FLORIST: Nellie’s Wildflowers
If you want gorgeous, bright, big bouquets, then you want to go with Nellie’s Wildflowers. The arrangements are always original and reliably beautiful, and you won’t believe how full and fresh even a five-dollar bouquet is—which makes Nellie’s perfect for special occasions or even just a random, mid-week floral pick-me-up.
72 HOLLAND ST., (617) 625-9453 NELLIESWILDFLOWERS.COM
FURNITURE OR HOME DECOR: Loyal Supply Co.
It’s impossible to enter this Union Square shop without wanting to buy it all: the planters, the coasters, the ceramics, the kitchen gadgets. Everything here—from salt and pepper grinders to bottle openers—is the most beautiful, timeless version of that object. I mean, have you ever had to have a pencil pouch? Or a tape dispenser? Or a certain sponge? Walk into Loyal, and you’ll find one so stylish that you fiercely need it.
21 UNION SQ., (617) 996-6930LOYALSUPPLYCO.COM
PHOTOGRAPHY OR VIDEOGRAPHY: Starlab Studios
We’re sad to say that Starlab has moved out of Somerville, but thrilled to report they’ve found a new home in Charlestown—thanks, in part, to fundraising efforts from the community. That groundswell of support is no surprise given the way Starlab in turn bolsters area artists, especially with each year’s Starlab Fest, which will return to Somerville for its eighth year on September 9.
50 TERMINAL ST., BOSTON(617) 319-0533, STARLABRECORDINGCO.COM
HAIR SALON/HAIR COLOR AND HAIRCUT: Hair by Christine & Co./Ashley
A trip to Hair by Christine & Co. is just plain fun. Maybe you walk in feeling a little tired, like you need a boost. Your hair’s a little dull. Whether you’re looking for a complete transformation thanks to bold colors or just some layers and a little bit of a lift, you’ll walk out of the salon feeling energized—from root to tip, heart and soul.
217 HIGHLAND AVE., (617) 776-6470HAIRBYCHRISTINEANDCO.COM
MANICURE: Julie’s Nails
Don’t come here looking for Julie; this hidden gem is actually owned by a gal named Tea. Do come here if you’re looking for unbeatably good acrylics and spa-quality care, all at a reasonable price and conveniently located steps from the Davis Square MBTA station. Plus, you’ll notice Tea is constantly, quietly improving the salon with each visit; new lights and chairs just went in this summer.
249 ELM ST., (617) 629-3850 JULIESNAILSSOMERVILLE.COM
MOVING COMPANY: Gentle Giant
Let’s be honest: moving is not fun. But if we can suggest one way to make it bearable, it’s hiring the good folks at Gentle Giant Moving Company. Not only do they cover the basics (punctuality, speed, professionalism), but they meet a lot of intangible requirements too (fun, friendliness, positivity). Watching their grinning staff bound up and down three flights of stairs, you’ll berate yourself for all the times you and your scrawny friends spent moving day fighting with too-heavy furniture and overly-full boxes (and sometimes, each other).
29 HARDING ST. (800) 442-6863 GENTLEGIANT.COM
DOG WALKING: Paws in the ‘Ville
Dogs in the park, dogs on the path. Grinning dogs, panting dogs, dogs carrying sticks and dogs rolling around in the grass. Dogs chasing tennis balls and dogs chasing each other. That’s just a little bit of what you’ll see if you follow @pawsintheville on Instagram—which you absolutely should do—and it’s a good representation of their services, which have their canine clients full of joy and their human ones confident in the knowledge that pups are having fun, full days (that’ll conveniently leave ’em pretty tuckered out).
PAWSINTHEVILLE.COM, (413) 530-4780 PAWSINTHEVILLE@GMAIL.COM
FRAME SHOP: Stanhope Framers
Put down the thumbtacks and step away from the weird, blue putty—if it’s worth putting on your walls, it’s worth having it framed. And no one does the job like Stanhope Framers, where the frames are as artfully crafted as the works they’ll contain. When they say their work is museum-quality, they mean it; Stanhope clients include the Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Boston, the John F. Kennedy Library, the Somerville Museum—and even the Red Sox and Celtics.
55 BOW ST., (617) 666.2000 STANHOPEFRAMERS.COM
INSURANCE AGENCY: Wedgwood-Crane & Connolly
The year is 1886. Grover Cleveland dedicates the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. A pharmacist invents a fizzy beverage that would eventually be called Coca-Cola. And, oh yeah: Wedgwood-Crane & Connolly Insurance Agency is founded, in the very same building the agency occupies today. You can’t beat that kind of experience or community commitment, nor can you top the level of personalized care and expert advice that come with it.
19 COLLEGE AVE., (617) 625-0781WCCINS.COM
ECO-FRIENDLY BUSINESS LANDSCAPING: Green City Growers
It’s not just the plants that are growing over at Green City Growers. Now in its ninth year of business here in Somerville, the organization itself is getting bigger, with 22 staff members and 150 different garden locations in the area. (Did you know they oversee the rooftop farm at Fenway Park? How cool is that?) And the biz is just as committed to our city as ever, providing access to fresh produce locally and creating spaces for engagement and education as well as hosting the Urban Agriculture Ambassador program for the City of Somerville.
600 WINDSOR PL.(617) 776-1400GREENCITYGROWERS.COM
MECHANIC: Chicken & Shakes Automotive
Yeah, we know, it sounds like a southern-style fast food restaurant—that’s because two guys who go by the names Chicken and Shakes work here. And while they don’t sell any fried food, what they offer is something that can be much harder to find: quality auto care from a group of trustworthy mechanics who can quickly identify—and fix—whatever weird whirring and clunking your car is doing.
6 BEACH AVE., (617) 628-6622
DENTIST: Katie Talmo
Tooth be told, we love Katie Talmo. At her family-run practice, cleanings are fast, affordable and top-notch; plus, she’ll happily squeeze you in for an appointment in a pinch. (And can we talk about the magazin selection in the waiting room? There are dozens to choose from.) It all makes for a trip to the dentist that’s totally painless.
180 HIGHLAND AVE., (617) 864-6111
MASSAGE WELLNESS SERVICE: Massage Therapy Works
Step inside Massage Therapy Works and breathe a sigh of relief—this is a place meant for relaxation and recovery. The building itself is as warm and welcoming as the staff; the people and place are equally peaceful. Whether your need for healing is physical, spiritual or both, MTW will help you work out the kinks.
255 ELM ST., (617) 684-4000 MASSAGETHERAPYWORKS.COM
PRINT SERVICES: The UPS Store, Somerville Ave.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the smallest business card or the biggest banner, the UPS Store, Somerville Avenue will print it up perfectly. This place is a real one-stop shop for the small business owner, too—with a simple online order, new brochures, flyers, menus and more can be yours, and quickly.
519 SOMERVILLE AVE.(617) 591-0199, SOMERVILLE-MA-4978. THEUPSSTORELOCAL.COM
BANK OR CREDIT UNION: East Cambridge Savings Bank
Whether you’re looking to buy your first home or just need a place to stash the cash from your part-time waitressing job, choosing a bank takes a certain level of trust. That’s the great thing about East Cambridge Savings Bank; not only have they been around for 180 years, they’re also committed community partners—supporting local nonprofits, supplying scholarships for public high school students and funding grants through the Cambridge Savings Charitable Foundation, which has awarded $4.2 million since 2003. You sure can feel good about investing or saving with a place like that.
(617) 354-7700, ECSB.COM
TATTOO OR PIERCING STUDIO: Boston Tattoo Company
If it’s gonna be on your body forever, it’s gotta be good. Luckily, you have the talented team of artists at this spacious Davis Square shop, where the linework is bold, the colors are killer and the tattoos—whether they’re flash or custom, walk-ins or not—are just plain excellent.
260 ELM ST. SUITE 102(617) 625-8282 THEBOSTONTATTOOCOMPANY.COM
REAL ESTATE AGENCY/REAL ESTATE AGENT: Thalia Tringo/Team Jen and Lynn
Here’s a staggering stat: more than 90 percent of Thalia Tringo clients say they reached out thanks to a recommendation from a past client or the agency’s reputation in the community. But perhaps that’s not so surprising after all, given that this is an agency where client and community care go hand-in-hand—one where every agent donates $250 from each transaction to a nonprofit of their choice. And Thalia herself is on the board of directors of the Somerville Homeless Coalition, East Somerville Main Streets and the Davis Area Resident/Business Initiative, so you know you’re working with someone who’s as invested in the neighborhood as she is in you.
128 WILLOW AVE. (617) 616-5091, THALIAREALTOR.COM
SHIPPING: The UPS Store, Davis Square
Email is great, but even in 2017, you can’t deliver everything in a handy .zip file. Enter the UPS Store, Davis Square, where they’ll help you pack and ship your stuff in a way that might even be moresafe and secure than sending mail through the interwebs.
411A HIGHLAND AVE.(617) 776-4949, SOMERVILLE-MA-2668. THEUPSSTORELOCAL.COM
VET: Porter Square Veterinarain
It would be so cool if our pets could talk. For, like, a number of reasons. But one practical one: they could tell us what was wrong when they were sick or injured. It takes a special vet to quickly figure out what’s going on with Fido—and keep you feeling informed and secure while they do it—but for the staff at Porter Square Veterinarian, it’s second nature.
60 SUMMER ST. (617) 628-5588, PORTERSQUAREVET.COM
YOGA STUDIO: O2 Yoga
t’s no stretch to say that O2 Yoga is the area’s most beloved studio. The classes are fun, the movements are fluid and the instructors are phenomenal when it comes to flow. Plus, the motto—“Up dogs, down dogs, no dogma,”—is more than just a clever turn of phrase. At O2, both the people taking classes and the ones leading them are passionate and excited about their practice.
288 HIGHLAND AVE., (617) 625-0267, O2YOGA.COM
GYM: Brooklyn Boulders
Sure, Brooklyn Boulders is a climbing gym—it’s also much more than a climbing gym. They’ve got the requisite rock walls, plus free weights, cardio equipment, jump ropes, parkour, yoga classes and more. Done working out? Unwind in one of the lounges or head to a shared workspace to answer emails or take a call. They even have video games! And with snacks and drinks in the lobby, plus a public napping pod from the Somerville startup Sleepbox… I mean, you could pretty much live here.
12A TYLER ST. (617) 623 6700 BROOKLYNBOULDERS.COM/SOMERVLLE
This story appears in the September/October print issue of Scout Somerville, which is available for free at more than 220 drop spots throughout Somerville (and just beyond its borders) or by subscription.