This bust of Paul Revere (his name is on the base) has been looking out of this window of an old wooden house on Pinckney Street for as long as I've been living in Boston — and that's more than 35 years. I remember admiring him shortly after I moved here and began exploring the nearby historic neighborhoods. If you dare to peek further into the window, you'll see a room nicely furnished in antiques that match his era, so he's right at home.
Those ruffled curtains haven't changed, either. They are a quintessential Old New England item that that's been out-of-fashion for years, replaced first by polyester sheers and then by everything from floor-length drapes to wooden blinds and shutters. But the old cotton curtains still look charming and appropriate in our old houses, and plenty of Old New Englanders swear by them — just not that many in Beacon Hill anymore. Beacon Hill is a popular place for young families now, and their taste runs to modern and trendy. But you can still get curtains like these from Country Curtains, in white or natural, in pure cotton or a blend, with or without ruffles. Long may they wave in the multi-paned windows of our historic houses.
Paul Revere hasn't changed a bit over the decades that he's been watching over Pinckney Street, while I have definitely gone downhill and become an antique myself. I realize this was inevitable, just as I know that Paul's time in that window continues to decrease, so that every time I see him feels like a little victory over time. Whoever keeps him in there will eventually move on, one way or another. And then Paul will disappear, the house will change hands, and the new owner will likely gut it to the studs.
Then, one day, I'll pass that window and find — who knows? but I can guess — millennial-pink drapes in the replacement windows, and a trendy breed of lapdog looking out from Paul's old spot. Behind him, in the newly "opened" kitchen-living-dining room, there will be a vast Viking stove, a stone-topped island with bar stools, and a big TV screen over the fireplace. A young family will be sitting there, eating takeout from Anna's Taqueria or The Upper Crust.
How I hope it won't happen soon.