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History Mystery: Point of Rocks

Google Map of Point of Rocks
Google Maps

Across from the M&H gas station at Point of Rocks Park, there is a gap in the rocks, a ravine, for which in the past appeared to have many buildings around it. Was this the location of Duluth’s Little Italy? It seems like it may have been. The big question, however, is what is with the ravine there? It seems to be man made, and almost as if they were attempting to continue Superior Street, as it lines up near perfectly. The buildings slowly disappear over the decades, until they all seem to be gone by 1989. Was this ravine an attempt to continue Superior Street, or was there some other reason for it? It’s been fascinating me for some time. (I’ve included links to historical aerial photos of the area).

A place to enjoy a book and a brew

I am looking for a place in Duluth to read a book and enjoy a beer. Are there any bars/pubs that you recommend which have more of a quiet and calm atmosphere? I enjoy reading at coffee houses, but when it’s the evening I’d much prefer a beer over a coffee or tea.

Poll: Best Play or Musical of 2014 (Final Ballot)

Red and Les Miserables

From the list of 18 nominated plays or musicals from last year, our previous poll trimmed it down to the final two. Now it’s time to ask, once and for all …

What was the best play or musical of 2014?

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Comments will not be allowed on this post until voting has closed.

2015 John Beargrease Aerial (Drone) Video

https://vimeo.com/117768602

The PDD drone, piloted by Cory Fechner (liftoffaerials.com) was at the start of the 2015 John Beargrease Sled Dog marathon yesterday to shoot aerial footage. There were other drones at the starting line so we ventured out into the woods to capture the mushers a quarter-mile into the race.

Music: “Guit. Ditty” by Hattie Peterson from Twenty3 Years Into 4teen Songs.

This Week: films, Fiascos, Fever Dream and more

Untitled design
Here’s a bit of what you’ll find on this week’s PDD Calendar:

WDSE’s The Playlist is taping musical performances at Lutsen (where The Pines and Dead Man Winter will also play later in the week), Go, Dog. Go! is at the Mount Royal Library, short films about water are being screened at UWS and The Turn of the Screw opens at the Duluth Playhouse.

The Homegrown Festival’s Winter Fiasco goes down at three local venues, the 1959 Winter Dance Party tour is celebrated at Sacred Heart (while the 1980s and ’90s get a tribute at the Red Star), Hippo Campus and Fever Dream kick it at the Red Herring and there’s stand-up comedy at Dubh Linn.

Any way you slice it, there’s plenty afoot in this last week of January.

Bobby Aro: King of the Great Northwoods

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoWp21HD4eo

WDSE-TV presents this one-hour documentary on Bobby Aro, the famed 1950-90s Northern Minnesota disc jockey, singer/songwriter and entertainer who put St. Louis County’s Highway 7 on the map. Aro’s Finn-glish novelty songs are well known throughout the Finish communities of the United States and Canada.

January 2005 in Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdRKMAzBZYA

  • Low releases The Great Destroyer. (Video by Starfire.)
  • The Twin Ports Music and Arts Collective closes.
  • Nutty Meg’s closes.
  • Eric Ringsred and his son Miles plan to open a drinking establishment called the Cider House at the old Snyder’s Superstop. (It never happens, and instead Dubh Linn Irish Pub opens there in 2006.)
  • The Red Star Lounge is under construction at the Fitger’s Brewery Complex.
  • Mike Neal opens Splash Beach Club in the former Western Tavern. It briefly serves as Duluth’s only alcohol-free weekend dance club.
  • Management of the NorShor Theatre transfers from Chip Stewart and Craig Samborski to J.P. Rennquist.

Duluth Grants Available

The Duluth Legacy Endowment Fund is issuing more grants this year. The endowment has already donated almost $34,000 over the years. Go to the website for information and application information. Deadline to apply is Feb. 1.

The DLEF supports valued Duluth community programs. Anyone from a group involved in these areas should consider applying:

  • Arts and culture
  • Beautification
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Human service
  • Parks and recreation

Wood Blind – “Big Voice”

http://vimeo.com/117513547

Some Wood Blind for your weekend.

Selective Focus: Vintage

Ava Francesca Battocchio

Ava Francesca Battocchio, “Nopeming”

Not an oenophile or single-malter in the house, eh? Not to worry, lots of other great takes on “vintage” this week. I even took some liberties to pair my Grandma Mohrbacher, on what looks like the Duluth pier (anyone?), with myself and my Grandpa’s Electrolux- a company he sold door-to-door for while living here in the ’20s. Fun facts.

Pixel Farmer Yields Big Harvest for Locally Laid

Friend and local pixel farmer Lucie Amundsen yielded a big harvest when she wrote a reply to a letter complaining that her actual farming operation (“Locally Laid”) was too spicy for the grocery aisle.

She’ll be on the Daily Circuit (MPR) today; the story has been picked up regionally here and here and here.

Duluth creativity (and Duluth passion for sustainability) on the map!

Perfect Day Duluth

Is it just me or do you notice that a lot of people refer to this blog as “Perfect Day Duluth?”

1) What’s up with that? Why do people make that mistake?

2) When they do, do you correct them? How do you correct them without sounding like pretentious know-it-all? I am a pretentious know-it-all, so that’s why I ask.

Poll: Best Play or Musical of 2014 (Elimination Round)

The nominations are in and it’s time to vote. Which Duluth-area theater production made your little Greek mask laugh or weep last year?

What was the best play or musical of 2014?

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This poll is now closed. These two plays advance to the final poll:

Les Misérables – Duluth Playhouse
Red – Renegade Theater Company

Reel North film and video call for entries

Reel North is a new film and video series at Zinema 2 that asks people to bring in any film/video they’ve made for a screening in front of an audience of their peers. It’s open to absolutely everyone and anyone who wants to see their work up on the big screen. The first event will be Tuesday, March 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free.

Ken Marunowski @Zeitgeist

kenm1 kenm2

My friend, colleague and local artist Ken Marunowski has art on display at the Zeitgeist.

It’s a new body of work, and it’s worth a look.