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January in Duluth, Coming Together

I arrived in Duluth on Sunday night and I’ll be living in town for the next 31 days, trying to learn/produce as much as possible about Duluth through a project named January in Duluth. As a central part of this, I’ve started a blog at januaryinduluth.wordpress.com where I’ll be collecting thoughts, photos, audio pieces, etc. Also, you can expect a steady string of posts/questions from me on PDD until the end of the month.

Unfortunately, whatever minor illness my family was incubating over the holidays is now hitting me full-on. I’m currently nursing a tea and box of Fisherman’s Friends, hoping that my throat/head will clear up soon. In the meantime, I have three questions you might be able to help with:

(1) Where is the best publicly-accessible place to plunk down and do laptop work in Duluth? (hopefully coffee, comfortable seating, friendly people, etc.)

(2) I’m looking to cook a hearty soup that might be a slow-acting medicine/panacea/lunch. Any suggestions? Home recipes?

(3) What should I do in Duluth? Any and all suggestions are welcome. (I’ll be much more specific in the future, but I thought I’d start as broad as possible)

36 Comments

edgeways

about 3 years ago

You know... looking back at your posts and whatnot? This snapshot of Duluth is going to be pretty incomplete without coming and doing the same thing in July, or during Homegrown, or early fall. The absolute best thing about being here is the distinct seasons, and while I generally like winter January is just the worst (for me). January in Duluth? Typically that involves drinking lots and huddling down, interspersed with flurries of outdoor activities and scuttling along to see some random band play. January is typically the most depressing time of year for many people and we may not be at our best right at this moment.

spy1

about 3 years ago

Two Harbors, 20 minutes up the shore, has a ukelele posse: Two Harbors Ukelele Group, aka THUG. Stop by the News Chronicle office downtown, across from the post office, and find Brittany, she's the editor/ukelele player. Edgeways: agreed. I'm sure the notion is "hey, even in the frozen tundra the ants move!" but I like to think we pick our moments. January is recovery, escape, hunker. And given our snow problem, things are even more hunkery. My idea for Mr. Carr is to pick up the Transistor and do everything listed each night and report on it so we can live vicariously. I'd buy that for a dollar. Who knew we had a group practicing conversational Italian?

jakester

about 3 years ago

1) Jitters Coffee Shop - 1st Ave W and Superior Street or Amazing Grace - Canal Park. Two great places to plunk down. Or, if in West Duluth, Beaner's (Central Ave)

Swan

about 3 years ago

1.Fitgers Brewhouse 2.Fitgers Brewhouse 3. Drink fine beer at Fitgers Brewhouse

ironic1

about 3 years ago

1. Amazing Grace Bakery & Cafe 2. Amazing Grace Bakery & Cafe

Ramos

about 3 years ago

If the limerick bug has you bitten, And you don't have a problem with sittin' Just stop by my place With beer in a case And watch how these bad boys get written.

adam

about 3 years ago

1. Amazing Grace Bakery & Cafe 2. Jalapeno Express — get some molten spicy food in you 3. Whiskey

YouKnowMe

about 3 years ago

This is our winter cold survival soup... 1 lb Italian sausage 1 large onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 2 large carrots, chopped 1 small zucchini, chopped 6 cups chicken broth 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained 2-3+ garlic cloves 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups dry lentils black pepper- I use quite a bit, probably a tablespoon red pepper flakes- Maybe a teaspoon, I shake mine out of a shaker. basil, oregano, parsley, thyme- I often just shake in a bit of Pizza & Pasta Magic from Paul Prudhomme Brown sausage; drain off fat. In a large pot combine all ingredients bring to boil. Reduce heat,cover. Simmer for about 1 hour or until lentils are tender. If it becomes thicker than you'd prefer, just add water or more chicken broth.

nicolai

about 3 years ago

Swan already beat me to it but go to Brewhouse for a few beers. Also, brush up on MN beer laws. I'm from Milwaukee (only been in Duluth since Oct. 2011) and was shocked how pricey the taxes on beer are. Also, you can buy beer after 9!

Rae

about 3 years ago

Twin Ports Winterfest: Becomes obsessed with the medallion hunt riddles. Watch the Beargrease Mini Sled Dogs! Cutest Puppy Contest. Go ice fishing. I got my beer fire "poked" once at Fitgers. I don't know which month that was. Don't forget to say, "Whoa, its cold" every time you step outside.

adam

about 3 years ago

Yay! Radio station events!

woodtick

about 3 years ago

If you have a headlamp you can hike to the top of 'Mt' Baldy some evening in Hartley Nature Center. The effort - which really is not that much, is well worth it. It is a full moon this weekend, btw.

adam

about 3 years ago

Fitger's Bockfest is March 15–17.

annied

about 3 years ago

There are 4 shows opening at the Duluth Art Institute on January 18th from 6:30 to 8pm. Tangier 57 will be playing. There will be free beer (although we love donations) by Lake Superior Brewing and appetizers by Duluth Grill. All takes place in the Great Hall of the Depot: 506 West Michigan St.

Claire

about 3 years ago

I love sitting at Chester Creek Cafe and working there in the afternoon, after the lunch rush, so as to not tie up tables. Caribou in Canal Pk is also a great place to hunker down with a laptop. I can work anywhere, no matter how noisy.

lojasmo

about 3 years ago

Fitger's. Library Chester creek cafe.

lojasmo

about 3 years ago

Oh, ski Chester bowl. Cheap and fun.

George

about 3 years ago

...And I believe you can also get coffee and wifi in the Chalet at Chester Bowl.

natetastic

about 3 years ago

I think the Duluth Family Sauna may have Wi-Fi.. http://duluthsauna.com/Home_Page.html

in.dog.neato

about 3 years ago

I think you'd be missing out if you didn't have a sampling of a.) hotdish and b.) wild rice soup. Both are staple fuels for surviving the winter.

in.dog.neato

about 3 years ago

And ... from a very biased opinion (I roast their coffee), the Grace is the coziest, and their food filling and good for the soul. Marci is also one of the nicest ladies around.

digit3

about 3 years ago

Amazing Grace has nice soup and bread baked right there. The sandwiches are kind of ridiculous unless you are really hungry and grave carbs. A good place to hang on a cold January night is at Sir Bens. Their beers choices are pretty decent and often times there is acoustic music being played. The Dunn Bros coffee on London Road is pretty good and that is an interesting setting to hang out in and get some writing done. There isn't any top notch java in town IMHO. The wine bar at the Chester Creek Cafe is a pretty nice place to hang also. Usually really quiet and now that the owners are around less it is pretty positive. Good luck with your project!

Rae

about 3 years ago

@adam - Yes, Bockfest! Thank you.

Claire

about 3 years ago

digit3, why do you have to crab on the owners of Chester Creek Cafe like that? I've known them for years and you will not find more generous people who've done more for this community than many of us. BTW, laptops are not encouraged in the wine bar at CCC, which I totally agree with -- it's a place for conversation or reflection, not for work.

Sjixxxy

about 3 years ago

Did you get my e-mail reply from the other day? I'm just a bit paranoid lately as a lot of what I send seems to be going to people's junk folders as of late.

doubledutch

about 3 years ago

Red Mug in Superior - if you're allowing yourself to leave Duluth. Coffee, wifi, super yummy homemade soups. Saturday at 6pm you could see Brown Eye, Blue Eye (a kid band) at Amazing Grace, and have some homemade soup and bread and wifi. That could be good for someone recovering from a minor illness. Friday the 13th, I recommend stopping by Ochre Ghost (2nd Ave E across from the casino) on your way to Tycoons. In general, like on Thursday mornings and Monday afternoons, you should go in every place that is open along Superior Street between the library and Fitger's. Then you should do the same thing on the same stretch of Fourth Street. You should probably have a DTA experience or ten. You should get a parking ticket and wander through the skywalk on your way to pay it. You should spend a few boozy nights (or afternoons if you prefer) in Superior, West Duluth and the west end.

catz

about 3 years ago

Beaners Central Red Mug in Superior Twins Bar North Pole Bar Wild Rice Soup Late Night are Burrito Union Pizza Luce Show The coldest, windiest day is the best for a walk on the lake walk. Freezing spray from the waves is an experience... bring a beard though. and yes Fitgers Brewhouse.

shenanegans

about 3 years ago

I agree with all of the places previously mentioned. The Red Mug, Chester Creek, Amazing Grace and Brewhouse all make some mighty fine chow. I'd like to add that Whole Foods Co-op has tasty homemade soup every day as well. Lots of juice, citrus fruit and vitamins on hand, too. I also agree with edgeways - the change of seasons is one of the most interesting and beautiful things about where we live.

GTR

about 3 years ago

Barrett, the wi-fi guide misses Mt. Royal Fine Foods (eating area/Caribou seating). I work there fairly often even though there is very limited electricity access. Also, UMD is a great place for laptop work; they have free guest wifi. Lots of location choices, from library quiet to food court buzz.

consuelo

about 3 years ago

(1) Where is the best publicly-accessible place to plunk down and do laptop work in Duluth? (hopefully coffee, comfortable seating, friendly people, etc.) Amazing Grace, Caribou in Canal Park, Jitters. (2) I’m looking to cook a hearty soup that might be a slow-acting medicine/panacea/lunch. Any suggestions? Home recipes? Here's a recipe for 'hot dish': 1 lb ground beef 1 tbsp onion (it's spicy!) 4 lbs salt 2 cans Sam's Finest Cream of celery Soup Brown meat in deer lard. Combine ingredients in crockpot. Cook for six days. (3) What should I do in Duluth? Any and all suggestions are welcome. (I’ll be much more specific in the future, but I thought I’d start as broad as possible) Just be yourself. Nobody will notice.

DaVe

about 3 years ago

Stuff to do: Visit Enger Park. The Superior Hiking Trail running west from there also affords great views of the city. Then balance out the prettiness with some tours of the rustbelt industrial wasteland . North-end Superior will do for that. While you're over there you can go to the Anchor Bar. I think someone in your other post might have mentioned the end of Park Point. It's a whole other world down there.

Ramos

about 3 years ago

Celery curry soup drives out the chill, and is a favorite in the Ramos household. 4 stalks celery 3 T butter 3 T flour 1 1/2 t curry powder 3/4 t salt 1/4 t pepper 2 cups milk 4 cups chicken stock or water Dice celery small. Saute in butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tender. Remove from heat and stir in flour, curry powder, salt and pepper. Return to heat. Add milk and chicken stock. Heat through, stirring often. Yummy!

in.dog.neato

about 3 years ago

You should totally drop by the shop where I work (Alakef Coffee Roasters on Superior St.) for the nickel tour. Hit me up off list and I'll give you the deets.

RightElbow

about 3 years ago

Here's my recommendation for a true Duluth weekend. Sit around. Do something, maybe. On Sunday afternoon, remember to pick up a Transistor. Read about all the awesome stuff you missed since Thurs evening.

Adam Carr

about 3 years ago

Thanks for all the comments/help/thoughts! The snapshot I'm working on will definitely be incomplete, and probably lack focus in some places, but I want the colors to be as rich as possible, if that makes any sense. Just roll around in the mud. That being said, I'm starting to feel a little better and I've already been getting out to a lot of the suggestions on your lists. I have a few weeks left of exuberant overwhelmedness to go.

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