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Square Dance Input Request

I just attended my first Monday Night Square Dance in Minneapolis and want to build a similar event in Duluth. I am asking PDD for input on location or other thoughts.

To get an idea of what I’m after, please watch this…

This event shall…

  • be in a location which serves alcohol
  • be on a weeknight (probably 7-9pm)
  • have a bucket where people will be encouraged to deposit $5 for the band and caller (if the bar doesn’t give us a %age)

I have access to talented musicians and callers, I just need to figure out how to fly this and would like your input on what atmosphere would entice Duluthians to attend such an event.

Initially, I thought of Carmody Irish Pub, but I feel it’s a little dark and I’d rather be somewhere that has Pabst on tap.

So, next I thought of Thirsty Pagen – they don’t have Pabst on tap, but they have the Miller mural which is almost as good. Downside is that they’re pretty booked on weeknights and probably wouldn’t be keen on moving tables out of that main room.

Then, I thought of Mohaupt Block, but we won’t be able to afford hall rental fees and I’m not sure how to serve booze there.

Is there some diamond-in-the-rough West End or Superior bar with a good room/atmosphere for my event?

Separation of church and state?

Three blocks away from my home, every Sunday morning, in front of Holy Rosary Cathedral, in spite of a two-thirds empty parking lot kitty corner from the church, Wallace Avenue is clogged with cars parked up on the sidewalk on both sides and in no parking zones.

Since my neighbors and I have been cited for parking facing the wrong direction (but on the correct side of the street) there’s obviously enforcement available in the area. So what’s going on just up the hill? Maybe they’re actually parked legally… But on the sidewalk? Really? On both sides of the street? So they can avoid walking 80 yards? That’s odd.

I emailed the chief of police, Donny, and my city counselor to bitch (okay, I’m a crank). Not a peep.

In the great scheme of things this is wholly without significance — who cares where the Catholics park? — but in the microcosm of my own petty concerns, it feels just a little bit unfair.

Holy Rosary parking lot during mass

West side of Wallace during mass

East side of Wallace during mass

Back to the tundra!

I am heading back to Duluth tomorrow.  I have been gone for a little less than a year, is there anything different enough that I should know about it in advance? What has changed? What is exactly the same? Any new restaurants/stores I should check out as soon as I get back? Suggestions for new local bands/upcoming shows?


Someone in PDDland has to know the best place in town to get my bingo on. Help me out here.

Twin Ports Bridge Festival 2011 Photos

Michael Franti and Spearhead put on quite the jubilant performance. Cheers to organizer Shane Bauer; this was a great event.

Parks Commission Presentation About Magney Snively Park

The Duluth Parks and Recreation Commission’s next monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 13. This public meeting will be held at the Parks and Recreation office located at 12 E. Fourth St., beginning at 4 p.m.. An informational presentation will be made by City of Duluth staff person Tim Howard regarding the transfer of the Levang property from the Nature Conservancy to the City for the purpose of expanding Magney Snively. A complete agenda for this meeting is available at the Parks and Recreation office. For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 730-4300.

Miller Creek Disc Golf Public Meeting

The public is invited to attend a public meeting at the Parks and Recreation office building/Central Hillside Community Center located at 12 E. Fourth St. (corner of Lake Avenue and Fourth Street) on Wednesday, July 13 at 6:30 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the future of the Miller Creek Disc Golf Course. Among the issues to be discussed are: potentially moving/removing baskets, long term maintenance and trash collection and creating better playing conditions. For more information contact or 218-269-4712.

Bed Bugs in Downtown Duluth?

Anyone know the story of what is going on in the building at 103 W. First St.? This is the building that is owned by Center City Housing, apartments on the top floors and Sammy’s Pizza on the main floor along with offices. For the past week there have been trucks parked outside doing some kind of “abatement” work. The workers have been bringing large stainless steel containers in and out of the building. I heard a rumor tonight that there was an infestation of bed bugs in the building and a company was there trying to eradicate the bugs. It was all very mysterious so just wondering about it.

Cliff’s Barber Shop and Photos from the Clifford E. Johnson collection

You may have noticed that Cliff’s Barber Shop in West Duluth is for sale. The proprietor, Clifford E. Johnson, died two years ago. I took the photo above in April, when Cliff’s shop was being cleared out after an estate sale.

At the estate sale were boxes upon boxes of old slides. Most of them were of vacations to Hawaii and so on, but I found two boxes that had some local images, so I plopped down $10 and brought them home for a slide show. The fine folks at Swim Creative have scanned a few of them for me to share on PDD.

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Duluth Dirt Spanker Classic

Junk hunter

Are there really no flea markets in Duluth?

Too nice out to work

I’d like to go swimming today but want to avoid the hordes at Park Point. I have two little ones and would like some sand if possible. Any recommendations? I had heard there was a hidden beach somewhere in Knife River but don’t know where.

Ack! Ack! Ack!!

Jessie Houghton is tonight not tomorrow night at Chester Creek Wine Bar
Old Timers Disease.

RT’s Concert After Twin Ports Bridge Fest

Check out the Half Hearts, Yester, Hot Ashes and the People Say Fox this Saturday night after the Twin Ports Bridge Festival.

R.T. Quinlan’s
July 9, Saturday, 9PM
21+, $5 cover

All four groups are doing incredibly well this year.

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At Sara’s Table Friday Night

The date on the poster is wrong. The show will be Friday, July 8.

Perfect Day for a Double Header

The first five people to mention Perfect Duluth Day at the box office will win a pair of general admission tickets to today’s Duluth Huskies double header vs. the Alexandria Beetles.

Tonight is Gold’n Plump Night – The Gold’n Plump Chicken folks are on hand with a great giveaway.

It’s also another Thirsty Thursday! All Domestic Beer is 1/2 price including Bud or Bud Light 16oz. cans in the stands.

Duluth Wedding Officiants?

Nikki and I are finally shaking off the procrastination and getting down to planning our wedding (late)  and looking for an officiant!  If anyone knows, or has any recommendations for an officiant, we’d love to hear them!  The ceremony is being held in Leif Erikson Park this September and we’re looking for someone who’s either non-denominational or generally open-minded Christian.  We’ve emailed a few people from the various directory websites but would be much more comfortable with first-hand experience or recommendations.

Fighting for us

News Release
Cravaack introduces bill to eliminate federal sign brightness mandate

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Congressman Chip Cravaack (MN-8) introduced H.R. 2442, the Rural County Mandate Relief Act. The bill would eliminate the federal mandate that states and local municipalities must keep their road and street signs bright enough to meet federal government brightness standards, allowing them to decide when signs are replaced.

“State and local governments are still struggling under the weight of lower revenues brought on by the recent recession,” said Cravaack. “Any mandate from Washington forcing municipalities to unnecessarily replace perfectly adequate street signs hurts their ability to affectively spend scarce taxpayer dollars elsewhere. State and local governments are perfectly capable of deciding when their signs need to be replaced and how best to pay for any new signs.”

The bill has the support of numerous mayors and council members across the 8th District. One such legislator, Steve Biondich, an Aurora City Councilman said H.R. 2442 “is exactly what we need … getting rid of silly unfunded mandates.” Based on a conservative estimate, state and local municipalities will be forced to spend at least $37.5 million over the next ten years to meet the current federal mandate on sign brightness.

Congressman Cravaack serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee – where he is vice chair of the Aviation Subcommittee – the Homeland Security Committee, and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. The 8th Congressional District covers 18 counties in Northeast Minnesota.

West Duluth Graffiti Art

Two Harbors this weekend: Toss some lutefisk with Miss North Shore

While the Duluth media are all abuzz about the Bridge Festival and the return of Dances on the Lakewalk, the most authentic local culture this weekend is up in Two Harbors, at Heritage Days. Toss some lutefisk, ice-scream-socialize at the bandshell with the community band, and follow the machinations of the Miss North Shore contest. More information and links are on my blog.