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Spots to Sport Your Tote Bag

Where to show off your tote in the Boston area while looking cute and utilizing all it has to offer.

By Sydnie Smith

Photo by Pinterest

Tote bags, or “totes” for short, are the increasingly popular, radically versatile, and effortlessly efficient accessory taking over Boston. From students' speed walking to class to millennials lingering in the Trader Joe's aisle, tote bags can be seen on shoulders across the city, and complement a slew of activities. If you are a tote owner yourself, here are some spots around the city to explore with your can’t-live-without accessory.

Brookline: Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St.

Brookline Booksmith is a family-owned Bookstore that has been a Brookline staple since 1961. Equal parts book haven, artisan shop, and community gathering space, Brookline Booksmith is a fairytale-like space that can make even the most cynical of nonreaders smile. Head to their used book section, explore their cookware section, or grab a bite to eat near the register after wandering around the endless book stacks in awe. Your tote will thank you for the new book you bring home.

Somerville: Neighborhood Produce, 415 Medford St. and 691 Broadway

With two homey locations in Somerville, Neighborhood Produce is an independently owned grocery store that distributes fresh produce and local goods in a sustainable shopping environment. Neighborhood Produce opened in 2017, and has been delivering high-quality food products to local residents ever since. Next time you’re in Sommerville, head to one of their storefronts and stock up on some bulk goods or some everyday staples — one of many perks for bringing your own reusable bag.

Southie: SoWa Vintage Market, 450 Harrison Ave.

SoWa Vintage Market is located in SoWa’s expansive design district nestled between the South End and Downtown. Head inside the brick warehouse that hosts Sowa’s Open Market and follow the signs downstairs to a slew of vintage goods, clothing, and collectibles. The market is open the first Friday of every month, as well as every Sunday. While you’re there, search for a vintage pin to adorn your tote, a new antique trinket, or a thrifted-find that will have you coming back for new discoveries.

Cambridge: 1369 Coffee, 1369 Cambridge St. and 757 Mass. Ave.

1369 Coffee–named after its primary location at 1369 Cambridge St.–is a local staple in Inman Square. At 1369, you can grab a bite, fuel up with an art-packed latte, or nod to music while working in a community cafe setting. Formerly a jazz club, 1369 Coffee continues to prioritize community and local artistry, adorning its space with local artwork in an intimate setting. Pack your tote with a book, your laptop, or a journal, and enjoy the atmosphere at 1369 any day of the week.

Back Bay: Boston Public Library Main Branch, 700 Boylston St.

The Boston Public Library is a haven for curious tourists, eager book lovers, and stressed-out students alike. Located in Copley Square, the Boston Public Library’s main branch is an architectural landmark in the city that is a must see. Head to the library’s modern section for a weekend read and a drink at the Newsfeed Cafe, or find a seat under the green lamps at the iconic Bates Hall for a serious study session. Before leaving, why not rent a book from the library’s collection of over 600,000 print stories?

North End: Uvida, 28 N Atlantic Ave.

Uvida is Boston’s first and only zero-waste shop — and so much more. Uvida sells a diversity of sustainable products, including indoor plants to grace your windowsill, plastic-free self-care goods, and handmade candles and decorations that will freshen up your space without an environmental footprint. Female-run, innovative, and charming, Uvida is the perfect store to escape to with your tote and leave with some new products you can feel just as good about purchasing as that reusable bag you take them home in.

Harvard Square: Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St.

An outing with your tote would not be complete without a visit to one of Boston’s art museums. The Harvard Art Museums, three conjoined museums in the heart of Harvard Yard, are a must-see with combined collections of global paintings, photographs, and antique artifacts. Bring your student ID for free entry, and wander around the museums’ curated galleries, special exhibits, and elegant columns. Spend an afternoon surrounded by art while living out your aesthetic dreams.

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