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Sweet Sweet Thing’s Baadasssss Storefront

August 9th, 2010 by

Certainly, some of you have noticed this delightful new storefront adjacent to The Tap downtown.

Washington Street

No word on when the grand opening date will be yet – but progress is definitely coming along nicely.

I like cake.

Asking the tough questions: Is Haverhill uncool?

July 11th, 2010 by

If you are unfamiliar with Yahoo! Answers, then let me explain.

It is where all the world’s greatest minds gather to discuss religion, politics, science, and other facets of civilzation.

This morning, this gem of an inquiry popped up in my Google Alerts:

I wouldn't even dignify this with a response

I’m pretty sure I can come up with a least a handful of places less cool than Haverhill (Plaistow, anyone?).

Can the home of Tom Bergeron, Miskatanic U., and the Black Diamonds really be “uncool?”

I don’t think so.

Haverhill Brewery: Hoptimus Prime

June 29th, 2010 by

Sure, you’ve enjoyed a pint out on the Tap’s deck on a hot summer day, or secretly swigged directly from that growler you keep stowed in your fridge when nobody’s looking. But, have you ever wondered how exactly our delicious hometown brew came to be?

Well, wonder no more, fearless readers! Recently, I found myself with a thirst for knowledge (not to mention beer), so I  headed straight to the Tap Brewpub where Haverhill Brewery’s charming (albeit sweaty) head brewer, Jon Curtis took a time out from the sweltering brew house to show me around the brewery.  He explained the entire process, from barley to bottle, and we caught it all on camera. Take a look:

Ever the perfectionist, I made sure we did plenty of takes of the beer tasting scene. I wanted to be sure we got it juuuuust right! (I have to say, sometimes being a blogger really pays off.)

Thanks to Haverhill Brewery’s head brewer Jon Curtis for showing us around the brewery while indulging my Laverne & Shirley fantasies, and as always thanks to the Firg for shooting and editing all the footage.

(Incidentally, you can follow Jon on Twitter, where right now he promises to brew another batch of delicious Berliner Weisse if he gets @ replies requesting it from 15 people. So get following and start tweeting- Mommy needs her medicine!)

Meet the Black Diamonds

June 28th, 2010 by

A couple weeks ago I stumbled upon an article in the Globe spotlighting a pre-teen rock band from Haverhill named the Black Diamonds.

Clearly, these dudes were cool and since The Feeve is all about focusing on what is cool in this city – I just had to find out more.

The band at the beach

HF: Who is in the band and just how old are you guys?

AJ: Henry McIntire on our lead guitar (10), Nick Calnan on drums (12), Wolfgang Burger on Bass (8), and I sing lead vocals (12).

HF: How did you guys get started? What’s the story behind the band?

Wolfgang: Nancy ran into Henry at the school, he was leaving his sister’s dance class.  Henry was the first who wanted to do the band.  Nick was already taking lessons on drums for a couple of months and he wanted in.  We found AJ at the school Christmas party – his sister was performing on guitar and he jumped up to the mic in between acts – I (Nancy) said he is the one, rock school frontman.  We could not find a bass player, so we got our son, who just turned 7 a bass and in 2 months the band started.

HF: Who are some of your musical influences?

AJ: Um… I try to be my own person with my own voice, but if it’s an acoustical version of another artist’s song I have to mimic the way the sing it, it’s their song.

Henry: The Who (mostly Pete Townsend) and John Denver.

Wolfgang: Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, Guns n’ Roses.

Nick: Disturbed, Ozzy, and Metallica.

HF: Tell us the truth – you’re just in it for the girls, aren’t you?

AJ: No, actually I have always loved to sing and I’ve always wanted to go somewhere with it, so joining this band was no argument at all.

Henry: No, no way.

Wolfgang: Also, noooooo.

Nick: No. I just like to play.

Black Diamonds

HF: What message would you have for other kids that just want to rock out but might get frustrated that their instrument is too hard to learn?

AJ: Make sure the instrument is for you, in 4th grade I played the flute, but It just wasn’t my thing (probably because I couldn’t sing to it). Now I’m learning to play piano and keyboard. If it’s not your thing, figure out how much breath control an instrument takes, and if you really like and instrument that takes more than you’ve got, train yourself to be that level.

Henry: Just practice and learn music that you like.  Keep the instrument in their hands.

Wolfgang: A good teacher makes all the difference, make sure you learn the basics but tell them what you like so they keep it fun

Nick: It’s not easy, you just have to keep on trying and eventually it starts to come together.

HF: What type of songs do you guys play? Do you guys play only originals? Only covers?

AJ: I’m writing songs every other day now so we’re deciding no more covers (with the exception of like 3) and to start off with our many originals. But currently we have 10 covers and 1 original in our playlist

HF: Who would win in a fight – Zack or Cody?

Henry: Zack

Nick: Cody

Wolfgang: Zack

AJ: It depends on the argument. I like to see both sides through the person’s eyes first and try to find out why they would want this rather than what someone else wants, but I have friends who are twins and they fight a lot.

Which one is Zack?

HF: What are some of your favorite places in Haverhill to go?

AJ: DeAngelis School of Music and Arts tops my list and I’m sure food stores are in there somewhere – but there are so many awesome places in Haverhill that would tie for second – I just can’t choose.

Henry: Kidsfests to play at.

Wolfgang: Chunky’s.

Nick: The stadium.

HF: Do you guys get to practice and jam more now that school is out?

Wolfgang: Lots going on in the summer, we leave for Berlin, Germany in just over 3 weeks, everyone has camping and vacations planned too so maybe even less practicing.

HF: What are your hopes for the future? Sold out stadiums? Platinum albums?

AJ: Just to have Bagel, watch TV, and sing a ton until my next gig. I’m still your normal, humble, average pre-teen until I hit the stage

Henry: Both, making music and performing.  I just want to play guitar, get better at it and have FUN!!!

Wolfgang: Doing the shows is fun, keep going as long as it stays that way.  Being famous and making money wouldn’t be so bad :).

Nick: Both. I would like to be as famous as my influences.

The rock star lifestyle

I was so inspired by these young rockers that I’m sitting here listening to Hatebreed instead of my usual Gordon Lightfoot and Hall & Oates.

Be sure to ‘like’ the Black Diamonds on Facebook and be on the lookout for upcoming concert dates. And if you happen to be in Germany – you’re in luck! – the crew is heading out there later this summer for some shows.

Pedro’s Bike Care: Open House and Mini Bike Races

June 24th, 2010 by

Tonight was the grand opening of Pedro’s, and those of who made it down to 147 Essex St. got a tour of their gorgeous office space, sneaked a peek into their secret R&D lab, and best of all were treated to free beer and cupcakes.

Bike shop inside Pedro's

But wait- did I mention there were mini bike races? Oh. Yes. There. Were.

Around 7:00pm a nice crowd started to gather out in front of Pedro’s HQ waiting for the main event…

And it did not disappoint! Check out these action shots:

Hmmm, you guys, I think an event this monumental calls for more Haverhill Fever goofy animated gifs, don’t you? (I can sense your heads nodding through my computer) In that case, I give you…

The Top 3 Goofy Animated Gifs from Pedro’s Mini Bike Race

1. Know what this race needs? More cow bell.

2.  I like to call this one the “Whoopsie Daisy”

3. And last but not least- check out this guy’s mad sit-down skills.

But all goofy animated gifs aside, between Pedro’s and Frozen Waves, I’m starting to get really excited about the state of small business in Haverhill. It’s been my dream since moving here to see these types of businesses come into town and thrive…nice to see it’s coming true!

Unfortunately, due to all the activity at the open house, plus some shyness on my part, I wasn’t able to catch up with any of the crew at Pedro’s. Plus, with all the gif making going on, I ran down my camera battery before getting shots of the inside office. But rest assured, I’ll be making another visit soon, if only to be able to pretend for a moment that I work in such an inspiring workspace!

Indoor skate park coming soon to Ward Hill

June 23rd, 2010 by

Rumors of an indoor dog playground at Ward Hill industrial park have been swirling around the Haverhill Fever Facebook page recently, and now it seems Ward Hill East is home to an even juicier development- Haverhill is getting an indoor skate park! A friend just texted me this exciting photographic evidence:

Frozen Waves indoor skate park taking shape in Ward Hill East

How cool is that? No word yet on when it’s set to open, but the park, being built by local ramp manufacturer Frozen Waves, has been in development since early March.

Frozen Waves specializes in mix-and-match ramps so anyone can design their own unique skating experience. Founders Brandon Bader, Rif Welsh and Benny Paquette gush on their Web site:

“25 years ago, we had an incredible dream. We grew up on skateboards. As we thrashed away our childhood, this dream matured right along with us. Our common ground is skateboarding, and thus, the way of our walk. Our goal is to make our dream, your reality.”

Well, despite being all kinds of no good on a skateboard, I for one am totally psyched and will be waiting with bated breath for this awesome new venture to open up shop. Until then, check out this cool video of a recent event Frozen Waves put on at Pop*Up Shoppes in Manchester, NH.

Someday this will all be mine

June 20th, 2010 by

City Hall, Summer Street

That’s right – Vote Chris For Mayor 2020! I’ll be running under the Fever Party flag.

Age of Donuts

June 15th, 2010 by

Who doesn’t like a little hardcore with their morning coffee?

Winter St. Dunkin Donuts

Additional Aerosol Acrobatics

June 8th, 2010 by

Even if I wanted to scale this building then I would need my trusty, patented Chris-grapple.

Essex Street

In addition to lacking any artistic talent at all – the main reason I could never be a graffiti writer is my indelible-yet-specific fear of falling off abandoned downtown buildings.

What’s YOUR downtown vision?

June 7th, 2010 by

Amazing things transpire in the basement of this place.

While I spend a lot of time wandering around Haverhill’s downtown appreciating all it currently has to offer, I also like to stand on a corner, in a park, on the street, look around and imagine what downtown Haverhill might be someday. I see the continued success of our blossoming restaurant scene, with the addition of lots of shops, maybe a small art house screening room. I dream of seeing more business, more street art, more outdoor events, just more stuff in general to keep people coming back and hanging out.

No Parking - a common complaint of downtowns everywhere

No Parking- a common complaint in downtowns everywhere

I’m always interested in hearing what other people envision for Haverhill, so when I logged into Flickr this morning I got a pretty big kick out of finding this visionary comment from sandalbum14 on one of my downtown photos:

Personally, I think Merrimack and Washington streets should be pedestrian, the downtown area should be held together by more visible, trustworthy and present public transport. The buses are quite sketchy and have odd routes. I propose we bring back the streetcar, run on electricity, and the car will go the entire length of 125, from the N. Andover line to Stateline Plaza. There should also be two to three parking garages to house all the potential visitors to downtown area, and Haverhill should also get more people to LIVE in downtown. The in turn requires more services to be in hat area, like a grocery store, pharmacy and a household goods store. These businesses exist already in Haverhill, just not where they are needed most for the city to thrive. Putting these various regulations in place I strongly think will improve downtown greatly, but that’s just me :)

His idea of reviving the electric streetcars  sounds pretty awesome, but also like a pretty impossible dream at this stage. Likewise, I think making so much of downtown pedestrian-only would be a pretty tough sell.

However, I think he hits on a really good point regarding services downtown. Sometimes I daydream about what it might take to convince some of the great already established businesses we have to move downtown.

What do you think downtown Haverhill’s ideal future might look like?

Pipe up in the comments. I’d love to hear everyone’s ideas!