Friday Favorites 11/1/2013

November 1, 2013

Kaitlin Madden, Managing and Online Editor

One of the greatest things about living in South Boston–a neighborhood that is still considered to be up-and-coming–is that there’s always a new store, or restaurant or coffee shop opening to look forward to. Since I moved here in April, Southie has gotten its first Starbucks, its own outpost of the popular Stephi’s restaurant, a spinning studio and a high-end consignment shop, to name a few.

But, the new store I’ve most anticipated since moving here is a beautiful new home decor shop on West Broadway, called Neatly Nested. Shop owner Danielle Platzer opened the store in September, after selling her curated mix of vintage and refurbished furniture and decor at the SoWa market in Boston. It’s definitely worth a look for those after the pretty, vintage, shabby-chic look.

Paula M. Bodah, Senior Editor

The houses we live in are as unique as we are. For some, the perfect house is a grand Shingle-style with a water view. For others, a cozy cottage in a stand of trees or a one-bedroom flat with a view of a bustling downtown is the recipe for happiness. When we think of home though, most of us have the same need: a place that evokes pleasant feelings of warmth and safety.

When Sandra Goroff isn’t busy with her successful career as an art and literary publicist, she enjoys exploring life from behind the lens of her camera. On November 15 (just in time for holiday shopping, hint hint) her first book of photos, Solitary Soul, will be published by Lorimer Press.

Sandy’s slender book of photos, most of which were taken in New England, isn’t actually all about home or houses. It holds lovely pictures of landscapes; evocative photos of people (a little girl walking along a foggy beach, a dapper elderly gent sitting on a sea wall); peaceful images like the one of an old tire swing hanging from a tree.

But some of my favorite images do speak to the idea of home, evoking those feelings of security and wellbeing that are so important to all of us, no matter where we live.

I like this tranquil image with its play between the light and shadows. The white clapboard, blue shadows, and red chairs bring to mind a sultry summer afternoon. One chair might look a bit lonely, but two chairs hold a promise. I imagine myself sharing a pitcher of cold lemonade and a quiet conversation with a good friend as the daytime softens to twilight.

It’s only a matter of time before this serene image is enlivened by the row of colorful bathing suits that will no doubt be hanging on the clothesline later in the day.

Solitary Soul, with a list price of $18.95, is available through

Maria LaPiana, Contributing Writer

It could not have been a less fortuitous time to launch a business. It was late November 2012, when college friends Mary Wilson and Patrick Kearney realized a long-held dream and opened a gift shop in the small business district where Queen Street meets Church Hill Road in Newtown, Conn. A few weeks later, the unthinkable happened a mile and a half away, and the tragedy at Sandy Hook School changed everything.

Keeping a low profile, Wilson and Kearney, both Newtown residents, mourned with their neighbors and the rest of the world. And now, a year later, as the community is finally beginning to heal … the little shop is flourishing. Queen Street Gifts & Treats is a gem among home décor stores, one that offers a little of everything—and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Fiercely dedicated to small-town charm (with more than a nod to all things equestrian), Queen Street’s owners are delighted to be celebrating the shop’s one-year anniversary with refreshments and special guests—artists, jewelry designers and the town historian who will sign copies of his most recent book—from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9.  They’ll also be unveiling “an exciting, gorgeous new product celebrating our love of Newtown and the future,” says Wilson. Queen Street Gifts & Treats is located at 3 Queen St. in Newtown, 203-304-9755,

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