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Bicycling the Hillside

Don Ness Saturday EssayThe climb feels endless. Tattered concrete fills my field of vision — taunting and mocking my painfully slow bike ride up the hill. My legs ache and are starting to shake. My lungs burn and seem to collapse a bit more every time I turn the pedals over and try to suck in a great, heaving gulp of oxygen.

The front wheel wobbles for lack of momentum, forcing me to cross back. Now I’m shamefully zig-zagging across the steep avenue, which both relieves the burdensome pitch, but quadruples the length of the climb. There is a deep desire in me, immutable by logic or maturity, to ride the whole way, steep inclines notwithstanding.

Then the moment of kinetic equilibrium arrives in which the depleted energy of my legs can no longer overcome gravity’s backward force and for the briefest moment my bike and I are stuck in suspended animation. I dismount at the very moment gravity begins to prevail. With humility washing over me, bike and I switch roles as I become the vehicle delivering the two of us up the hillside.

The Serenity of Freediving Lake Superior

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9F8BNWGxFc

WITC-Superior welding students create sculpture

Weld

Superior Business Improvement District, Wisconsin Arts Board, the National Endowment for the Arts and WITC-Superior welding students unveiled their public sculpture in the vacant lot adjacent to Sclavi’s Restaurant on Tower Ave. in Superior.

The Wishing Tree is a community art participation project. Thirteen welding students of WITC-Superior, under the direction of Aleasha Hladilek, were asked to create a 7-foot sculptural metal tree. These 13 students are enrolled in the full time technical structural welding course.

North Shore 2016

https://vimeo.com/154358866

Video by Chad Kirsebom.

Where in Duluth?

clock

Selective Focus: Sweet

Sarah Jean

Sarah Jean, untitled

Given our theme, this week’s images could easily have veered into cloying territory. Thankfully I received many uniquely interpreted shots, and some that are even exceptionally moving. I’m grateful how this feature included our older loved ones; a population often disregarded in visual art. Let’s remedy that next week by dedicating a theme to our “elders.”

Mushroom Hunting in Duluth

https://vimeo.com/154623012

Video by Squawk Productions — Sam Thompson and Caitlin Hargarten of Minneapolis.

No Interest at the Speakeasy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=610EROe-jmY

Hardcore punk band No Interest, performing in a Duluth basement that was recently taken off the party market.

Updated concept plan for Lake Superior Zoo

Click the image to view a PDF of the full plan.

Click the image to view a PDF of the full plan.

The latest concept plan for improvements to Fairmount Park and the Lake Superior Zoo was presented by a consultant last night at the Duluth Parks Commission meeting. The concept envisions a renewed zoo in a roughly 10-acre footprint that includes ADA accessible pathways, renewed and repurposed exhibits damaged by the 2012 flood, enhanced visitor services, and converts a portion of the existing zoo into public park space. The plan is estimated at $15 million and has $2.7 million of half-and-half funding allotted to it.

Comments can be submitted to Duluth’s Parks and Recreation Division until Feb. 15 to allow the consultants to analyze them for the upcoming Feb. 22 presentation and public hearing at 5:15 p.m. in the Duluth City Council Chambers, to be followed by a Parks Commission public hearing in room 303.

Red Cowboy Hat (featuring Jim Hall) – “Duluth Blues”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQq0Yk5xIPY

Jim Hall recently brought his Red Cowboy Hat trio to the KUMD studios for a Live from Studio A session. They performed this tune, perfect for a sub-zero windchill day in Duluth. Audio of the full session with Jim and company is available at kumd.org.

Northern Waters restaurant open on Woodland Avenue

Northern Waters

Fans of all things cured and smoked will rejoice in knowing Northern Waters Smokehaus has opened its much-anticipated Woodland Avenue location in the Chester Park – UMD neighborhood. While the new restaurant offers some familiar lunch items from the Smokehaus, the menu is more expansive and includes alcoholic beverages.

Epicurean and Loll represent Duluth in The Atlantic

How America is Putting Itself Back Together
In the March issue of The Atlantic, James Fallows once more talks up Duluth while town-hopping across the country, this time as an example of “hopeless” places reinventing themselves (full article). Scroll down to the subheading “Despite the ‘Big Short,’ Talent Dispersal is Under Way,” where he uses Epicurean/Loll to illustrate the same kind of deliberate migration that Lucie Amundsen so elegantly described in her Saturday essay.

Perfect Indoor Concert Venue: Red Herring Lounge

PDDPerfectIndoorConcertVenueLogoWhen it comes to picking the best indoor concert venue, there are a lot of things to consider — seating, acoustics, general vibe, etc. There might be plenty of room for argument on just about any criteria, but in one facet Duluth has a clear winner. It would be tough to dispute that any local concert hall, club or coffee house has consistently brought more high-caliber talent to its stage in the past two years than the Red Herring Lounge. Among the top four in PDD’s poll, the Herring pulled out a clean win with 35 percent of the vote.

The Alan Sparhawk Project

Ten year’s ago, Duluth musician Alan Sparhawk had his name dropped in this little comic (specifically panel three):

Alan Sparhawk Project

Questionable Content is an internet comic strip by Jeph Jacques of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It started in August 2003 and is still in production. The publish date of the comic above is not known, but it was first posted to PDD on Feb. 9, 2006.

Camping Whiteface Reservoir, Summer 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7HpyW_cKaU