Twin Ports Best Kept Dining Secret


One of the best kept secrets of the Twin Ports is Sclavi’s Italian Restaurant at 1106 Tower Ave. in Superior. I am amazed that more people do not know about it. We live in Minneapolis and it is better Italian food than anything we can think of in the Twin Cities. But as the best things in Suptown are, it is quirky.

Mystery Photo #42: SS Columbia of Duluth


This postcard image bears the ink stamp of the Russell Photo Co. of Fond du Lac, Minn. on the back, along with a handwritten note: “The ‘Columbia’ of Duluth, Minn.” There have been numerous S.S. Columbia’s throughout the world, but this one seems likely to be the same as the one profiled on Zenith City Online, which was launched in 1885 as the Mascotte. There are numerous physical differences between the ship in the image shown there and the one shown here, but the article notes “in 1912 Duluth’s Clow & Nicholsen purchased the vessel, lengthened it by over thirty feet, and renamed it Columbia.” If they are the same SS Columbia, why do both images (presumably before and after the redesign of the ship) bear the name Columbia and neither Mascotte?

Mystery Photo #41: Family Portrait from the Zweifel Studio


Quick internet searches indicte either John or Joshua R. Zweifel was a Duluth-based photographer from the very late 1800s to the mid 1900s, with a few different offices on West Superior Street and in the Phoenix Building. Who are the round-faced darlings in the photo? Well, that’s the Hail Mary pass being thrown here for the hell of it, just to see if anyone can figure it out.

Where in Duluth? #152


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

Call for Halloween Banners

We want to see your Halloween photos at the top of this page as banners. Keep in mind the hauntingly horizontal format, it can be tricky to work with, but a treat when it works well.

Sorry, that was terrible.

Click here for complete submission guidelines, but the basics are: 1135 pixels wide by 197 pixels high, e-mail them to [email protected]. We’ll put them in rotation near the end of the month.


Sixteen Years on the Superior Hiking Trail: Swamp River to Cascade River

Paul Lundgren Saturday EssayDigital cameras existed in the year 2000, but it wasn’t until about 2003 that using one became mainstream. I started my quest to complete the Superior Hiking Trail with a cheap 35mm pocket camera and a roll of black and white film … perfect for capturing lush fall colors. A grand total of four photos were taken during this five-day hiking trip.

By contrast, I have 35 photos and three videos from a five-minute window when I finished my hike in 2015. So the world has changed a bit. I worked for a newspaper then, I work for a website now. The World Trade Center buildings stood then, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum stands now. Time marches on at a faster pace than my hiking boots, apparently. My first trip covered nearly 60 miles of trail, however, and that’s not too shabby. Unfortunately, things slowed down after that.

On the sunny afternoon of Sept. 23, 2000, my friend Jeff and I drove the winding way of Highway 61 to Grand Portage. It’s not a place that is necessary or practical to go when seeking the start of the Superior Hiking Trail, but it’s a fun location to stop and look out over Lake Superior while there’s time to kill on the day before the adventure begins.

Duluth Shore August 2016

duluth-boulder-hoppingAndrew Hendricks shot this footage in August on the shore outside his hotel room while testing his new Zeiss Contax 85mm camera.

Selective Focus: Bill Coit via Valerie Coit

Earlier this year, my friend Val started posting photos her dad had taken to a Facebook album. They were obviously decades old, but they were pristine. These weren’t scans of tattered, faded, off-color prints found in a box in the basement, they were scanned from the slide film her dad shot. A couple years ago, my mother-in-law passed away, and my brother-in-law took on the job of scanning the best photos from a big chest of old pictures and sharing them with the family via Dropbox. All this makes me wonder what will happen as most or all of our family photos become electronic, not physical.

Castle Danger and Lake Superior Aerial Video

castel-dangerShot by Kyle Christy of St. Paul.

Moose Lake Brewing selling big ol’ cans called ‘crowlers’

Moose Lake Brewing crowlers

Moose Lake Brewing Company started selling 24 oz. crowlers this week. For those unfamiliar with the term, a crowler is an oversized can, which is filled on site, much like a growler.

Charlie Parr – “I Ain’t Dead Yet” (live on KUMD)

charlie-parr-and-reubenCharlie Parr performing in KUMD’s Studio A on Sept. 20.

What’s all the folio fuss?

First_Folio_lo_resDr. Krista Twu, associate professor of Medieval literature at UMD, and Matt Rosendahl, director of UMD’s Kathryn A. Martin Library, chat with Almanac North hosts Julie Zenner and Dennis Anderson about the rare copy of the Bard’s “First Folio.”

When Spirit Mountain had a pool


At some point in the early 1980s, Spirit Mountain did away with its swimming pool. It was probably a maintenance nightmare, and the notion of a pool on a hill overlooking the tributary to the world’s largest freshwater “pool” might be considered a little absurd in retrospect.

Trust me, though. It was fun while it lasted.

Entering the story, painting the dump gray, and the last chicken


This is why I think you should go see the production of One River, happening at UMD’s Marshall Performing Arts Center each night this week until Friday. My experience relayed here might be a bit self-centered, especially the comparison to another touching moment when our dog died in my arms recently, but this is how I was affected by these remarkable young actors. Now I can see the power theater has to really touch the heart. Read more at Ed’s Big Adventure.

Floating Dead Rabbit

As seen in “Diving the Condos” video, I found a dead rabbit in a Lake Superior tidepool. Three days later, 200 yards away, I  stumbled upon what must have been the same rabbit, worse for wear…