Fall Travel: The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA

Harvard’s Yard
The Charles Hotel, Cambridge, MA

Harvard Square teems with activity. Students crowd coffee shops in the morning and grab beers in bars at night. Bargain-hunters rummage trough bookstores and vintage shops. Couples on dates share falafel sandwiches and sample tacos in the neighborhood’s surfeit of restaurants. Culture-vultures take in an indie film at the Brattle Theatre (617-876-6837, brattlefilm.org) or a performance by the American Repertory Theatre (617-547-8300, amrep.org).

It seems as if The Charles Hotel isn’t just well positioned to take advantage of the life of the neighborhood—it is part of the life of the neighborhood. The hotel’s Regattabar is regarded as one of the best jazz clubs in Boston. (The 26-year-old club has won Boston magazine’s “Best of Boston” award no less than 14 times.) Its Noir, a 1940s-style bar serving classic cocktails like the Mai Tai and the Old Fashioned, was recognized as having the “Best Nightlife” by Food & Wine magazine, and revelers spill from inside to outside on warm nights. Even the courtyard at the entrance to the hotel, which abuts the Kennedy School of Government, is a happening spot for community events, hosting everything from a weekly farmers’ market in warm-weather months to an ice-skating rink in the winter.

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Fall Travel: Hudson House River In in Cold Spring, NY

Holiday-on-Hudson
Hudson House River Inn, Cold Spring

Who needs to travel to New England to see fall foliage? As it turns out, you can drive less than an hour and still catch a spectacular autumnal display over the Hudson River. And the best place to take it all in is the Hudson House River Inn in Cold Spring.

The Inn itself, sitting majestically on Main Street and cozied up to the River, dates back to 1832 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Guest rooms have that comfy bed-and-breakfast feel, with antique-looking furniture, floral bedspreads, and patterned wallpaper. But, opt for a room with a full balcony, and chances are you’ll ignore the rest of your accommodations for a chair out on the terrace, where you can look across the River to the wooded Storm King State Park.

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New Show Review: Terra Nova

"Terra Nova Offers a World of Possibilities

 

In recent years—certainly since Lost, if not earlier—new dramas have announced their arrivals with splashy, cinematic pilots. Terra Nova‘s premiere certainly delivers on spectacle. The shots swoop and zoom, whooshing their way across CGIed planets, through dystopian cities, and over unspoiled hills. And, yes, there are dinosaurs. There’s the majestic brachiosaurus that looks like a graceful precursor to the giraffe, and there’s the gnashing, barbed-tail acceraptor, also known as “the Slasher.” The dinosaurs look great; the most stunning image in the premiere occurs when a child tries to feed a brachiosaurus a tree branch, only to be lifted up by the beast when she doesn’t let go. It’s a fun, playful moment that doesn’t make you look for the seams in the special effects.

Yet, for all of its visual flourishes and two-hour running time (with commercials), the Terra Nova premiere doesn’t feel like it belongs on the big screen at the multiplex, like the best drama pilots do. It doesn’t feel like a movie; it feels like a really, really long TV pilot. There’s a lot of clunky setup, a lot of piece-moving to send the main characters back to Terra Nova, and a lot of explaining of rules once they get there."


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Weddings: Real Wedding

 

Returning Home to Larchmont

 

Afterward, festivities moved on to Rye Brook’s Doral Arrowwood. Upon arriving in the ballroom, guests were wowed with soaring centerpieces topped with cherry-blossom branches. 'I originally wanted low centerpieces, because I thought of tall centerpieces as being these big candelabras and over-the-top things. But the ceiling at Arrowwood is so high that you really need tall centerpieces; otherwise, the room looks kind of empty. Lauren Sozmen of Loli Events came up with the idea of branches with cherry blossoms, and we went from there. We got the height that we needed without interfering with conversation around the table.

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Weddings: From the Pros Wedding Vendor Survey

I interviewed local vendors in all aspects of the wedding industry--cake bakers, caterers, musicians, DJs, florists, stationers, photographers, and planners--and solicited their reports on recent wedding trends. The result is a massive survey--spanning 26 pages in the magazine--that's packed with good ideas for those planning a wedding. You can read it online here or download the PDF above.

Weddings: Last Look

The Look (and Book) of Love

 

The couple snuck off to the Manor’s library after they’d released their bridal party to the reception. "At this point, things settled down, and it became oddly calm," says Lisa, who posed in a very full, customized gown by Ines DiSanto. "It was just my husband and me, and our photo and video crew. The whole experience was serene and romantic."

 

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Weddings: Getting "The Shot"

Getting "The Shot"

To a bride and groom, what goes into a great wedding photo is pure magic—an inexplicable mix of mood, lighting, setting, and photographer mojo. Wedding photographers, on the other hand, know that it takes just a little bit more than hoping for something great to happen when you hit the shutter button. Here, our photographers share some of their favorite images from the past year and why they were so taken by them.

 

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Weddings: Best Bridal Blogs

Best Bridal Blogs

For some brides, the hunt for wedding inspiration takes place on a daily basis. There's no shortage of unique ideas, perfect details, and amazing wedding photos out in the world. Nor is there a shortage of wedding blogs devoted to sifting through all of them and bringing the best ones to light every day. Here are our favorites.

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Weddings: Colorful Wedding Dresses and Engagement Rings

Rainbow Connection

White is traditional, but not required.

 

Time was, brides had only one color choice: white. White dresses, white diamond engagement rings. Now, bolder brides are ditching the standard wedding white and incorporating more color into their nuptials.

 

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Weddings Issue: Front-of-Book Items

Our annual, stand-alone weddings issue just arrived—one of my favorites of the year. (This year, I've been promoted to senior editor.) Here are some of the front-of-book items (in full) I wrote for this issue. You can see them online here and here.

 

Band of Bold

 

Simple, unadorned wedding band may work for some brides, but you might be on the hunt for something more unique. You wear your wedding ring every day, after all. Consider these two rings, which give you more than just a symbolic reminder of your spouse. The first, made by Fabuluster and available on Etsy, uses a patented process to reproduce an actual fingerprint on the inside or outside of a silver, gold, platinum, or palladium wedding band. (Talk about one-of-a-kind.) You might not be able to hold hands all day, but you can walk around with his fingerprint around your finger (prices start at $210; etsy.com/shop/fabuluster). Or, if you want to stealthily steal glances at your affianced's face, there's the Cameo by Rux. On first glance, it looks like a normal wedding band with a few stylish ridges. But, if you look at it straight on from the side, the ridges actually form the silhouette of you're beloved's face, with a cameo-style outline of the forehead, nose, lips, and chin. Yes, the rings are really made using a photograph of your side profile (prices start at $1,700; cameobyrux.com). Colorful resin bangle bracelets can be ordered to match ($350).

 

Just Your Cup of Cake

 

Sometimes, a cupcake just can't cut it. To achieve the single-size portion and portability of a cupcake, you have to sacrifice the crunchy, fruity, fluffy, and otherwise structurally unstable layers that traditional cakes can provide. Never fear: The Brooklyn-based Bee's Knees Baking Company, which delivers to Westchester, has developed a way for couples to have their moist and sticky cakes and eat them neatly, too. Their cake-cups take single-serve portions of delicious layer cakes and puts them in either Champagne flutes or heavy-bottomed whiskey glasses (which can be customized for favors). Made from locally sourced ingredients, flavors include gingerbread layered with eggnog frosting and roasted walnuts, yellow cake with strawberry cayenne jam and peanut butter mousse ("PB&J"), chocolate cake infused with salted caramel and topped with a English-pecan-toffee crumble, and southern pecan pie infused with bourbon and chocolate, among others. For more information, call (718) 316-3092 or visit beeskneesbakingco.com.

 

Takes the Cake (Topper)

 

When you imagine a wedding cake, you inevitably think of the cake topper—the shining couple smiling down from the uppermost tier. Who are those people? Chances are, the out-of-the-box cake-topping couple bears no resemblance to you or the kind of wedding you're trying to create. No longer. Milk Tea cake toppers, available on Etsy, are fully customizable, matching (if you choose) the bride's and groom's attire, hairstyle and accessories, wedding color scheme—you can even add additional family members and pets. (Yes, there are finally cake toppers for brides with glasses and grooms with beards!) "I literally fell into making cake toppers," says Milk Tea founder/creator Brandi Thanaritiroj. "I had made one for my friend's wedding back in May of last year and just liked creating them. I come from a heavy fashion background, and when the economy hit our original business started to slow down so I thought, why not give the wedding toppers a try on Etsy? It seemed to really take off." Cake toppers start at $170 and can be found at etsy.com/shop/bthanari.

 

Be Prepared

 

You practice your vows. You've tried and re-tried on the dress. How else can you make sure you're totally prepared for the wedding? By picking up one of Ms. and Mrs.'s Wedding Day Survival Kit. The metal suitcase comes with everything you might need but would overlook otherwise: clear nail polish, extra deodorant, a sewing kit, stain remover, super glue, double-sided hem tape, extra earring backs, corsage pins, and even backup wedding bands.  Or, be the best bride ever and get the chic mini versions as bridesmaids gifts, which come in cool metallic colors that'll probably match their dresses ($49 for full kit, $16 for minis, msandmrs.com).