Nickname: The MUT. We stumbled upon this great store thanks to a comment by a reader and just had to hand it to Boston (once again) for being quirky, down to earth and just-plain-fun.
The Museum of Useful Things bills itself as a museum. It even has a "museum store." The MUT seeks to collect under one roof all the useful everyday objects that have become part of our domestic and professional vernacular in the 19th adn 20th Century. Yes, it has a permanent collection and revolving exhibitions. Right now, mousetraps are on display, and before that, soap dispensers.
The big treat is the store, which makes Restoration Hardware look like a shabby pretender. MUT has a great colllection of currently manufactured retro home accessories and lighting. Look for the commercial soap dispenser for your kids or the hefty task lamp for your home office. For those so inclined, this is as good as window shopping gets. (Thanks, Monstermike!) MGR