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Busy Week

Manitoulin Island

I returned from a trip to Manitoulin Island to a busy week in Duluth. I visited the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, where I learned about traditional and contemporary first nations art.

Then and Now: St. Louis County Courthouse

Duluth Civic Center

There is no date on the above postcard image, but it appears to be 1960s-ish. The photo below is a modern-day view.

Duluth Civic Center 2016

Gathering of the Juggalos – Northern Edition

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Make it happen, people.

Slow TV: The Worst James Bond Movie

https://youtu.be/3PcM-afsbOI

In Slow TV news, I’m taking a break this month from filming farming in meticulous detail to take you to a tourist trap in Switzerland. The World of James Bond museum sits atop Schilthorn in the Berner Oberland region because that’s where they filmed that one 007 movie with Telly Savalas. You might remember Telly Savalas from his classic Visit Duluth TV spot. George Lazenby starred as James Bond. You won’t remember him at all.
 

DuluthiLeaks: Gateway Landscape Plaza

Gateway Plaza

Sail-GatewayFor the first edition of DuluthiLeaks — Perfect Duluth Day’s new feature in which public documents are released as if they contain secret information leaked from an anonymous whistle blower — we take a look at the development of Duluth’s Gateway Plaza. The “landscaped plaza with a concrete sculptural element shaped in the form of a sail” that sits on the western edge of Duluth’s downtown was envisioned and built in the 1970s as a “landmark entrance” to the business district. Below is a look at early plans and sketches for the “well landscaped triangle.”

This Week: parties, festivals, fairs and more

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Here’s a bit of what you’ll find in this week’s PDD Calendar:

The Miller Auction Service holds its weekly auction on Monday, people can play mini-golf in Superior to benefit the Old Firehouse and Police Museum, the Head of the Lakes Fair runs from Tuesday through Sunday, the public can attend an open house on the Superior Street reconstruction project, the Lake Superior Zoo is showing its Wild Side and Ladies’ Night Karaoke is going down at R.T. Quinlan’s on Wednesday.

The Silk Shieks bring the instrumental thunder to the Red Herring, little tykes can join up with the River Rovers Nature Playgroup, Sour Fest 2016 is the place for people who like their beers to make them pucker up, Jack Sparrow stars in the final Movies in the Park of the year, the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival is back, there’s a block party going down on Jefferson Street, the fifth Superior Man Triathlon will host over 400 athletes and the 125th anniversary of Minnesota’s state parks and trails is celebrated.

Where in Duluth? #148

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Time for another installment of Perfect Duluth Day’s ultra-thrilling photo-trivia sensation. Where in Duluth was this shot taken?

Hop In

Saturday Essay - Dave SorensenWhen I was nineteen my parents dropped me off on US Highway 2. I had a pack, tent and sleeping bag, a couple hundred dollars in one pocket, a polished agate for a lucky charm in another, and a cardboard sign that said “Seattle.” I’d soon learn it’s better to have a sign that says “west” than the name of a specific city almost two-thousand miles away.

The first person I met was another hitchhiker, a distinguished fellow, grey at the temples, traveling the country playing piano in nursing homes for his meals. Though he carried a miniature book of musical scores to lighten his pack, the odd thing was, as he stood along the road waiting for rides, he lifted weights. About fifty pounds worth. He couldn’t see leaving them at home. Maybe it was a ploy to weed out the wrong drivers, some sort of immediate ultimatum: love me, love my barbells. Those fearful of excess baggage need not engage.

A local woman had us throw our gear into the back of her truck and got us out of town. Then, straight out of my youthful road-trip dreams, I was picked up by a semi and rode high in the cab all the way to North Dakota. I spent the night in the open on a bit of scruffy highway median, sleeping in the dew.

The Red Plan’s little brother

St-Louis-County-school-expenditures

As the Duluth school district struggles to find money to pay for the insanely expensive Red Plan, a similar situation is playing out to the north. In 2009, St. Louis County School District officials and consultant Johnson Controls argued that closing several old schools and building new consolidated schools would result in significant savings for the school district. Anyone who followed that publicity campaign could not have failed to notice marked similarities with Duluth’s Red Plan, which was also pushed by Johnson Controls.

In fact, as Marshall Helmberger points out in a recent Ely Timberjay story, almost all of the claims and promises have turned out to be worthless.

Google Fiber experiment over; Duluth spared

FiberBob Collins reported this week for Minnesota Public Radio that “Duluth dodged Google’s fiber optic bullet.”

Six years after Duluth came up short in its bid to be a test community for ultra-high speed internet connections, the experiment is looking like an expensive boondoggle. After digging up a half-dozen cities to lay fiber-optic cables, the company is now shifting into plans to transmit fast internet through the air.

Duluth Tall Ships 2016 “Parade of Sail” Photos and Video Clip

https://vimeo.com/179401418

Duluth’s Tall Ships Festival runs Aug. 18-21. The video above and photos below are from Liftoff Aerials (a/k/a the “PDD Drone”). The music is “Ocean Blue” by Duluth band Glen’s Neighbor from the album Behind the Door.

Tall Ships 2016 (2)

Duluth’s C.J. Ham looking good in purple

20160812HamVikingsDuluth native C.J. Ham is the Minnesota Vikings leading rusher over the first two preseason contests. He has gained 60 yards on 20 attempts, including a game-winning touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in week one. He also has three receptions for 27 yards.

“It’s been a dream come true,” Ham told WCCO-TV. “Just having the opportunity to be in the NFL and be with the team I grew up watching, it’s a dream come true.”

Selective Focus: Flo Matamoros

SF-TeaserFloMatamoros
Tonight (Friday, August 19) at Prove Gallery, there’s an opening of a collaboration between Flo Matamoros and Brian Ring called “The things they carried.” Flo Matamoros tells how her spontaneous, flowing style came to be.

F.M: My creative background is one that has been shaped by obsessive curiosity through the tool box that Art History is and the amount of creative mentors I have had since a child.
I was fortunate enough to receive around 7 years of classical painting training from age 7 until 14 in El Salvador (thanks mom!). So, I had to paint a lot of what I consider boring shit. Still life, landscape, flowers, etc. My professor said I had to master all that “boring shit” before I was allowed to paint the human form. So it took me until my freshman year at St. Scholastica (I started my higher education as a Chemistry Major because I thought that painting was bogus and Art was meh) to get over myself.

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Deadly Tall Ships Incident

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Culture Through Digital Storytelling: AICHO and In Progress

On Day 2, the kids were sent on a scavenger hunt that encouraged them utilize different camera techniques.

On Day 2, the kids were sent on a scavenger hunt that encouraged them utilize different camera techniques.

Kids were broken up into teams; they learned not only how to use the cameras, but how to teach others as well.

The kids were broken up into teams; they learned not only how to use the cameras, but how to teach each other.

Those who visited Brighton Beach last Thursday might have spotted the group of the kids playing in the waves of Lake Superior. They may have also noticed some touting high-end DSLR cameras and bright colored notebooks, wandering the shoreline with eager faces. That’s because, last week, the American Indian Community Housing Organization partnered with a St. Paul-based nonprofit, In Progress, to host culturally specific photography and storytelling workshops for Native American youth.

Lesson facilitator Kristine Sorenson made the journey up from the cities to the Gimaajii location to teach kids ages 8-12 how to use professional camera equipment (ranging in price from $800 to $6,000 per camera) and document the beauty in their lives. The results of their adventures couldn’t have been more inspiring.

A good number of photos featured here were taken by both myself and the participating youth and volunteers; however, at first glance, I’m willing to bet that no one would be able to distinguish who took which of the images here!