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Evenfall takes us Behind the Ravioli

January 26th, 2011 by

Evenfall, a Haverhill Fever favorite due to its $1 Bar Bite Mondays and occasional hot single men events, is also home to some pretty killer ravioli, which are all made by hand. Don’t believe me? Check out the video Spiro recently posted on the Evenfall blog, @ Spiro’s Table:

If you haven’t tried Evenfall yet, or even just haven’t visited in a while, maybe these glamour shots of some of the featured dishes on their most recent menu will inspire you.

Crispy vegetable spring rolls with asian slaw

Organic baby greens salad topped with gruyere cheese

Aussie lamb rack with crispy mushroom croquettes and Farmer Dave's baby tatsoi

And check out this more candid shot of their new venison dish which features strudel and carrot puree.

Look at all that delicious color!

And now I need to stop. I had to loosen my belt just looking at these photos!

Pizza! French fries! How I learned to Ski Bradford.

December 31st, 2010 by

The other night I finally made good on a promise I’d made to myself nearly five years ago when I first moved within spitting distance of Haverhill’s very own ski slope. I, Cosmic Amanda, would Ski Bradford!

I figured I’m pretty coordinated, and pick up new skills quickly. How hard can this be, really? I pulled on my swishiest snow pants and we headed on down, meeting a couple of friends who were already a few runs deep.

I geared up, stepped into the bindings, and quickly got the mechanics of moving forward down. “This is so easy!” I thought. Then, despite my friends’ collective skepticism (and multiple warnings about my hubris), I headed straight for the ski lift to get this party started.

I'd soon learn the ski lift ride was where my doom was sealed.

I know you’re probably thinking “but Cosmic Amanda, if you’ve never before in your entire life set foot in a ski boot, let alone successfully gone down a bunny slope, why are you heading up a ski lift towards the very top of the steepest part of the hill?” And I suppose now is a good time for you all to know the truth: I am an idiot.

In fact, I didn’t quite step off the ski lift, I actually tumbled off it, which is when I realized how hard it is to get back up when you’re wearing two five foot planks clipped to your feet. Once I was upright and started moving towards the slope, as if by magic my skis became magnetically drawn to the trees that line the crest of the hill. Which would induce panic and I’d flail my poles around, causing me to fall down again.

So my first trip down Ski Bradford’s black diamond was on foot, while my friends glided down the slope carrying the rest of my gear for me. I met them part way down the hill on the intermediate slope where the next part of my skiing adventure involved inching down sideways and yet more toppling over.

My view for most of the evening

By now I resigned myself to starting over and taking a more logical approach to learning how to ski: the kiddie slope. That’s when my friend introduced me to the pizza/french fries method of teaching little kids to ski. Of course, my first attempt went a little something like this:

But, the more I kept at it, the more that pizza/french fries method really worked! In fact, in no time I moved on to hot dog! Check me out:

What? Photoshop? Whatever do you mean?

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating my new found skills just a tiny bit, but once I finally got the hang of things I started having a blast…just in time for Ski Bradford to close up shop for the night. Bummer! I’ll be back, though…I fully intend to make it down the big hill this winter with my skis (and my dignity) intact.

Ski Bradford is located off South Cross Rd. and is open every day at 8:30am. On weekdays they’re open until 10:00pm, and on weekends they close at 4:30pm but reopen for night skiing Saturdays 6:00pm – 10:00pm. Their Web site is www.skibradford.com

Snowpocalypse 2010 comes to Haverhill

December 28th, 2010 by

There’s nothing like stepping outside after a heavy snow and experiencing the wintry quiet of car-less streets, bare trees creaking in the wind.

My plan yesterday was to head out and get some shots of Haverhill post-blizzard. Instead, I set one foot onto my porch, felt a frigid gust billow up my coat through the floor boards, thought “oh, HELL, no!” and promptly retreated back inside. Apparently, I am not quite the hearty New Englander I always believed I was.

Good thing Diane Beckwith-Zink is a braver soul than I (not to mention a much better photographer). She trekked all over Haverhill and Bradford, documenting the snowy aftermath of this winter’s first major storm. Diane was kind enough to let me share a few of her snaps, including this one of a frozen Merrimack:

Merrimack River

Now, check out how amazingly monochrome Bradford Common looks in this photo! I mean, it almost makes me glad I didn’t venture out during the storm itself. How would I have been able to find my my house in the snow among all the other white buildings?

Bradford Common

And here’s a great shot of the Whittier 1882 Building on the corner of Washington and Essex- one of the prettiest buildings downtown, and a favorite of mine. Although, someone’s got to do something about that tattered awning! It’s been deteriorating at a pretty rapid clip lately and has definitely reached eyesore status.

Downtown Haverhill

If you like these photos, there are a ton more to check out on Diane’s Flickr stream, including some really cool downtown panoramas. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit inspired to not be such a winter wuss next time and get out there!

Bradford Depot late night espionage

December 18th, 2010 by

Last night, passing through downtown on our way to check out Busy Arms at Kelley’s Pub, we noticed a freight train rolling over Washington hauling some unusual cargo. We were pretty excited to see such a shipment pass through town, so after watching it lope across the Merrimack from the Comeau Bridge, we caught up with it at the Bradford Depot where I managed to snap a few photos.

Hmmm...what could it be?

As it quietly chugged along in the dark a handful of staff emerged from Bradford Skateland, not only curious as to what all this stuff was, but why there was  some strange chick running up and down the platform trying to document it.

Figured it out yet?

In fact, one of the staffers flagged us down and with a stern face straight up asked if it was some sort of crazy top-secret rocketry and if I was engaged in espionage. (Geez- first UFOs and now secret agents?) Highly flattered, I confessed that I was actually not a spy, but a lover of alternative energy and we had spent the last fifteen minutes ogling a wind turbine.

Why don't we slap a couple of these up by the solar farm?

Meanwhile off it went creaking and clanking into the night, ready to bring clean energy to some lucky town down the line…

Busy Arms: Come for the music, stay for the moustaches

December 13th, 2010 by

I know, I know, I’ve been a terrible blogger. Sometimes life just gets in the way. But I’ve been promising myself I’d come back to the Feeve… In fact, just the other night I was driving through Ward Hill, when I made a wish on the North Star of Haverhill, twinkling  high atop the incinerator stack: “Bring me something really good to get me back in the blogging spirit!”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the river, Tom from the Haverhill band Busy Arms was minding his own business when a Haverhill Fever bumper sticker fluttered into his lap, and BAM! here we are again.

Busy Arms are two guys- Tom on guitar and vocals and Brad on drums- and after one half of the outfit got hit in the junk with that serendipitous sticker, they contacted me with a couple of tracks and some news about their upcoming show at Kelley’s on Friday, December 17th.

In  trying to sort out how to describe their sound the phrase “music made by boys with old-timey moustaches” sprung to mind, and believe me, being of the mopey indie rock persuasion this is just the sort of thing that turns my crank. The tracks they have up on ReverbNation are upbeat and quirky- distinct enough to be recognized as their own, but varied enough to hold interest, with the added bonus of appealing to a broad range of music-lovers- from folksy to gypsy.

I’m pretty psyched  to know a band like this exists in Haverhill, and even more thrilled that they found me just in time to sit down and answer a few questions before their gig. Enjoy!

Busy Arms practicing their interpretive mime skits.

HF: What is the story behind the band name “Busy Arms?”

BA: That information is classified, but we like to leave any interpretation of our name up to the listener, much like our actual music.

HF:  How did you guys come together?

BA: We have been friends for quite a few years. We were both orphans raised in the same catholic boarding house in the Czech Republic, and we were adopted by a pack of traveling gypsy wolves. It turned out that they were protestant cannibals so we had to flee. The only skills we had at that point were playing music and performing interpretive “tinman” mime skits, so we took the less dangerous route and decided to go to culinary school in America. That’s where we learned that we were better off just playing music. So we learned to play the drums and the guitar and we started recording our own records out of the kitchen. We’ve been delivering our savory delicatessen to basements and bar scenes all around New England ever since.

I appreciate the suspenders.

HF: You seem to have a pretty unique sound. How would you describe it?

BA: We really strive to make intricate and original music that incorporates chord changes and odd rhythms that you don’t normally hear in popular music. At the same time we try to make it approachable to the average person. It’s hard to pinpoint the kind of sound that we have, so we always ask people to listen and decide for themselves.

HF:  Who are some of your musical influences?

BA: We listen to so much music, but the things that influence us the most are musicians/bands that have gone out of their way to be different and create a new artistic expression through their music that has been relatively untapped at that point. Artists also change album to album, and some albums that have really inspired us are “Smile” by the Beach Boys, “Their Satanic Majesty’s Request” by the Rolling Stones, “Sung Tongs” & “Feels” by Animal Collective, “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel, and “Bows & Arrows” by the Walkmen.

Getting Busy up in Newburyport

HF: Describe the music scene in Haverhill. Who else is out there that you like?

BA: Honestly, the scene has been stagnant for quite some time. We think Haverhill needs an artistic revival, and not just musically. Fortunately there are some really amazing musicians around here and there are some good acts just starting to pop up. We have been in the process of setting up multiple musical shows/art gallery showings in the coming months, and we’ve been assembling some top notch musicians from all around the area. Four Legged Faithful are a really good old-timey bluegrass band, we’re looking forward to playing with them on Dec 17th!

HF: Any thoughts on/hopes and dreams for Haverhill?

BA: Well like we said, we really want to see an expansion of artistic expression in the storefronts and on the streets of Haverhill. Haverhill isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing city, but it has potential and we want to help it out in any way we can. It’s our hometown so it will always hold a special little place for us.

Can't they just use all those arms for hugging?

HF: Okay- who would win in a fight – Goro from Mortal Kombat or Dr. Octopus? (get it…they have a lot of arms)

BA: We debated about this for a long time, and consulted many outside sources, and we’ve come up with the conclusion that it would probably be a draw. Doc Oc’s got the reach, but Goro has got huge muscles.

HF: What’s your favorite venue, in Haverhill or beyond?

BA: TT the Bear’s in cambridge is one of our favorite places to play. It’s like the best kept secret of the Middle East that is a lot more intimate and accommodating to local acts like us.

HF: Idle Arms are the Devil’s playthings – what do you do to keep yourselves…um, Busy?

BA: We play music. Lots and lots of music. Brad has a recording studio out of Haverhill, and Tom designs print and web work for artists and bands.

HF: Thanks for taking the time to chat. Hey, before you go…plans for the future- upcoming gigs? Albums?

BA: We’re playing in Haverhill (Bradford technically) on Dec 17th at Kelley’s Pub with a bunch of our friends for the “Support Local Folk” event. it’s a night of folk, country, and rock music and it’s going to be tons of fun. We have other shows around the area which you can check out at busyarms.com. We are also working on a new EP to follow up our May 2010 full length release, and you can get a free copy of some new music at any of our shows.


So there you have it, folks! Kelley’s Pub: December 17. If you want to catch a bit of their quirky gypsy old-timey folksy charm before then, head on over to the Busy Arms pages on Facebook and ReverbNation.

How Cosmic Got Her Falafel Back

August 23rd, 2010 by

Sure, sure, Haverhill’s been experiencing a few setbacks on the ol’ cool-ometer lately. But, all along I’ve clung to what shimmering bits of hope for this city’s future as a kick-ass place to live that I can- a chief one among them being the availability of a totally decent falafel. Naturally then, when Chris reported earlier this month that J.J.’s Kabob and Pizzaria had closed, I was pretty crushed.

Luckily, fate was quick to intervene and a couple weekends ago, between an epic business trip to California and a much-needed vacation sans Internet, I took note of something peculiar going on down Salem St.

Bradford Country Store: 558 Salem St.

Not only was the Bradford Country Store covered in signs proclaiming it under new management, but, um, well, it was night time (as in nearly after dark!) and the Bradford Country Store actually appeared to be OPEN.

This realization barely had a moment to crystallize in my mind when my husband casually mumbled “oh yeah, that place is open again,” and just like that Sunny D commercial from the 80’s, he rambled off a list of completely unappealing offerings before saying the most magical words I have heard come out of his mouth since “I do.”

“And, uhhhh, they’ve got falafel.”

I had to see for myself…immediately. My fellow Haverhillians, yea verily, I have been to the Bradford Country Store and I have tasted the falafel, and it is good!


A finer falafel I can’t imagine. Unlike J.J.’s, the Bradford Country Store offers up deep fried chick pea patties with no annoying crunchy bits inside! And the wrap had just the right amount of tahini sauce and plenty of fresh salad crammed inside. Heavenly!

I also took a sample bite of their kibbe and it was also pretty awesome, too. Now I can’t wait to try out their shawarma and fattoush. Their more conventional sandwiches sound great, too. “The Bradford” is roast beef piled high and topped with BBQ sauce, and while I’m not into the ingredients, it’s oddly satisfying to know there’s a sandwich named after my street.

bRADford has officially obtained a trifecta of good eats: Village Square, Bradford Country Store, and Evenfall could easily round out a gut-busting day of self-indulgent gorging, no trip across the bridge required!

Yahd sale roundup: 7/17 – 7/18

July 17th, 2010 by

Because of the July 4th holiday and last week’s biblical rain, it’s been a bit quiet on the yard sale front, but Bradford is keeping the yard sale dream alive this weekend with an epic yard sale that’s raging all weekend long.

26 ELMWOOD AVE Saturday and Sunday 9:00am – 4:00pm: Huge 3 family yard sale with many items, including great push mower for the small yard, clothes,  household items, stemware, and kids toys.

I also noticed a sign on Salem St. pointing to a yard sale at 46 Harding Ave. but there were no posted hours and the street looked pretty quiet. So, while I can’t officially endorse that one, if you’re checking out Elmwood this weekend, it might be worth a swing by just in case!

Know of any sales we’re missing out on? If you have a hot tip on a cool yard sale, email us and we’ll be sure to update this post.


Checkered Flag Indoor Karting: The need for speed.

June 30th, 2010 by

If you look close enough, you’ll find there are some pretty amazing things hiding within the otherwise nondescript warehouse spaces around Ward Hill. Case in point: the 23,000 square feet of speedway at Checkered Flag Indoor Karting, 239 Neck Road in Ward Hill West.

While I have yet to slip behind the wheel myself, I’ve heard great things about this place, including that the facility is super nice, the owners are friendly, and it’s got a pretty sweet arcade in the front room. But so far, the closest I’ve come to getting my race on is being sent some totally embarrassing photos of  a bunch of my guy friends in the requisite head socks. (not a good look, by the way)

Luckily, this past weekend Flickr member Bertron8 and his friends felt the need for speed, and he was kind enough to let me showcase these really cool shots he took that capture all the action:

"The obligatory we-are-not-responsible-if-you-die form. Read and sign."

"The karts were 15hp with electric motors. Pit lane was lined with charging plates for the karts to park on when not in-use."

"Helmets of various colors and sizes for everyone."

"4-point harnesses in each kart to keep you in place."

"Ben shoots for the apex."

"5 racers come down the straight."

"The fastest laps of the day were tracked on this track-side board."

Looks pretty awesome, huh? If you’re inclined to put the pedal to the metal, Checkered Flag is open 7 days a week (a Haverhill miracle!) all summer long.

You know, all these sweet snaps got me to thinking- who do you think would win in a race: me, Chris or Eisme?  Winner gets crowned King or Queen of Haverhill Fever. Place your bets now, because I say we make this happen!

Yahd Sale Roundup: 6/26 – 6/27

June 25th, 2010 by

Once again this weekend, Bradford is the place to be for yard sale action! These dayglo signs caught my eye as I was making my way down Salem St. this evening. But, there are some pretty great looking Craigslist listings on the other side of the river, too, including:

145 WARRENTON RD Saturday 8am to 1pm. Billed as “Gran’s cleanout,” this sale promises “lots of antiques/collectibles and old stuff.”

266 HYATT AVE Saturday 8am to 10am. They must figure it’ll only take 2 hours to unload the giant pile of “old stuff” they have pictured in the ad.

544 W. LOWELL AVE Saturday 8:00am to 1:00pm. Yet another person who can’t spell the word collectibles is forsaking a bunch of their material possessions.

MEARS FARM RD Saturday and Sunday 8:00am to ??? Multi-family with different stuff each day, including baby stuff, kids stuff, and high end stuff. Stuff to fulfill all your stuff needs!

As always, if you have a hot tip on a cool yard sale, email us and we’ll be sure to update this post.

Happy bargaining!

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.