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Haverhill Missed Connection: Mr. Meh, You’ll Do

January 10th, 2011 by

It’s been a while since I’ve trawled Craigslist’s missed connections for fun and blog fodder. Remember how spectacular the results were last time?

Just like last time, while most of the posts ranged from sweet to satire, one really jumped out at me:

(click for full size)

Some enchanted evening (in 2009) you will see a stranger…but why don’t you just hold that thought until 2011?

It’s nice to see a missed connection for possibly the least compelling man in the universe. I mean, maybe this guy really is “gorgeous,” but obviously whatever he’s selling doesn’t look like it’s flying off the shelf too fast, otherwise, why would anyone wait such a long-ass time to grab him?

At least the girl posting is realistic, if not super slow to react. (Though kudos to her for remembering not only seeing a cute guy on that particular night, but what color t-shirt the guy was wearing. Summer nights can often get…fuzzy.)  Sure, chances of finding Mr. Right are slim.  But, Mr. Close Enough is cool, too. Any emo-haired yellow t-shirt clad Asians out there looking to get it on with a totally passive punk rock chick? Here’s your chance!

All jokes aside- if you’re out there, pining poster, I hope 2011 is the year you finally find the man of your dreams. Or at least a reasonable facsimile.

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Help Your Fellow Haverhillian: Kelsey Corlito

January 7th, 2011 by

Meet Kelsey. This 17 month old, the daughter of John and Lisa Corlito of Haverhill, has had 6 open heart surgeries since April and hasn’t been home since.

Kelsey Corlito

Kelsey Corlito needs your help.

From the Kelsey Carlito Foundation’s heart-wrenching blog:

With all the emotions of young parents – fear, anxiety, hope – John and Lisa handed their baby into the arms of the cardiac surgical team at Boston Children’s Hospital on April 5, 2010, the day after Easter. After nearly eight hours in surgery, the news following her operation was not the news any parent would want to hear. New words were used; “complicated, tricky, and unique.” Kelsey would need more surgery and she wasn’t going to survive without it. The doctors, with compassion, urged Lisa and John to take their baby home and “enjoy her for a week.” However, she never got to go home. No balloons or welcome home signs. Eight hours after being told she could go home, Kelsey lay limp in her father’s arms straining to breathe. She was transferred to the ICU in pulmonary edema.

And that was only the beginning! So far Kelsey has spent nearly half of her life in the hospital, undergoing various heart surgeries.  I can’t even imagine the toll this has taken on the Corlito family emotionally, let alone financially. Luckily, the Corlitos have a very thoughtful neighbor, Helen Zbitnoff, who alerted me to a fundraiser being organized to help the family pay the mounting medical bills threatening to put their livelihood and home at risk.

On Sunday January 16 from 12 – 5pm, bring this flyer into the Papa Gino’s on River Street and 20% of the pre-tax proceeds from any purchase you make (sans coupons) will go towards the Kelsey Corlito Foundation. There will also be a raffle of donated items including Red Sox tickets, so dine-in and try your luck. (But if you just want to grab a pie and run carry-out counts, too.) RSVP on Facebook today so you don’t forget!

If you’re not able to make the fundraiser but would still like to help a fellow Haverhillian, donations may be made online via Paypal or you can send a check to: Kelsey Corlito PO Box 2561 Westwood, MA 02090.

Also, hug your kids.

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Thanks, Gingerdude: Haverhill is now Internet famous

January 5th, 2011 by

Sometimes a crime is committed that is so heinous that it becomes instant legend, word spreading from cube to cube, valley to valley, leaving all who hear of it to shake their heads in disbelief and wonder “why?”

Honestly, I didn’t think the dismemberment of a 7-foot tall gingerbread man was one of those times.

However, news of Haverhill’s first homicide of a fairytale creature captured the rapt attention of the entire region after being featured on both  NECN and Fox News. I think we all collectively chuckled cried a silent tear as footage of the pieces of plywood gingerbread being taken away from the crime scene rolled. Then Haverhill got back down to business downtown (including apprehending the culprit(s) via means usually not even reserved for home break-ins, apparently) and that was that. Our moment of infamy had subsided.

Until this morning when an eagle-eyed tipster sent us this screen cap from the blog of world renowned deal-a-day site, Woot.com:

Woot Blog coverage of Ginger Gate (click to see full entry)

Holy cow! We’re, like, Internet famous now! (Plus, that is such a spot on tip…GIANT TALKING FOX! Of course!)

Elsewhere on the Interwebs, one writer at the SOP (Student Operated Press) takes a hard line on the cookie capital punishment, contending that the gingerbread dismemberment was a mercy killing:

No civilized community should tolerate a gigantic gingerbread man; the person responsible for its destruction should be awarded a key to they city. And the students who created the monstrosity should be reprimanded for doing the devil`s work.

And I know my life wasn’t complete until I saw that the story had made it’s way to my favorite Web site, www.everythinggingerbreadman.com.

But in all seriousness, let’s talk lemonade here, people…this is pretty darn cool! Haverhill is really on the map now!

My only warning after all this Internet infamy is that we not let all this go to our heads and start slaughtering bedtime counting sheep or golden geese or anything  like that just for media attention. Let’s turn this negative into a positive, shall we? I suggest setting up a memorial scholarship fund to benefit one lucky ginger-American student each year.

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Haverhillians Being Awesome: Winter Edition

January 3rd, 2011 by

The crew at Pedro’s Bike Care recently let the world in on a little secret: company president Matt Simpson is, um, not quite human.

“The man is an animal…a machine…an animal machine. Not like a machine that makes animals. More like an animal that is a machine — like a Mecha-Shark or a Robo-Ferret.”

Got doubts? Watch this video:

Check out the full post on the Pedro’s blog.

Across town, the future Matt Simpsons of Haverhill were out in full force, taking full advantage of the nice smooth pavement in the new Seven Sisters development:

And in this sweet clip from last year, some local snowboarders tackle the terrain park (sans Photoshop embellishment) at Ski Bradford. (I love that they call Bradford “B-rad.” Totally stealing that.)

Phew! Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted now. I think I’ll grab that pint of England’s that I’ve been hoarding since the summer and take a load off for a bit…

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Haverhill Fever’s Top 5 Posts of 2010

January 2nd, 2011 by

As we Haverhillians nurse our collective hangovers and look forward (albeit with bleary eyes) to 2011, let’s take a limp down memory lane, shall we? Here’s a look back at what stories totally turned your cranks in 2010. (I’ll give you a hint: it seems you guys love goofy videos and animated gifs)

5. Pedro’s Bike Care: Open house and Mini-Bike Races

Back in June, Pedro’s Bike Care threw open their doors and let the public come in and check out their sweet new office in downtown Haverhill. Cosmic Amanda and Chris sneaked a peek into their secret R&D lab, were treated to free beer and cupcakes, and not only enjoyed the hilarious mini bike races, but made some goofy animated gifs of them.

4. The Future is Now! (And Only 99 Cents at Jennie’s)

Pedestrian turn signals are a revolutionary product designed to show the world exactly where you’re thinking of going next. And just to demonstrate just how life-changing these high-impact noggin blinkers can be, Cosmic Amanda made a YouTube video. Apparently that did the trick, as this was our fourth most popular post of 2010.

3. Haverhillebrities: Tom Bergeron

The second ever post on Haverhill Fever managed to sneak into the top 3. As we said, a city is only as cool as the celebrities it spawns. Therefore, Haverhill is officially a big bag of awesome, because we can lay claim to America’s second funniest host of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

(Either Tom Bergeron brings the mad Google hits or you guys just wanted two tickets to the gun show…)

2. Not a Newsflash: Tacos Lupita is Amazing

Back in April, we discovered that “blog research” is just a euphemism for completely demolishing a chicken burrito in the most unlady-like manner possible. The #2 post also delivers our most semi-pornographic animated gif in Haverhill Fever history. Coincidence? I think not.

NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM

So that brings us to the most popular post of 2010, which is… (drumroll)

1. Indoor Skate Park Coming Soon to Ward Hill

This summer, a friend of the Feeve tipped us off to an indoor skate park being constructed in Ward Hill and sent along an exclusive sneak peak photo. By the end of 2010, Frozen Waves was open for business and shredding it up…check out this footage from the other night:

Well, there you have it! Thanks to all the cool people and awesome businesses we’ve become acquainted with through this blog for making 2010 a fun time for all of us at Haverhill Fever and a great year for all of Haverhill. Bring on 2011!

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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

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Crime Watch: Human-on-Plywood Violence

December 30th, 2010 by

A grisly discovery was made last night following the disappearance of one of the plywood gingerbread men set up in Columbus Park for the holidays: the 7-foot tall cookie humanoid was found face down in the snow, the victim of an apparent decapitation.

Columbus Park, scene of the crime

Not since San Francisco’s Mission District was rocked by the kidnapping of sandwich shop icon  Mr. Pickle has a community been more outraged by an act of human-on-plywood violence. Naturally, Fox News is all over this horrific story.

Bob Simonds came upon the remains of the gingerbread man last night. (His name is being withheld, pending notification of his family.) WARNING: Graphic image could be disturbing to young gingerpeople.

He had so much to live for.

What a bummer! Personally, I’m holding out hope that this wasn’t an act of malicious gingerbreadicide, but rather the result of a freak accident. Errant snow plow? Or maybe, just maybe, someone walking through downtown got REALLY hungry. Either way, the city of Haverhill is proving that these kinds of crimes against downtown beautification are going to be taken very seriously.

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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!

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And now, Bob with the weather…

December 26th, 2010 by

Downtown Haverhill at about 5:30pm

Unofficial Haverhill Fever meteorologist Bob Simonds tweets:

Watching the blizzard, & getting ready to go snowshoeing later tonight.

If you don’t have anywhere to be right now, it might be a good night for starting a fire, cracking open that bottle of wine leftover from the holidays, and getting nice and cozy. (Why didn’t I think of asking for a pair of snow shoes this Christmas?)

Or, if you don’t have a fireplace, snow shoes, or a budding drinking problem, you could be a good do-bee and take a look in your closets and drawers for items you haven’t used at all in 2010. The Big Brother Big Sister Foundation passes through Haverhill every other month collecting resaleable clothing or household items right from your doorstep. If you just got a new winter coat, why not warm someone up with your old one?

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Merry Christmas, Haverhill!

December 24th, 2010 by

From all your friends at Haverhill Fever, have a Merry Christmas, or at least a pretty kick-ass weekend.

Photo by theophilus1918 on Flickr.

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