Shopping in Boston this weekend?
February 19, 2009 5:47 PM   Subscribe

What shops shouldn't I miss in Boston? I'm heading up there for a couple of days and would like to get some shopping done. I'm particularly interested in geeky items, technology, gear/bags, super cool bookstores, occult/alt lifestyles items, outdoor stuff, etc. I won't have a car, so anything must be within 6 blocks or so of a T station.
posted by arimathea to Shopping (17 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Definitely check out Newbury Comics.
posted by sswiller at 5:53 PM on February 19, 2009

Trident Bookstore on Newbury St (near the Hynes/ICA stop) is cool. They also have good food.
posted by olinerd at 6:05 PM on February 19, 2009

If you like candy I would suggest you check out Sugar Heaven on Newbury St. There is also the Apple store, on Boylston Street, which is the largest in the US and is just amazing to look at.
posted by lilkeith07 at 6:06 PM on February 19, 2009

I always enjoy a trip to Black Ink.
posted by Biblio at 6:10 PM on February 19, 2009

Theres a clothing store on clearway street called bodega, the door is a vending machine that slides open.. go there. Go to harvard square and hit the tannery. Go to the comic store around the corner from there called the million year picnic. Also go to the garage while you are there. Go to karma loop on newbury between dartmouth and clarendon. Get a bite to eat at trident bookstore on newbury between hereford and mass ave. Go to harvard ave and hit as many stores as you can, espescially the thrift shops. Go to central square and walk around there are plenty of cool spots. Go to the south end to zapatos for great shoes. Then go get hammered at beacon hill pub and play buck hunter.

Welcome to my saturdays.
posted by pwally at 6:21 PM on February 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

On the stretch of Harvard between Brighton and Commonwealth in Allston, there are (were when I left in 2001) some very geeky occult-y, esoterica shops. One was typical wicca-ish with incense and an assortment of smoke paraphrenalia. The other, a few doors down, was beyond description: included specimens under glass (scorpians, tarantulas, etc), fascinatingly morbid and other assorted subversive literature and adult toys- not sex toys but freaky gothy kind of weirdness.
posted by Jezebella at 6:32 PM on February 19, 2009

-Pandemonium (sci fi bookstore near Central Square on the Red line.)
-L.A. Burdick's (best hot chocolate ever, near Harvard Square, and v. good fancy chocolates. Get the mice and penguins.)
-Diesel or 1369 (good coffeehouses in Davis and Central, respectively.)
-Million Year Picnic (awesome comic store with lots of indie and local stuff, Harvard Square)
-Weirdo Records (new music store that just opened in Central)
-Twisted Village (awesome music store focused especially on psych rock. Harvard Square.)
-The Middle East & TT the Bear's (best live music in Boston. Central Square.) OK, OK, not shopping, but along the same cultural lines.
-The Garment District/Dollar-A-Pound (used and thrift stores; downstairs, you dig through piles of clothing and pay slightly more than a dollar per pound. Kendall Square.)
-The MIT Museum (as you might guess, weird and geeky; they sell some geeky science toys, but the museum is totally worth your time on its own. Central Square.)
-Harvard Bookstore (good used section, great remainders. Not actually affiliated with Harvard; Harvard Square.)
-Schoenhof's (foreign language bookstore! Pricey, but there aren't many places where you can browse through shelves and shelves of German, or French, or Russian, or Japanese, or... Harvard Square.)
posted by ubersturm at 6:38 PM on February 19, 2009

Geoclassics in Quincy Market, if you like fossils, geodes, bone sculptures, and crystals. Once I even bought a lock of mammoth hair there.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:53 PM on February 19, 2009

I never miss Nomad in Cambridge, a kind of -- well, I don't know what to call it -- they sell imported clothes, a lot of Day of the Dead tchotchkes, mirrors with elaborate metal inlay, barbershops signs from West Africa... It's on Mass Ave between Harvard and Porter Square T stations, an easy walk from either.

Harvard Bookstore is great -- not really different in kind from a high-quality college town bookstore anywhere else, just a little better. But if you like geeky stuff and are going to Kendall anyway, the small but awesome MIT Press Bookstore is worth your while.

For the kind of stuff you like, a walk around Central Square is just going to be inherently interesting; I have no specific recommendations except that I'm never sorry to eat a Picante burrito.
posted by escabeche at 7:00 PM on February 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


"staggers, remains upright"

Oh my brothers, how I enjoyed the HELL out of the Dollar-A-Pound store in the Mission District of San Francisco back innaday.

My buddy and I would scrounge like post-apocalyptic mutants for massive leather and what-all.

This warms the cackles of my thrifty little heart. Great post and great answers.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:01 PM on February 19, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. Looking forward to seeing people at the meetup on Saturday.
posted by arimathea at 7:20 PM on February 19, 2009

The shops around Kendall square generally might interest you: MIT Coop for example and some of the bookshops.

The Science Museum also has a great shop for t-shirts, etc
posted by rongorongo at 4:35 AM on February 20, 2009

Harris Cyclery in West Newton. Coolest bike shop on the planet.
posted by killdevil at 5:52 AM on February 20, 2009

If you get tired of shopping, go check out the rusty old bear cages at the Franklin Park zoo: Here's a map.

You can walk around in them.
posted by hpliferaft at 6:20 AM on February 20, 2009

Trident is about my favorite place in the city of Boston. Walking down Newbury St. is a pretty cool place, but a lot of the "funkier" stores have closed down. Harvard Sq. is definitely more "hip." The Harvard Coop is my favorite bookstore in Boston, even though technically, it's in Cambridge.

There's a place near Porter Sq. that's in some kind of little "mall" type thing (about a block down from the T station, looks like a tiny mall) that has all sorts of Asian food and a really, really cute little Japanese store full of teapots & such. I'm quite fond of that place.

Also, if you like tea, there's Tealuxe in Harvard Sq. and also on Newbury St. (corner of Newbury & Clarendon) which is another one of my favorite spots. They have approximately a bazillion kinds of tea.

If you get off the T at Hynes on the green line and walk down Newbury, across the Botanical Garden, and then up Charles, you'll have a nice walk with a lot of both ritzy and really cute stores. It's very "Bostonian" if nothing else. Harvard Sq. is definitely the place to go for the more "alternative" shopping experience, but if you want a quick view of the brownstones/Boston Brahmin/historical side of things, it's a nice half-hour walk.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:54 AM on February 20, 2009

Again Nomad and Black Ink. Both are within walking distance of each other and very easy places to leave all your money behind in.
posted by tenderman kingsaver at 10:45 AM on February 20, 2009

If you're in Central Square, you have to check out Rodney's Bookstore (fabulous used bookstore) and Pandemonium Books (fabulous science fiction/fantasy bookstore).
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:09 PM on February 20, 2009

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