When we first moved to Essex County a few years ago, I had no idea where the good stuff was.

We’d get dressed up for what I thought was a “date night” restaurant and walk in to find a glorified pizza parlor blasting Bon Jovi. I’d Google playground locations and end up at something like this:

*(photo of scary Methuen park where everything was broken and two drug addicts wandered through at 10am)

As a longtime city-dweller I came to depend on a world well-indexed by internet reviewers and local bloggers. When we moved to the suburbs I quickly discovered you’re basically out of luck in that department. Recommendations here come the old fashioned way – word-of-mouth – which means when you move here not knowing anyone at all, it’s all trial and error. I started Andover And Over as a way to get to know my surroundings, but also to help expose some of the best stuff in the area to people who feel just as lost as I did, and maybe even to locals who’ve overlooked a hidden gem all these years.

If you know of something or somewhere awesome that I need to check out, get in touch! I can be reached at exbostonbohemian@gmail.com.