UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Best of Boston 2008

? Best 10-cent wings in a respectable Boston watering hole

Nestled between historic Beacon Hill and Government Center, the Red Hat is tucked away almost to the point of hidden. Appear there on a Sunday though, and as the hours roll by and the football games clash on, this downstairs bar fills, the inexpensive pitchers flow and the 10-cent wings devoured at a mean pace.

Red Hat’s wings are certainly serviceable and the flat screens are aplenty. If the dime wings aren’t your pace and you want a bowl of chowder ($4.50), loaded nachos ($6.99), or a juicy half-pound burger ($7.99-$8.99), they’ll be ready in a heart beat to bring those treats around too. The regular light beers are on tap, as well as Blue Moon, Sam Adams, Sam Seasonal and a nice selection of other domestics and imports.

Go ahead and indulge on the wings though, because between a small group of friends, a few pitchers and 80 wings will only run you about $25. That should quell your carnal desires for beer and food for a Sunday.

Another great perk of the Red Hat is its proximity to the T’s Park Street and Government Center stops. Go ahead; take advantage of the Red Hat. That is, if you can find it.

Red Hat Café – 7 Bowdoin St., Boston

? Best non-stripper burlesque

If you are looking for pure unadulterated fun or want to learn the fine art of seduction, The Boston Babydolls are the ones to tickle your fancy. Voted Best of Boston by a slew of other publications, Boston Babydolls combine sex, art, and fun into their routines and classes. Sure other places in Boston offer classes in burlesque and cabaret but the majority of them doesn’t offer the expertise or comfort that the Boston Babydolls offer. They make you feel like you’ve been doing this for years and wont make you feel stupid when you admit you don’t know the difference between a strut-pop-dip and a shimmy-shake-snap. Visit bostonbabydolls.net for upcoming classes, bookings, and events featuring the smokingly seductive Babydolls.

Boston Babydolls – bostonbabydolls.net

? Best selection of socks

Where else can you find a pair of socks with Yorkshire terriers on them and turn around and see boxer shorts with the Periodic Table on them? Only at Boston’s own Sock It To Me.

They boast the largest collection of original and unique socks in the Baystate. It’s a must for any tourist, and even more of a must for people looking to dress up their piggies in something other than plain ole Hanes. Be sure to get your authentic and unique Boston apparel there too! This place rocks our socks off.

Sock It To Me – Prudential Center

? Best taco $2 and under

In a city like Boston, getting away with finding a decent meal for under five bucks is near impossible. While there’s always chinatown or a hot dog stand, the provenance of both is questionable at best.

Oddly enough, one of the cheapest deals in the city can be found at one of its best restaurants: Tremont 647 in the South End. Every Tuesday night, Chef Andy Husbands feeds the people by offering a selection of gourmet tacos for $2 each.

On a recent trip, the menu included carnitas, grilled steak, and roast veggie tacos that more than satisfied while keeping the bill lower than the T-fare it took to get there. The added bonus is that you get to eat at a posh spot with a beautiful open kitchen that is normally out of the budget.

Tremont 647 – 647 Tremont, Boston

? Best place to find an entire outfit for under $10

It’s the definition of random, fabulous fun. The Dollar-a-Pound section downstairs features piles and piles of used and second-hand clothing to schlep through. With patience, diligence, and a bit of imagination you can put together the most fabulous outfit for a few bucks. Pilfering through piles of clothing, I wound up one time with a Marc Jacobs sweater, a Jones New York white button up shirt and an Express wool jumper for…drum roll please…$3.00. So head on down to the Garment District, grab a bag and brace yourself for the treasure hunt that ensues. Bonus: any additional accessories you may need (read: leggings, tights, jewelry, bowties, whatever) can be found upstairs, most in the ballpark of $3-$10.

Garment District – 200 Broadway, Cambridge

? Best place for a pint of Guinness and a shot of Jameson in an authentic Irish settingOnly a stumble or two away from Faneuil Hall, Mr. Dooley’s is known for it’s Right off the Boat Guinness and the cozy Irish atmosphere it provides for everyone interested. “Dooley’s”, as it is known by many who frequent it, never has a dull night. The joint is roughly the size of a shoe box yet harbors a band, booths, tables and a dance floor for all who dare.

There’s always live music to enjoy, whether its Tuesday night (Johnny Cash Tribute Night), Thursday night (Patsy Whelan & Johnny Quilter do Irish Ballads) or Sunday evening (Eamon Coyne does traditional Irish music). There’s no way not to enjoy Irish music when you have a Guinness cooking in front of you.

The menu Dooley’s provides is stocked full of traditional Irish favorites like Shepard’s Pie and Bangers and Mash, but also dishes out juicy burgers as well as New England seafood favorites.

Mr. Dooley’s Tavern – 77 Broad Street, Boston

? Best place to forget about the bullshit that is everyday life in Boston

265 acres to wash away whatever could be bothering you may be the best thing Boston has to offer (outside of UMass Boston, that is). The Arboretum can feel like the middle of the countryside at times, with no traffic noise and nature all around you. It’s a great place to go for a stroll with your dog or with a few friends to, ahem, “kick it for a while.”

With all the stresses of life and the economy falling faster than an anvil on Wile E. Coyote, a refresher for a while is always in the works. With over 15,000 plants to meander around, you can go there every week for a year and never see the same area twice.

Add in the panoramic, breath-taking view of Boston’s skyline on top of Peter’s Hill, and the Arboretum is a no-brainer, whatever your pace is. If you appreciate time away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, then hop on the Orange Line to forest Hills and lose your self here for a few hours. You won’t regret it.

Arnold Arboretum – 125 Arborway, Boston