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First Street Renaissance

My heart broke when the European Bakery closed (though I admit only shopping there once a month wasn’t much help in keeping it open). It relit today.

I had an awesome lunch at Saigon Cafe (114 W First St., Duluth, MN 55802). At $6.99 for all you can eat, the $2.99 for the Vietnamese coffee was an easy treat.

(Vietnamese Coffee is the reason I keep condensed milk at home: also known as ca phe sua da or cà phê sữa đá, it is made with dark roast coffee individually brewed with a small metal French drip filter into a cup containing sweetened condensed milk, stirred and poured over ice.)

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Vietnamese Iced Coffee


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Duluth’s Retro Antique Mall

You may have noticed a new antique store has opened at 118 E. First St. in Downtown Duluth. It’s a pretty crazy collection. In one corner is some of the remaining used book inventory from R. O. Carlson’s famous store, next to it is stuff from the old Molly’s Bar in Superior … and on and on. There are about 10 different people selling stuff in there, one of which is Doug Moen, who is best known for his massive collection of retro clothing.

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Fun and flowers this weekend at Jay Cooke State Park

It’s Duluth’s own backyard state park. In half the time it takes to drive to Gooseberry, you can get reach this big park straddling the rugged St. Louis River valley. You could even ride your bike out the Munger Trail.

Head out to Jay Cooke State Park this weekend and check out the lady’s slippers that are blooming. Or get up early for a birdsong walk with Larry Weber. The St. Louis River should be raging under the Swinging Bridge. These ideas and more are on my blog.

Note, none of the reservable campsites are available. If you zoom up to the park tonight or early Friday, you could still snag one of the first-come, first-served campsites.


PDD Gravatar Poll, Fourth Bracket

Which PDD user has the best Gravatar?

This poll is now closed. The results were:

Hot Shot — 54.1 percent

Tamara — 15.3 percent

Ethan — 11.8 percent

Mary — 9.4 percent

Edgeways — 9.4 percent

(About Gravatars)


Why Do We Run?

Video by Timothy Johnson


Total Freedom Rock @ Lake Ave

Brian Ring

Thursday, June 23 at 10pm
Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar presents:
Total Freedom Rock for free!


When in Duluth? Downtown Waterfront Interim Report

I was trying to find an old photograph last week and I did not find what I was looking for but I did find something that only a history nerd, Duluth loving, public space adoring, Lake Superior worshiping kid like me would appreciate. So naturally I am posting images here as best I can.

Several images after the jump, so you might not want to try this over dial up or on your smartphone, and if anyone knows how to ge the full image in a downloadable PDF or another handier document type, knock yourself out. I’d love that.


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Public input needed to prioritize parks and trail needs. Meetings scheduled.

The public is invited to attend public meetings which will solicit citizens’ opinions on city park and trail priorities.  The meetings will be held 6-7:30 PM on the following dates;

Wednesday, June 22 at the Central Hillside Community Center located at 12 E. 4Fourth St.

Thursday, June 23 at the Duluth Heights Community Center located at 33 W. Mulberry St.

Tuesday, June 28 at the Portman Community Center located at 4601 McCulloch St.

Wednesday, June 29 at the Morgan Park Community Center located at 1242 88th Ave. W.

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Skyline: The Pride of Every Duluthian

The recent post “Lost Dog at Lakeside Super One,” which reunited Jessica with her sweet and crazy dog Marley, ended up spinning off into a discussion about the Lakeside neighborhood and it’s history/boundaries/etc.

While pondering that, PDD’s Fairy Research Spy unearthed this June 30, 1907 Duluth News Tribune article about the ongoing development of Skyline Parkway. (Of course, it wasn’t called “Skyline” until 1929.)

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“reLeaf Duluth” Tree Planting Party!

The city of Duluth seeks volunteer tree planters for its “reLeaf Duluth” program.  Sunday, June 26, 2-5 PM. Meet at Portland Square at the corner of 11th Ave. E. and E. Fourth St. No experience needed, all ages welcome! Training provided by city of Duluth staff and Louise Levy, certified arborist and tree care advisor. For more info contact jgibbs @ duluthmn.gov or 218-730-4308 or 218-269-4712.


American Cancer Society Relay for Life

Join the American Cancer Society at this year’s Duluth Relay for Life at Bayfront Park on July 22.

The event beings at 5:30pm and continues until 6am the following morning.  Join us for the opening ceremonies at 6:15pm, the Luminaria lighting at 9:15 or check out Mynx performing from 8-9pm!  There will be food for sale, a climbing wall and Japanese Restorative Therapy sessions.  Come out and support your local American Cancer Society!

2011 Relay For Life of Duluth


Eighth Birthday Party Announcement and Other PDD-related Matters

Next Wednesday, June 29, is Perfect Duluth Day’s eighth birthday. As usual, we are having a little get-together, and as usual we are inviting you all, as frightening as that might seem.

So swing on by the Burrito Union next Wednesday in the vague window of 8:30 to 10 p.m. or so. There will be no program or live music or plan to get people drunk and sell them condos; it’s just our annual opportunity to meet in person and shoot the breeze with the folks who put the P in our double-D.

In addition, yours truly will be a guest on “The Local” with Christine Dean next week, celebrating PDD’s birthday by playing songs with “Duluth” in the lyrics or title. That’s Wednesday, June 29, 5 p.m., on 103.3 FM KUMD.

By the way, we should probably let you all know what’s up with some of the technical weirdness PDD intermittently experienced in recent weeks. Here are the boring details:

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Aurora Baer @ Lake Ave 6/22/11

Aurora Baer

Join us at Lake Ave Wednesday for a free show, June 22 at 10pm as we present Aurora Baer.


Duluth Hillside Plan Review Forums

On June 9, NHS Duluth, Duluth LISC, and City of Duluth Community Development staff held a revitalization plan review meeting.  At this meeting, we addressed what had happened since the plans in 2007 and 2008 were created, and we started gathering neighborhood priorities for the next three to five years.

The next meeting will focus on the input from the first meeting and go a bit deeper into the specifics and details about neighborhood priorities.  Your input does matter!  The meetings will be held at the Central Hillside Community Center on Thursday, June 30, at 6 PM. Pizza and beverages will be provided.

Other neighborhood meetings will be held as follows:
Morgan Park, Tuesday, June 28, Good Fellowship Center, 6 PM
West Duluth, Thursday, June 23, City Center West, 6 PM
Lincoln Park, Both meetings have been held, more info to follow.

If interested in meeting summaries, contact Dan at NHS Duluth at (218) 727-8604 x. 207, or by email, dollhoff @ nhsduluth.org.


4th Street Arts

NHS Duluth will be starting to get the ball rolling with arts-based streetscape improvements, starting with the placement of hanging flower baskets through a stretch of 8 blocks.  Followed by new Hillside Banners to be placed on the street lights from Mesaba Avenue to 14th Avenue East.  

The new designs were created by two local artists, who are proud new parents, and live at Washington Studios Artists Cooperative. Their names are Elizabeth Wilcox and Jack Kindt, and were paid $250 for each of their designs.  Each banner will have a different theme, one “Hillside” theme, one “Central Hillside” theme and another “East Hillside” theme.  

The winning designs were selected out of a pool of over 15 contestants, by a panel of judges made up of representatives of the Hillside neighborhoods, and local arts agencies and organizations.

NHS has released 3 new calls to artists, for (2) bike racks, (2) public benches, and (2) trash cans.  Payment of the selected designs will be $750, $750 and $250 respectively.  NHS will also be responsible for the payment of the fabrication of each item.  More information can be found by clicking here, or by calling Dan at (218)727-8604 extension 207.


Job opening at the Duluth Art Institute

The Duluth Art Institute is accepting applications for an operations-development manager.

To apply: email a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to Samantha Gibb Roff, executive director, Duluth Art Institute, 506 W. Michigan St., Duluth, MN 55802 — getart @ duluthartinstitute.org.

Please no phone calls.

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Bayfront Reggae – Save on tickets

If you’re going to both days of the Bayfront Reggae Festival, you can save some dough buying tickets online and using this discount code:

PDD1811

Just go to the Buy Tickets Now page and click on “Buy Tickets Now.” Select the number of tickets you want, enter the promotion code, and the price per two-day ticket will drop from $78.50 to $58.50.

(The only catch is you can’t choose the less expensive “advance” tickets and get the discount, even though you are buying in advance; so technically you’re saving $10, even though the discount is $20. Rastafarian math.)


A Winter Downpour w/ Southwire, Lion or Gazelle and Kyle Ollah

Great local show coming up this Friday (June 24th) at Lake Ave. Cafe. Come down and check out Southwire, Lion or Gazelle, A Winter Downpour and Kyle Ollah (the singer/guitarist of Yester). Things get rolling at 10pm, $5 cover, 21+ show.

A Winter Downpour w/ Southwire, Lion or Gazelle and Kyle Ollah (of Yester) - 06.24.11 @ Lake Ave. Cafe

{Facebook Event link}


Mary Plaster: Mixed Media Masks

Most of these are still on display at Beaner’s Central. Green Man is gone, though. Must have trekked off into the woods.


Tangier 57 needs you!

Local space-lounge band Tangier 57 is playing on The Playlist this Thursday night. We’d like to recreate the melbatoasty goodness that is/was the Lawrence Welk Show. Bubble machine, glaring colors, haute smarm and all. One of the key elements of any LW show was cutaways to the audience polkaing, shadishing, waltzing and possibly even target=”blank”>”frugging”. You know what I’m talking about … there’s your grandma and grandpa, much younger but still super dorky, looking insanely proud in technicolor. Her in her horn rims and beaufant and seafoam sleeveless and him in his buddy holly glasses and cufflinks.

So, here’s where you come in … We’re asking for anyone with a 50′s 60′s vintage clothes fetish to come up to Channel 8 and be the studio dancers for the audience cutaways. We can’t promise anything other than fun, our undying appreciation and admiration and that all your friends will be at home laughing their arses off at you … don’t worry,  it’s painless and fun after you get used to it like we have. So target=”_blank”>dare to be target=”_blank”> square 8:15pm This Thursday night a Channel 8 studios. It’s up around behind UMD just off Junction Ave.

8:15pm, Thursday 06/23

WDSE • WRPT
632 Niagara Court
Duluth, MN 5581

P.S. The first  3 couples to show up get a copy of our new CD, “It is People!” Currently being poured through Eric Swanson’s butter boxes at Sacred Heart. It’s imminent release will change the Northland’s musical landscape forever.