The Palladium (I don't know why it says EM Loews Theater on the listing on here--the venue at that address is just called The Palladium as far as I know) is a two-part concert venue with a huge downstairs and a small upstairs room. A lot of hardcore shows are held upstairs even though the room is not big enough to contain them because the downstairs stage has a barrier that means you can't stage dive. Upstairs shows can get really dangerous if they are crowded because the room is extremely narrow and there isn't room for a pit to open up like if you go to the ICC church in Allston, which is where I recommend going to see hardcore shows instead. The downstairs part has several levels, so if you're going to see a band you don't really want to dance for, you can stand on one of the levels that isn't the main floor in front of the stage and get a good view.
Dots is a store that sells pretty cheap and trashy women's clothing. It's the only place to get clothing in Middletown besides Bobs, but you're probably better off going to Bob's. The clothing is cheap, but it also seems cheaply made and is not nice at all. Although Bob's doesn't have a plus size section and this store does, plus it has more women's "fashion" (i.e. uncomfortable) shoes and accessories like purses and lingerie and jewelry.
Bead Street is one of those stores that sells a ton of different kinds of beads, where you can go and make your own jewelry by picking out what beads you like and getting string and clasps to make necklaces or bracelets or whatever. The people there are nice and there is a large selection. It would be a good place to take kids so they can do something creative and get some cool jewelry out of it, but it's definitely for crafty older people too.
Wild Bill's is a very unique store. You can always spot it by the colorful mural on its front and side, which features a mix of historical figures and cartoon characters. Wild Bill is a hippie who probably doesn't make that much money off the store but has fun running it anyway. He sells a variety of random stuff including old posters and prints, some t-shirts, patches, vintage toys, and some little junky fun non-vintage toys.
I love thrift stores, so I checked this place out after reading another review on here that said it was more of a thrift store than a "boutique" as the name suggests. Well, it's not really a thrift store either. It's a ridiculously high-priced store with ugly overly flashy used women's clothing. The first couple of things I looked at the price tags for were really high and also really weird prices like $347.
After seeing these shirts everywhere for a while, I finally figured out where people were getting them and went to check out the store. I wasn't very impressed. They have t-shirts, jeans and bags, and some of the stuff is pretty cool, but it costs a lot more than I am willing to pay for that stuff. I guess if it's the current hip thing, people will pay anything to have it.
This store is awesome. It's the dream store of everyone who goes to thrift store looking not for clothes but for the perfect piece of retro furniture or dinnerware. The owners go to estate sales and things like that and get together all sorts of great 50's-ish furniture and housewares, from full dinette sets to little end tables to glassware and lighting. It's pricier than I would like, but I understand that owning an independent store in Brooklyn and reselling vintage items is not the cheapest endeavor.
I wasn't very impressed with this thrift store. The only good section was the books--there were a lot of shelves, and a lot of the books seemed brand new. It's a pretty small store and they have a little bit of clothing, a few shoes, and a little bit of house stuff, but none of it seems that great. However, as with all thrift stores, it's worth going in if you're in the area because you never know what you will find.
Housing Works is different from a lot of the other thrift stores in the city because the prices are higher, but the stuff there is often much nicer. I'm not sure how they manage to get so much designer clothing while the Salvation Army and Goodwill get crummy stuff. Anyway, the store supports a great cause and it's worth going if you're in the mood to get something a little nicer for a little bit higher price. They also have periodic auctions that you can do online.
If I had the choice, I would never take a bus (other than a city bus) anywhere. The reason people take Greyhound is because the prices are pretty good, especially compared to the alternative, which is often Amtrak, where the prices are really bad. But what you get for your money is a ride that takes much, much longer than it would if you drove. If there's traffic, you can easily find a two-hour trip suddenly taking six.