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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.

Curb Alert: One Awesome Gaming Glider

June 8th, 2010 by

I really struggled with what my 1st topic should be. I filled my notebooks with ideas, and yet they all seemed so lackluster. As if someone heard my prayers, I came home to a wonderful gift.

Across from my house In the middle of my street sat this magnificent beauty propped up against a rock. How did it end up here, I wonder? I must have done something really wonderful to have been bestowed such a priceless heirloom.

Though I feel blessed, I can’t stop thinking about the misfortunate darling who lost this rare gem; and what an artist! I could be wrong, but I think this same talent has so nicely left similar works of art on all the signs in my neighborhood. What a giver!

As much as I would love to display this masterpiece in my foyer, my family and I are not up to date on our tetanus and rabies shots. I will hate to see it go, but sharing is caring.

If you would like to own this luxury item or know the poor gamer who must be longing for it, it will be in the middle of Main Street Haverhill propped up on a rock at dusk tonight.

Just remember: the early bird gets the worm!

Haverhill: the next urban art gallery?

May 25th, 2010 by

Few things in Haverhill are as divisive as the graffiti downtown. Where some see urban blight, others see colorful expression. But, don’t think Haverhill’s alone in this. These two viewpoints are universal, and their respective camps have been duking it out in major cities across the globe for decades.

Urban blight? Or "Outta Sight!?"

I guess I fall somewhere in between urban art love and graffiti hate. While I was truly bummed to see the colorful backside of Woolworth’s was no longer, I feel that same pang every time I see a haphazard tag on the front of the businesses and homes that people work hard to maintain. And, I wish as an alternative to all this spraypainting we had some wheatpaste artists running around, plastering the city with their more ephemeral and environmentally-friendly art. Still, I happily take what I can get, street art-wise.

The other day, an argument broke out on one of my Flickr photos between a graffiti supporter and a detractor. In the end, though, they both agreed- a potential solution to this problem is to set aside a legal space in Haverhill for graffiti artists to do their thing. Cambridge and Beverly have embraced this concept, and don’t even get me started on the street art of San Francisco’s Mission District. (I just went out and bought not one, but two books on the subject.)

But if in Haverhill, where should it be?

Following up on a tip from my fellow graffiti fan, tonight I drove back behind Building #19 to check out what was described as “seriously like the very best spot” for urban expression.  Tucked back there is a mini urban art oasis.  It’s surprisingly tidy back there, and there are no abutting neighbors to cry eyesore. Very interesting. Here are a few snaps:

Finding a home for graffiti in Haverhill? Easier sprayed than done.

I love this grumpy guy.

I call this one "Snake waving hankerchief." Ohhh...it's a WHAT?

Monster face.

Haverhill is a city that has most awesomely embraced the arts, and I think that street art and graffiti could and should be considered just another facet of that. If I can do just one thing for the city of Haverhill, I’d love for it to be becoming the facilitator of this.  Of course, this is only the beginning of my exploration of this subject, so I’m all ears if anyone has any ideas or suggestions.

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.

Decidedly nonplussed

May 18th, 2010 by

Think maybe we could get some more cheerful street art around here?

Cosmic Amanda is on a Mission Mission

May 14th, 2010 by

In case you aren’t a Facebook fan of The Feeve yet (what are you waiting for?) – then you may have missed our very own Cosmic Amanda blogging from all the way on the other side of the country.

Amanda blogging about burritos. Shocking.

She breaks down what it’s like to be a blog tourist and the funniness of fake moustaches.

Hopefully she makes it back to the East Coast because I can’t keep up this daily blog pace without her.

Let her know what you think in the comments!

Aerosol Acrobatics

May 1st, 2010 by

I can’t really decipher what most of this graffiti says but I definitely admire the effort that went into scaling this building by Winter Street.

Winter Street (As seen from Lafayette Square)

Brilliant Bradford vs. Hueful Haverhill

April 25th, 2010 by

It’s time I gave my home base of Bradford a little love.  Sure, sure, we’re officially “a former town,” and now exist only as a neighborhood within greater Haverhill. But, we still cling to our small town dreams, even managing to hold on to our very own zip code and exit off of 495.

Bradford is the sleepier, suburban side of Haverhill.  I love the mix of cozy bungalows, farm houses, and victorian homes (often on the same street), and the fact that a few streets still retain the old fashioned street lamps.

I moved here with my husband so we could have a house with a yard and a dog that we could walk through a quiet neighborhood, and happily, it’s mission accomplished. Yesterday the weather was so nice we spent most of the day enjoying all three of those things, and I brought along my camera to document some of  the colorful things we encountered along the way.

Close-up of some purple porch pansies.

Bucket of tulips: no witty caption required.

Then I rounded the corner and, Oh, wow! It looks like one of THE SHOES has retired to my neighborhood! Pretty cool, and definitely colorful. I wonder what it’s doing hanging out in Bradford next to a pile of trash?

City ordinance: all giant fiberglass shoe waste must be taken to Primrose St.

And just so the downtown won’t get jealous, here are a few more urban colorful spots we’ve encountered on our weekend walks.

Um, aren't you going to tag "excuse me?"

King Newman

Haverhill Rainbow

I’m really digging this rainbow, affixed to the wall along the river behind Merrimack St. Those are some pretty groovy clouds. What do you suppose is at the other end?

Under the bridge and on the edge.

April 12th, 2010 by

I can’t decide if this is utter insanity, or a brilliant security maneuver. I guess if you’re in a position to have to bed down under a bridge, why not situate yourself next to a GIANT SINKHOLE? If someone comes to bother you in the night, chances are high the earth will swallow them whole.

I’m not sure if this would really work for me, personally. I toss and turn a lot.

(Photo taken underneath the 125 bridge)

Alley Spelunkin’

April 11th, 2010 by

I ‘spose if nothing else, this blog has already pumped up my inquisitiveness towards the things I stumble upon downtown. Case in point, what is now officially my favorite alley in all of Haverhill: a sketchy crevasse located between Newman’s Discount Furniture and Royal India Restaurant.

How amazing are those old department store windows!? Once I spied those, I knew I had to investigate closer- for blog and for country!

It felt like I was stepping back in time. Stepping in something magical…and oddly slippery…and, in fact, I quickly found myself sliding downhill on a tiny stream of soon-to-be-recycled cooking oil that was seeping out of the giant drums waiting at the alley’s mouth.

If I hadn’t stopped myself, I may have wound up inside John Malkovich! I guess we’ll never know.

At the alley’s deepest point there’s a murky pool of stangant water, from which this haphazard fire escape emerges. I didn’t linger down there, but it looks like someone did:

Now that I’ve been spelunking in Haverhill’s coolest alley, you can feel free to keep a safe distance as you pass. Um, hopefully I don’t contract Haverhill Fever for the reals!

And if you’re as fascinated as I am about what it must have been like back when this end of downtown was lined with department stores, check out this cool video.  The very first Macy’s (and Macy’s Parade!) was actually located right in good old Haverhill.