There are some places that are not only beautiful but (not to sound like a total nut-job) nourish the soul. One of these places for me is our old neighborhood of Beacon Hill in Boston, Mass. We were back there this past weekend visiting friends that still live in the 'hood, and the place just sings to me. Although I don't miss my walk-up's stairs, lack of central air, windows from 1906 that let in the cold winter air and rain (and everything else), and heating that loved to give out in the winter (ah, yes, nothing like waking up on a Boston February morning to a 55-degree apartment...), I do pine for the bricks and doors and shutters of my old stomping ground. Here are some of the things that caught my eye.
A fanlight to-die-for on Chestnut Street.
The flower shop around the corner from our old apartment. A neighborhood institution.
American flags with the 13 colonies' stars abound.
A window box lover's heaven.
This tiny back alley type street, Cedar Lane Way, was behind where we lived. It's hidden charms never fail to amaze me.
A door sans stoop on Cedar Lane Way.
A wooden garden gate leading to the back garden of a home on the next street over.
Everything here has the weirdest and most lovely proportions.
A black and brass garden gate tempts me to sneak into the yard of #22. Complete with buzzer.
This door is nowhere near "to code" but those lion's heads, and lanterns, and even that wacky old transom are the things my dreams are made of.
Louisberg Square is the fanciest of fancy-pants addresses on the Hill, and maybe in Boston in general. There's a central gated park in the middle of the square like in London. This home on the corner of Louisberg and Pinckney has the most incredible wisteria.
Yes, your New England fantasies are all coming true -- that's a townhouse on Louisberg Square with a lobster door-knocker.
Elegant is an understatement.
The double urns of hydrangeas and gold painted number in the transom makes 12 Louisberg Square my favorite for the moment.
West Cedar Street also has some heartbreakingly lovely homes. Glossy black door and a swirling transom makes #30 a charmer.
I love the combination of green, black, and brick. And everything is perfectly off-kilter.
A solemn row of tiny arbor vitae soldiers guard the from window of 12 West Cedar Street.
This glossy cobalt door stole the show.
The iron fretwork detailing on the second floor of this home on Mount Vernon street is enough to stop a Chippendale-addict like myself in her tracks.
Boxwood window box? Yes, please!
100 Revere Street is a stunner and currently for sale if you've got $2.5 million around. A pretty good deal for four bedrooms on the Hill actually.
The buildings on Charles Street (the main drag, and where we lived) are gorgeous as well. If you're insane like I am, you may recognize our old post office as the site of the Fall 1 2007 J.Crew catalogue. AKA the best catalogue of all time. Google it.
AND THE DOOR KNOCKERS.THE DOOR KNOCKERS PEOPLE.
Whale tail. Made me giggle.
Gorgeous encircled lion's head.
The federal style eagle is a neighborhood favorite.
The scallop shell is delicately nautical.
And, of course, this be-ribboned wreath. On a lack door so glossy you can see me and JLB (hehe).
So, are you in love yet? I'm really glad I have this chance to live in Chicago, a truly great city, but there is always going to be a part of my heart left on Beacon Hill.