PDD Quiz: May 2020 in Review

Test your memory of May 2020 headlines and happenings with this week’s PDD Quiz!

The next quiz will be another architectural details quiz, this time highlighting buildings in Superior; it will be published on June 14. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by June 10.

Living History on Empty Streets

“Duluth is a bit off-center, both literally and figuratively—something most Duluthians don’t seem to mind at all. After all, this is the city whose skyway system runs partially underground, where the West End is located in the city’s geographic center, and whose annual Christmas City of the North parade is held a week before Thanksgiving. Duluth may be a little bit off-center, but part of what makes Duluth Duluth is that here, true north isn’t always where you’d expect it to be.”

— Tony Dierckins, Duluth: An Urban Biography

Sheltering in place gives a devotee to a city even more time to learn it intimately. I read Tony Dierckins’ new biography of Duluth, which fits the bill of a pre-founding-to-present history that I pined for on my blog some while back. The biography really only left me hungry for more: it clocks in at just under 170 pages and could easily have been double that length if it were to thoroughly explore structural forces and the lives of prominent figures beyond a series of mayors and those who crossed their paths. Still, it was a welcome step beyond Tony’s previous fun vignettes and collections, most of which peter out somewhere in the middle of the 20th century. Granted, Duluth’s history becomes somewhat less romantic in that stretch; the great turn-of-the-century wealth faded, the growth stalled, and the architecture wandered away from an eclectic opulence to something much more mundane. Still, the book is a reminder that this city’s history has always been one of awkward lurches, of rises and falls, and a quest for some sort of stability in the aftermath.

My Favorite Writers: #3 of 5 (a weekly essay mini-series)

J.G. Ballard.

Ballard was born in 1930 to English parents living in Shanghai. He died in London in 2009.

Duluthian questions if it necessary for protesters to be black

It seems nothing is “too soon” for the Onion. Amid protests and riots following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, the satirical news website published a story with a Duluth dateline in which a “local man” questions “the necessity of protestors being black.”

Selective Focus: Richard Hoeg

Rich Hoeg is a naturalist, photographer and children’s book author. His blog, 365 Days of Birds, provides daily updates on the birds and animals he follows, as well as an occasional post about his human activities. In Selective Focus this week, he talks about how his other interests have influenced his wildlife photography.

RH: Unlike most photographers who like to use DSLR’s and big lenses which are heavy with lots of reach, I chose to use a “super zoom / bridge” camera. I wanted a camera setup which allowed for easy portability whether birding, bike touring or cross-country skiing. This decision was driven by a decision to retire from the traditional work world (I was a software techie) at the somewhat young age of 57. My wife and I had planned a 2,500 mile self-supported two month bicycle tour of northern New England, the Canadian Maritime Provinces and the St. Lawrence River from its mouth to Quebec City. A large camera would have been impractical and heavy in my bike panniers.

Congdon Park’s historic Millen mansion gets needed overhaul

Tom Buresh and his terrier-dachshund mix, Evealine, pose on a hill outside the historic Millen mansion on Vermilion Road. Buresh and his wife Debra purchased the home in October 2017 and are restoring the property. (Photos by Mark Nicklawske).

Tom Buresh likes to say that shortly after he bought one of the most glorious and historic mansions in Duluth a neighbor told him it came with 40 years of deferred maintenance.

King Garbage – “A Garbage Journey” (Official Video)

I directed this debut video for Duluth singer/songwriter King Garbage, aka Eric Lester. The song is “A Garbage Journey” from his EP Raccoon Heart.

Duluth Urban Design Project: Highway 61 Revisited

What better time could there be for sharing grand expensive visions than during a pandemic, when Duluth and virtually all municipalities are under tremendous financial duress?

Hey, ideas are just ideas, right?

A group of designers and unofficial community planners known as the Duluth Waterfront Collective has been working on a “what-if?” project called Highway 61 Revisited. The basic task is to redesign the I-35 corridor where it splits Downtown Duluth and the Canal Park Business District.

Found your mini-guitar smashed on the railroad tracks

I found your mini-guitar smashed on the railroad tracks along the St. Louis River at Mud Lake. It had a Perfect Duluth Day sticker on it. Bent Paddle Brewing Company, Earth Rider Beer and the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra were also decorating your little green guitar, along with smiley faces, hearts and what appear to be a set of puckered lips.

Was this a triumphant smashing after a performance for the geese and red-winged blackbirds? Or was the destruction out of frustration or sadness? Did hooligans steal your guitar and leave you wondering until now what became of it?

As a fan of PDD, you are sure to see this post. Or do you just like free stickers?

Ruffed Grouse Drumming Encore

Back by popular demand, northeastern Minnesota’s favorite musical grouse.

Duluth You & Me: Wednesday Night Sailboat Races

Use the link below for a printable PDF for your drawing and coloring pleasure.
Duluth You & Me: Wednesday Night Sailboat Races

Follow the Duluth You & Me subject tag to see additional pages. For background on the book see the original post on the topic.

Gold Mine Camp on the Vermilion River in Buyck

Buyck is about 100 miles north of Duluth. Presumably this 1940s-era photo depicts cabins at what is the modern-day fishing and hunting camp that bears the name Gold Mine Camp.

Gary-New Duluth Memorial Day Program 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional Memorial Day ceremony at the Gary-New Duluth Veterans Memorial was not held. A ceremony was instead videotaped in advance of Memorial Day. Above is a short clip from WDSE-TV, below is the full memorial service video.

The Drumming Log

Grand Portage-based photographer Travis Notvitsky captured this ruffed grouse performing a drum solo atop a log. Drumming is the male grouse’s way of saying: “Yo, this is my territory and I’m ready to mate if anyone is interested.”

Duluth: the Norwegian Band

In addition to all the songs that reference Duluth, there is also a band based out of Norway that bore the name Duluth. An album titled The Aesthetics of Drowning was released in 2002.