December 9, 2012 The Boston Globe Magazine

8 great spots for urban birding in Boston and beyond

Grab your jacket and your binoculars. Even as temperatures drop, cities are rife with great spots to see some fascinating avian species. By Ted Levin

The New England Aquarium’s splashy new look

The facility is pulling off a major renovation — an improved giant tank to hold more animals than ever — and doing it in public view. By Michael Fitzgerald

Best of the New 2012

Pizza formaggio from Ecco Pizzeria. Best of the New: Food

Barbecue pork pie, a Somerville speak-easy, Mission-style burritos, and the latest from Michael Schlow.

Dinner With Cupid


Blind date on a cold night

Will these blind daters find warmth in the cold?

Cooking

Cookies topped with chocolate and bits of candy cane will keep for a week (unless you eat them first). 3 recipes for holiday cookies

Chocolate-peppermint treats perfect for holiday eating and giving. By Adam Ried

A Restaurant’s Take


Chocolate-peppermint cupcake

At Sweet bakery’s four locations, a holidays-only treat.

First Person

“I’m known for doing nothing small,” says Michael Conlon, who runs his own security firm. Christmas decorating done big

For 13 years, Saugus resident Michael Conlon has entertained thousands driving by his spectacularly illuminated house on Lynn Fells Parkway.

Connections


A senior citizen’s Superwoman moment

Not thrilled by my impending birthday, I got a chance to feel young again through an encounter at the pool. By Robine Andrau

On the Block


For sale: Landmark homes

These antique properties--in Hudson, Dedham, and Beacon Hill--command attention.

Style Watch

“I have a great love of art. I like to live with it; it’s even better to live in it.” — Robin Cook The writer’s lair

Known for his bleeding edge medical thrillers, author Robin Cook does some of his writing from a Beacon Hill study that recalls a much earlier era. By Marni Elyse Katz

Your Week Ahead

5 things to do in and around town this week

Shopping by moonlight, tunes for tykes, and more.

Out and About

Harvard Vs. Yale - Harvard beat Yale in their annual game at the Stadium. Dick Bennink, 95, class of '38 was presented the Harvard fan flag by Paul Lee, age 88 class of '46. Photos: As seen around town

Patriotism, tradition, and a mascot with time on his paws.

One-Liners

Comic Rob Schneider as movie critic

The funnyman, performing in town at the end of December, makes a joke on Twitter.

Letters

Letters to the editor

Globe Magazine readers respond a story on domestic adoption.