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Houdini graffiti

May 20th, 2010 by

Now you see it…


Now you don’t.


I’m not quite sure when this happened, but some time while I was away visiting San Francisco, the graffiti behind the Woolworth’s was painted over.

Ruth Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

May 14th, 2010 by

Lafayette Square staple Ruth’s House has packed it up…

Lafayette Square

And moved right across the street:

Lafayette Square

Not sure if Ruth is ready for business yet but The Feeve will keep their eyes open.

Mr. Cleanse! Mr. Cleanse!

May 13th, 2010 by

Cosmic Amanda likes to tell me that I’m a snob because I dry clean my clothes.  That may or may not be true. But at least I’ve never had my clothes cleansed:


Now, I honestly can’t tell you if Bennett the Cleanser is still in business but there are definitely racks of cleansed clothes waiting to be picked-up inside.

Along with some ducks:

Quack Quack

Merrimack Valley Nerd Alert!

May 3rd, 2010 by

I was checking out the music section at Target this evening, when I came across this: some poor high school nerd left his pre-calculus flash cards behind!

Don't question the General Power Rule.

How do I know they belong to a nerd? Look where they ended up…on the sweetest keyboard in all of Target. You tell me this kid didn’t feast his eyes on this glossy-keyed beauty and immediately set down the cards, inwardly gasp and push in his glasses, then get completely lost in some sweet John Tesh fantasy.

So, what was I doing in the keyboard section at Target? Er, I was, uhhhhh, picking up blank cds for my weekly college radio show. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Haverhill Got a Little Less Comfort-able

May 2nd, 2010 by

Famous chickens everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief.

‘David’s Famous Chicken Pies’ has apparently shut it’s door after seven years. My wife and I are vegetarians but we were intrigued by the flyer advertising baked mac & cheese, mashed sweet potato, fried ravioli, and all sorts of delicious comfort food sides.

So, on Saturday we head over the bridge to Bradford only to be confronted by:

South Pleasant Street, Bradford


You're going to need some Goo Gone to get that yellow off.

I called the contact number from their still-functional but Flash-only website and was told by an automated message that they have closed the retail end of their business to focus on the wholesale side.

No chicken pie for you!

Never anything good on TV on Sundays

April 11th, 2010 by

Channel 40

I saw this nice TV sitting down by the river, and thought I’d take in some programming, but all I could get was channel 40.

Where the riverwalk ends.

April 6th, 2010 by

The weather was beautiful Sunday. Hoping to reverse the effects of our Easter gluttony, we decided to head down to the newly opened Haverhill Riverwalk and get our power walk on.

Problem is, the riverwalk is 300 feet.

I mean, they’re glorious and all, don’t get me wrong, but that’s barely a stroll! It looks more like the parking lot was jealous of The Tap and went out and got it’s own totally kick ass deck. (There were two ladies sunbathing on it.)

Well, I guess this is only Phase A, right?  I checked the mayor’s monthly newsletter:

Phase B awaits further funding.


What DID seem to get funding though, was PHASE C! which is a more nature trail-esque walk on the Bradford side of the Merrimack. From the Mass Highway Dept. project web site:

The project begins at the Route 125 bridge over the Merrimack River and ends at the Gonzalian Bridge near the MBTA commuter rail station in Bradford. The section is approximately 3700 feet long. A linear park and interpretive elements are planned as well as several gateway entrances and parking.

So, we have that to look forward to…in 2015!

But hey, being a true Hillie is all about patience. Plus, we didn’t let the slow grinding gears of progress stop us. We enjoyed our own (albeit somewhat gritty) riverwalk behind Washington and Merrimack Streets instead. I give you the Haverhill Fever Back Alley Riverwalk!

Behind Washington St. Haverhill

To begin, cut across Riverfront Park.  If you’re lucky, your gateway to the Haverhill Fever Back Alley Riverwalk is pleasantly scented of beer brewing at The Tap. (It was Whittier White when we were passing by) Here are some of the more scenic highlights:

Like Swayze.

Like Swayze.

Hellllllo, Newman.

Helllllllo, Newman’s.

Working Man's Parking

Behind Woolworth's

The Haverhill Fever Back Alley Riverwalk’s colorful conclusion.

I don’t know. I’ll be excited when the new riverwalk is finally finished, but in the meantime, this one isn’t half bad. There’s interesting architecture, a glimpse into local culture, and even some art!

*shrug* I guess you can take your time, 2015.

Beautiful abandonment

March 22nd, 2010 by

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve driven by and never really noticed this small, neglected shop, but I recognized it the second I saw this photo by Jeremiah True.

Jeremiah True: Abandoned Store Front

So much of Haverhill is shuttered, it can feel pretty bleak at times. But, there’s something beautiful in all this abandonment.

On one hand, the downtown is oozing with character, and there’s vast potential for restoration, rehabilitation and development of our unique city.  I moved here because I wanted to be in on the ground floor of this turn around. If you’re reading this blog, are you with me?

On the other hand, while I’d love to see this building transformed into a quirky yarn store or maybe even a coffee shop, part of me loves it just the way it stands-  evidence of all that’s transpired since the Haverhill that once was.

Here are a couple more of my favorites- *sigh* They almost make me want to petition for Haverhill to maintain an official “abandoned district.”

Jeremiah True: Shuttered Diner

Jeremiah True: Mill Building Reflection #1

Jeremiah True: F.W. Woolworth's Loading Dock

You can see more of downtown Haverhill in all of its eerie nighttime  glory in Jeremiah’s flickr photostream. Be sure to check out his Forty Days of Photography project, which also features some really nice, moody shots of Bradford and nearby Lawrence, Amesbury and Newburyport.