in the halfpipe or just concentrate on getting down the...

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General Shopping

2003 Best Art Supplies

Other art stores have handbaskets. This huge emporium has big shopping carts perfect for navigating the wide, immaculate, organized aisles. Start by perusing the rows of pens, pencils, and paints...

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Houseware

2003 Best Home Accessories

Seems that lately almost every home accessories shop is big on minimalism—in presentation and selection, anyway. (Price is another matter.) Shoppers who are tired of wandering through spartan stores with...

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Houseware

2003 Best Hardware Store

The densely packed display racks at this Beacon Hill cubbyhole offer one-stop shopping for rarefied brass, chrome, porcelain, and glass—knobs, pulls, hooks, hangers, rods, and other trimmings that can bring...

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Houseware

2003 Best Lighting

Buying a light should be a hands-on experience, and at this interactive showroom it is. There’s a dimmer, switch, or knob on nearly every wall, as well as every kind...

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Houseware

2003 Best Furniture, Classic

Architect Charles Webb has rescued such old standbys as the wing and Windsor chair from historic cliché by reimagining their lines with a contemporary grace. The bedroom, living room, and...

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Houseware

2003 Best Antiques

People who are stuck on Stickley already know about JMW, a gallery filled with Mission furniture, art pottery, and accessories of the American arts and crafts movement. A century ago,...

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Houseware

2003 Best Garden Supplies

One visit to Mahoney’s and even urban gardeners will be hard-pressed to leave without a basket of bleeding heart, a container of lavender, or some climbing clematis. The garden center...

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Men's

2003 Best Men's Shoes

Most men suffer bad relationships with their shoes. They scuff, give off smells (not the men, the shoes), and need frequent tying. And the guys we know hate to shop...

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Women's

2003 Best Women's Shoes

If shoes are the ultimate in therapeutic fixes, then Saks’s fitting area could double as a women’s support group. Just slide on a pair of gleaming Prada Mary Janes or...

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Women's

2003 Best Jewelry, Designer

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but Lux Bond & Green will introduce you to the rest of the gang. Contemporary and traditional baubles from designers such as David...

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Women's

2003 Best Makeup, Selection

At too many department store cosmetics counters in this town, too-chic salespeople more often than not will slather your screaming pores with overly perfumed chemicals and then, as if a...

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Women's

2003 Best Women's Clothing, Party Dresses

Not since Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker’s first date has understated elegance sat so close to attention-grabbing glamour. The frocks at Serenella—meticulously cut, pressed, and hung—are a whirlwind of...

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Women's

2003 Best Jewelry, Classic

Boston women who have their jewels (like they have their hats) probably got them from Shreve, Crump & Low. Holding down the corner of Arlington and Boylston streets since 1929...

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Women's

2003 Best Lingerie

When it comes to lingerie, there’s a fine line between terrific and trashy, seamless and tasteless. And while sequins and intricate decoration may look great on window models, they often...

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