Lifestyle

Get an Endorphin Rush at Boston’s Hottest New Workout Classes

The best workout classes in Boston include state-of-the-art rowing and free first visits.

Photo courtesy of EverybodyFights
Photo courtesy of EverybodyFights
Photo courtesy of EverybodyFights

Boston is known for its wellness and fitness-filled communities-just step outside during an above average day and the city’s streets and sidewalks are overwhelmed with leisurely walkers and serious sprinters. And while it’s not always easy to get yourself in the moving mindset, the city is rife with studios that make working out, dare we say, fun?

To help you decide what to try next, we’ve rounded up Boston’s best and most unconventional workouts that will keep you going back for more, with everything from rowing to aerial yoga to free outdoor workouts that involve scaling the steps of Harvard Stadium. Here’s where to take a class at the hottest and coolest new workouts in Boston.

Photo courtesy of Row House
Photo courtesy of Row House
Photo courtesy of Row House

Row House

Lovejoy Wharf
If you’re looking to improve your posture and engage over 86% of your muscles (we’re talking legs, arms, core and back), Row House in Lovejoy Wharf could be your next fitness fixation. Just steps away from TD Garden, the space is similar to your favourite cycling studio but lined with state-of-the-art rowing machines and weights on hand for the strength and interval classes.
Pricing: First class is free; $32 per class

Photo courtesy of EverybodyFights
Photo courtesy of EverybodyFights
Photo courtesy of EverybodyFights

EverybodyFights

Seaport & Financial District
With circuit training, heavy bag, treadmill and boxing classes available (not to mention an open gym), EverybodyFights has a little something for everyone. Located within Seaport and the Financial District, the gritty but super sleek setup looks like a completely tricked out boxing gym, even featuring a boxing ring as the focal point of the space.
Pricing: First class is free; $35 per class

Yoga in the Sky at Bower

Fenway
To spice up your average yoga session, on Saturdays, Boston-based yoga instructor Andrea Savino takes power vinyasa to new heights with classes offered on the 14th floor of Bower, Fenway’s luxury apartment complex. You can also keep an eye out on her Instagram to find out where she’s at next, as she hosts a bunch of other classes including Yoga in the Beer Garden at Bow Market’s Remnant Brewing.
Pricing: $15 per class

Photo courtesy of B/SPOKE Studios
Photo courtesy of B/SPOKE Studios
Photo courtesy of B/SPOKE Studios

B/SPOKE

Downtown Crossing & South Boston
This list really wouldn’t be complete without a spinning element and what better way to spin than with Boston’s very own B/SPOKE. The 45-minute long classes engage a full body workout by incorporating cardio intervals, choreography, and hand weights. The studio also offers a variety of strength training and stretching programs including yoga, HIIT, and more for an all encompassing workout regimen.
Pricing: $29 per class (new client package is $29 for first two classes)

Bar Groove at Bijou nightclub

Theater District
Barre Groove puts an energetic spin on your run of the mill barre workout by incorporating small trampolines to get your heartrate up. And more recently, the studio partnered with Bijou (yes, the nightclub) to bring you their high intensity, low impact workout in a nightclub and lounge setting even featuring a live DJ to get you moving and grooving along during a truly unforgettable workout.
Pricing: $40 per class

Parks Fitness Series at city parks

Various locations
With warm weather on the horizon, Boston’s fitness community is starting to move outdoors with free opportunities city-wide to enjoy a workout while getting some fresh air. Keep an eye on the city of Boston’s Parks Fitness Series page for more ideas as we get closer to spring/summer, with past outdoor classes including zumba, yoga, tai chi, Afrobeats dance and more.
Pricing: Free

MYSTRYDE

North End & South Boston
If you’re not a treadmill fan, join the club. However, MYSTRYDE turns the workout completely upside down by incorporating an engaging and far from boring session to get in your daily dose of cardio. Choose from their combination of strength and treadmill, all treadmill, or all strength classes, set in a dark room lit with only purple lights to make you feel like you’re living your most fit life during a fever dream.
Pricing: $31 per class

Swet Studio

South End
If you’re bound to your desk all day, there’s nothing like some aerial yoga classes at Swet Studio to give your body a full stretch in an unconventional way. Classes range from their aerial beginner flow to aerial stretch in a hammock, with aerial pilates, core + arms, and even barre for those that are up for the challenge. To get an idea as to what the workouts look like in real time, check out their Instagram for different poses, motions and upside down shots ‚Äď as you’ll even see some smiles being sported mid-workout.
Pricing: $30 for two intro classes

Photo courtesy of November Project Boston
Photo courtesy of November Project Boston
Photo courtesy of November Project Boston

November Project

Various locations
The international fitness movement that began in Boston, the November Project is free for anyone that shows up, with in-person workouts offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at different locations (updates can be found on their Instagram). Workouts consist of everything from running, circuit training, climbing Harvard Stadium’s stairs, and more.
Pricing: Free

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Jillian Hammell is a contributor for Thrillist. Follow her on Instagram.

Lifestyle

The Best New Bookstores in LA are Curated, Specific, and Personal

Discover a new favorite book, join a book club, and maybe even do some karaoke at the new wave of LA bookshops.

Photo by Innis Casey Photography, courtesy of Zibby's Bookshop
Photo by Innis Casey Photography, courtesy of Zibby’s Bookshop
Photo by Innis Casey Photography, courtesy of Zibby’s Bookshop

A couple of years ago, the legendary Powell’s Books in Portland released a perfume designed to evoke the smell of a bookstore. The scent has notes of wood, violet, and the lovely and unusually precise word biblichor, the particular aroma of old books. The reality of the scent is what it is-mostly sweet and floral-but more important is the imagery it conjures. The best bookstores are both cozy and mysterious, familiar and surprising, with endless potential for discovery.

Los Angeles has a wealth of independent book sellers, including beloved legacy shops like The Last Bookstore, The Iliad, and Chevalier’s. But a new wave of bookstores has been growing over the last few years, shops that eschew the traditional one-of-everything mindset to focus on specificity, curation, and point of view. There are bookstores with themes, bookstores that double as event spaces, bookstores that reflect their neighbourhoods, bookstores that take inspiration from a specific person-whether that’s the shop owner, a historical figure, or a little bit of both-and so many more.

Like the niche-ification of the internet and the culture at large, these new and new-ish bookstores provide a space to discover books, ideas, and perspectives led by an expert, the kind of things that you may never have found on your own. They can also be a safe harbour for pure nerdiness, a place to dive deep into your favourite category or cause. To help you on your way, we’ve put together a list of some of the best new bookstores in LA, with a focus on curated shops with their own specific perspectives.

Photo courtesy of Octavia's Bookshelf
Photo courtesy of Octavia’s Bookshelf
Photo courtesy of Octavia’s Bookshelf

Octavia’s Bookshelf

Pasadena
Pasadena is a famously book-friendly city, with bookstore royalty in the form of legendary Vroman’s and its own literary alliance. Now it has one of the most exciting new bookstores too. Octavia’s Bookshelf is owner Nikki High’s tribute to the science fiction master Octavia E. Butler, who was a Pasadena native herself. The name of the shop provides a clue into High’s inspiration, titles she imagines Butler would have had on her shelves, with a focus on BIPOC authors. The storefront is small, but the collection is impeccably curated and the space is cozy and welcoming for readers of all backgrounds.

Photo by Mads Gobbo, courtesy of North Figueroa Bookshop
Photo by Mads Gobbo, courtesy of North Figueroa Bookshop
Photo by Mads Gobbo, courtesy of North Figueroa Bookshop

North Figueroa Bookshop

Highland Park
Vertical integration can be a beautiful thing, especially when it allows independent creators more control over their products. The new North Figueroa Bookshop is a shining example of the concept, a storefront built on a collaboration between two publishers, Rare Bird and Unnamed Press. North Fig features titles from those presses, of course, including lots of striking literary fiction and memoir, but it also features a curated collection of other books. They’ve made it a point of emphasis to serve the needs of the local Highland Park, Glassell Park, Cypress Park, and Eagle Rock community-there’s lots of fiction from fellow independent publishers, other general interest titles with a focus on California history and literature, and plenty of Spanish-language books.

Photo by Karen Cohen Photography, courtesy of Zibby's Bookshop
Photo by Karen Cohen Photography, courtesy of Zibby’s Bookshop
Photo by Karen Cohen Photography, courtesy of Zibby’s Bookshop

Zibby’s Bookshop

Santa Monica
Speaking of vertical integration, there’s another new combined publisher and bookstore on the other side of town. Zibby’s Bookshop is the brainchild of Zibby Owens, Sherri Puzey, and Diana Tramontano, and it’s the physical home of Zibby Books, a literary press that releases one featured book a month. That system is designed so that each book gets the full attention and resources of the press. Owens is an author, podcaster, and book-fluencer, and she has become something of a lit-world mogul with a magazine, podcast network, event business, and an education platform too. The shop has a unique sorting system, built around a feeling for each book-in store many of the shelves are labelled by interest or personality type, like “For the foodie,” or “For the pop culture lover.” On their webshop, you can browse for books that make you cry, escape, laugh, lust, or tremble. There are recommendations from Owens and the staff, sections for local authors, family dramas, and books that have just been optioned. If this all seems a little overwhelming, you should probably avoid the section dedicated to books that make you anxious.

The Salt Eaters Bookshop

Inglewood
Inglewood native Asha Grant opened The Salt Eaters Bookshop in 2021 with a mission in mind-to centre stories with protagonists who are Black girls, women, femme, and/or gender-nonconforming people. Over the last year and change that it’s been open, it has also become a community hub, a place for Inglewood locals and people from across town to drop in, to see what’s new and to discover incredible works in the Black feminist tradition. They also host regular events like readings, discussions, and parties.

Lost Books

Montrose
Thankfully, legendary downtown bookshop The Last Bookstore’s name is hyperbole, and owners Josh and Jenna Spencer have even gone so far as to open a second shop, Lost Books in Montrose. Instead of the technicolour whimsy of the book tunnel at The Last Bookstore, Lost Books has a tunnel of plants that welcomes you into the shop, which opened in the summer of 2021. They sell those plants in addition to books, and coffee and vinyl too, which makes Lost Books a lovely destination and a fun little surprise in the quaint foothill town just off the 2 freeway.

Photo by Claudia Colodro, courtesy of Stories Books & Cafe
Photo by Claudia Colodro, courtesy of Stories Books & Cafe
Photo by Claudia Colodro, courtesy of Stories Books & Cafe

Stories Books & Cafe

Echo Park
Ok, this one is fudging the criteria a little-Stories has been open for almost 15 years. But over those years the shop has become a pillar of Echo Park community life, hosting readings, discussions, and events, and their cafe tables function as a de facto office for about half of the neighbourhood on any given afternoon. After the tragic recent passing of co-owner and Echo Park fixture Alex Maslansky it seemed like the shop’s future was in doubt, but thankfully after a brief hiatus co-owner and co-founder Claudia Colodro and the staff were able to band together to reopen and keep the beloved cafe and bookstore going strong.

Page Against the Machine

Long Beach
The name alone makes it clear what you’re getting at Page Against the Machine-revolutionary progressive books, with a collection centred on activist literature, socially conscious writing, and a whole lot of political history. The shop itself is small but the ideas are grand, with fiction by writers like Richard Wright, Colson Whitehead, and Albert Camus next to zines about gentrification and compendia of mushroom varieties. They also host regular readings and discussions.

Photo by Viva Padilla, courtesy of Re/Arte
Photo by Viva Padilla, courtesy of Re/Arte
Photo by Viva Padilla, courtesy of Re/Arte

Re/Arte Centro Literario

Boyle Heights
Boyle Heights has its own small but mighty combined bookstore, art gallery, gathering space, and small press in Viva Padilla’s Re/Arte. Padilla is a poet, translator, editor, and curator, and as a South Central LA native and the child of Mexican immigrants, she’s focused on Chicanx and Latinx art, literature, and social criticism. Re/Arte’s collection has a wide range of books, from classic Latin American literature to modern essays and everything in between. Re/Arte is also now the headquarters for sin cesar, a literary journal that publishes poetry, fiction, and essays from Black and Brown writers. There are always community-focused events happening too, from regular open mics and zine workshops to film screenings and more.

The Book Jewel

Westchester
Most bookshops host events, but few host them with the regularity of The Book Jewel, the two- year-old independent bookstore in Westchester. Their calendar is so full with readings, several different book clubs, signings, and meet and greets that there are sometimes multiple events on the same day. The shop also hosts a ton of family-focused readings, with regular storytime on Sunday mornings often followed by a talk with the author. It’s a great fit for the relatively low-key (but not exactly quiet) suburban neighbourhood, and it’s no coincidence that storytime lines up with the Westchester Farmers Market, which takes place right out front.

Reparations Club

West Adams
Most bookstores lean into coziness, aiming to be a hideaway for some quiet contemplation or maybe a quick sotto voce chat-not so at Reparations Club, the exuberant and stylish concept bookshop and art space on Jefferson. Owner and founder Jazzi McGilbert and her staff have built a beautiful and vibrant shop full of art from Black artists, including books but also records, candles, incense, clothing, and all sorts of fun things to discover. There’s a perfect seating area to sit and hang out for a while, and they host a range of wild and fun events from readings to happy hours, panel discussions to karaoke nights and more.

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Ben Mesirow is a Staff Writer at Thrillist.

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