1. Anna's Taqueria. This is a delectable no-brainer. And it would save us two or three trips out of the neighborhood every week.
2. Iggy's Bread of the World. Back Bay does not have a bakery, unless you count the Paradise in the Pru. Which I don't. Iggy's makes the all-around best bread I've ever had.
3. Lyndell's Bakery. Now that they've opened an outpost in the North End, they can spread the frosting goodness around here. If we had their cakes, pastries, and Danishes, Iggy's Bread, and an Anna's, the collective weight of Back Bay's population would rise to the point where the whole neighborhood might just sink back into the swamp from whence it came.
4. ABC Carpet and Home. Such a prosaic name for a paradise. My favorite store in New York or anywhere, this is a theatrically designed temple to housewares, exotic imports, antiques, retro furnishings, luxury bedding, textiles, oriental carpets, vintage jewelry, and much more, including chocolate. Shopping just doesn't get more wonderful than this.
5. Pottery Barn Bed & Bath. I hear we're going to lose Pottery Barn, leaving us with only Crate & Barrel. I don't miss Restoration Hardware, except for the stocking stuffers at Christmas. I found their furniture overpriced, pompous, and often ridiculously overscaled for city apartments. And half the year, the store was stuffed with patio furniture and grill accessories, which are also low on the needs list for city dwellers. Pottery Barn is probably suffering from similarly wrong merchandising, focused on suburban McMansion living despite its urban location. But if PB converted their store to a Bed & Bath, like the one in NYC, we'd all live happily ever after.
6. Another bookstore. I remember being able to walk to Waterstone's, the Harvard Bookstore Café, Avenue Victor Hugo, Buddenbooks, Barnes & Noble, Rizzoli, and a few others. Borders is great, and the Trident is good, but I think we need another independent bookstore to be able to hold up our heads as a well-educated and literate neighborhood.
7. The perfect clothing store. I don't think it exists, but the perfect clothing store would offer mid-priced, well-made, timeless, chic clothing for men and women, including those of us who are over 35. I know... good luck with that.
8. A witch's store. If you had a notion to brew a potion or cast a spell, you'd have a devil of a time finding ingredients outside Salem. A store selling dried wolfbane would add diversity to this 'hood.
9. Art galleries. The exodus continues, and if any of them are replaced with another nail salon, dry cleaner, or cigar store, I'll be upset. Come back, galleries, come back!