Come one, come all, to a neighborhood that deserves a little more credit. Boroughs of New York City are great, but maybe just a bit too crowded. Los Angeles neighborhoods are glamorous, but how much do you really enjoy staring at big houses from a bus? Jamaica Plain is perfect but…? Actually, there is no ‘but.’ JP, as you can call it to sound like a local, is one of the most diverse communities in Boston. As a result, it’s bubbling with personality and totally packed with fun things to do and cool places to visit. If you like adventure, you’re in luck; over here at Nift, we’ve rounded up a sampling of the creative and delightful local businesses of the JP community. Go discover them!

Boing! JP’s Toy Shop A self-proclaimed kid-at-heart, owner Kim Mitchell is on a journey to make the world a better place through irresistible toys and games. Her business’s motto, “Building Community, One Toy at a Time,” pretty much sums up her strong connection to the residents and visitors of JP and beyond. She runs a “kindness club,” where children are recognized for random acts of compassion, encouraging them to think about how to incorporate caring in their day-to-day lives. With an endless supply of toys, games, books, crafts, puzzles, and so much more, Boing! faithfully represents the true definition of fun.  www.boingtoys.com 667 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Courtesy of Boing!

 

Ula Café Do you have a coffee addiction? Pastry obsession? Sandwich infatuation? Amory St.’s Ula Café can satisfy all your cravings. When you order a sweet breakfast treat from this local meet-up destination, you can be sure it was baked that very morning, fresh and from scratch. Their sandwiches, soups, and salads make the best lunches, and their variety of coffee and tea options can, (and will), be enjoyed at any time of the day. Vegan options are always available, and ingredients are locally sourced. Ula even earned itself the Green Business Award from Mayor Menino and was certified as a Sustainable Business Leader. Jamaica Plain’s residents and visitors are as lucky to call Ula Café its neighborhood bakery, as Ula Café is to serve such a vibrant and accepting community. www.ulacafe.com 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

ComedySportz Boston Before this goes any further, you’ll need to answer a quick question: do you like fun? If not, you can just skip this one — go watch paint dry or something. If you like to laugh, get creative, and go with the flow, then ComedySportz is totally the place for you. An improv theatre in the spirit of “Whose line is it anyway?”, ComedySportz sets up matches pitting two teams against each other. With audience suggestions and referees, the teams try to out-funny each other to earn your vote, with winners, losers, and hilarious results. ComedySportz creates shows that are suitable for ages 4-104, ensuring clean living with the “brown bag foul,” (a brown paper sack placed over the offending player’s head). Get out and vote! www.cszboston.com 146a South St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Courtesy of ComedySportz

 

40 South St. Remember the good ol’ days? Or more importantly, remember the good ol’ clothes? Neither need be over. At 40 South St., a vintage clothing store in the heart of Jamaica Plain, the claim is that “corporate shopping still sucks.” They are pleased to present you with an alternative. Stepping into 40 South St. is like traveling through a time warp. Prepare to be surrounded by the styles you used to know and love, with a never-ending turnover of attire covering trends from the 60s through the 80s. Unlike the garments sold, shopping at this sanctuary of forgotten fashions will never get old.  www.fortysouthst.com 40 South St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Capoeira Gerais If you’re on the market for a new hobby, Nift just found it for you! Capoeira, often called dance-fighting for its inclusion of acrobatic elements, is an entrancing  form of “combat.” It teaches not only self-defense, strength, flexibility, and coordination, but also self-confidence, determination, work ethic, and respect for yourself and those around you. At Capoeira Gerais, a welcoming and all-inclusive studio on Danforth St, you can better yourself both physically and mentally, through an art-form that dates back to the 16th century. At Capoeira Gerais, you can work your way up 14 level progressions, from a green, beginner cord, to the coveted, white cord of a ‘grand-mestre.’ Do you have what it takes?  www.capoeirageraisboston.com 45 Danforth St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Courtesy of Capoeira Gerais

 

Imani Massage Christine Rose, owner of this home-of-relaxation on Washington St., was inspired by the Swahili word imani, meaning faith. Christine feels that she was “meant to impact people’s lives, touch their souls, and empower them to be the best they can be.” That is exactly what she strives to achieve with each heavenly session. At Imani Massage, you can escape whatever stressors are out to get you, and indulge in an experience that has been reviewed as “the best massage in the United States.” Regardless of whether or not this claim can be proven, it seems pretty darn tempting to find out first hand what even the country’s potentially greatest massage really feels like.  www.imanimassage.com 3464 Washington St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130