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History of Itasca: Part 1

itascaLilah Crowe, executive director at Itasca County Historical Society, talks about the rich native history of Itasca County in the first of a four-part presentation.

Video produced by A Plus B Productions.

PDD Calendar Index: Grateful Dead Tribute

facebook_event_555358208001548Wednesday: LazyLightning420
Thursday: Brian Barber’s Wild Kingdom
Friday: Arrowhead Ice Fishing, Snowmobile and Winter Show
Friday: Standing Strong for Our Precious Water
Friday: Warm Up to the Brews
Friday: South of Superior
Saturday: Emerson Holiday Bazaar
Saturday: The Cursed Noble
Sunday: Emily Haavik CD Release Party

For a complete look at what’s happening today, tomorrow and on into infinity, visit perfectduluthday.com/calendar.

Dance Attic – “Startin’ a Fire with You”

Happy holidays! Jimi Cooper and Suzi Ludwig of Dance Attic bring the holiday cheer for this year’s PDD Christmas video. The song is from the band’s first album, tentatively scheduled for release in April.

A big thank you to the Homegrown Music Festival for sponsoring the video. Band registration is happening now, the Homegrown Winter Fiasco is Jan. 13, and the full-on eight-day extravaganza happens April 30 to May 7.

A big tip of the western hat also goes out to Darryn Wallace, who made Dance Attic’s snappy outfits.

Visit the PDD Holiday Video Showcase to view a collection of clips featuring the ghosts of Christmas’ past.

Petitioning to Change Duluth

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What do people want to change about Duluth? Well, according to change.org — as of 9 a.m. on Dec. 6 — 5,471 people want the University of Minnesota Duluth to save the American Indian grad program, 1,100 people want the city to stay the enforcement of parking violations targeting Duluth college students, 313 people want to stop harsh LED street lighting, 140 people want Duluth to pass a Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights, 13 people want a Trader Joe’s franchise to locate here and six people want to bring a Costco store to Duluth.

The year Joel Hodgson spent in Duluth

joel-hodgsonOn the Halloween episode of The Dana Gould Hour, guest Joel Hodgson briefly mentions his family lived in Duluth for a year. The conversation had steered to small-town television shows and personalities, and Hodgson recalled “picturesque slides of lighthouses” and how it gave a “mood of where you were.”

Hodgson, of course, is best known as the creator of the hit television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.

ARCO Coffee celebrates 100 years

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It’s remarkable for a family-owned business to withstand a century’s worth of cultural and economic changes, not to mention several generations of leaders. But Superior’s ARCO Coffee Company has reached this monumental achievement—100 years in business.

G.A. Andresen and W.J. Ryan founded the business in Duluth in 1916 as Andresen Ryan Coffee Company. Their names were later combined into the acronym ARCO.

Sarah Krueger – Northern Air 5-track EP

Duluth musician Sarah Krueger “holed up for a couple evenings in St. Paul” in November with her “good homie Jordan Taylor to record some holiday songs.” The result is the five-song EP Northern Air. Listen here for free, or name your price to download from Bandcamp.

Wild West Liquor Mural, 1996

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This photo is dated Dec. 5, 1996. It’s a shot of the exterior mural on the parking lot side of the former Wild West Liquor, 318 N. Central Ave. in West Duluth.

At the time it was probably a fairly new mural; the liquor store changed its name from West Duluth Liquor to Wild West Liquor at some point in the mid 1990s. I don’t remember when the mural was painted over, but I’d guess the side of the building has been plain white for at least ten years. The liquor store closed in 2015.

The building is presently being remodeled to open as Zenith Bookstore in summer 2017.

Thrift Store Finds: Last Ride on the Incline

lspc-1 lspc-2

I’m teaching a class that emphasizes writing about place next semester. So I’ve been scrounging thrift stores for examples. Here’s one to share. Is there a copyright-awesome way to secure these old magazines online?

Video Archive: Le Parkour Duluth

This video, shot in the fall of 2006, was posted on Perfect Duluth Day ten years ago today. It made PDD’s list of Best Videos of 2006 and placed second at UMD’s Frozen Yeti Film Festival in 2007 in the Indie Film category. In the past decade it’s amassed over 190,000 views.

Streets of Duluth: 1968-1971

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For those who missed the exhibition of D. R. Martin photos on display at the Red Herring Lounge this past summer, or those who want to revisit it, the images are now available online at curator Kip Praslowicz’s website. It’s a collection of street photography shot in the Duluth area between 1968 and 1971. As evidenced by the sample above, these are hot!

Pita Pit opens Monday in Downtown Duluth

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Monday marks the grand opening of Duluth’s first Pita Pit at 425 W. Superior St. in the new Maurices building. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. The restaurant will be giving away samples and coupons during the grand opening from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Pita Pit’s tagline is “Fresh thinking. Healthy eating.” Company spokesperson Monica Hendrickson says the franchise offers a fresh and healthy alternative to fast food. She calls it “faster food” since pitas are made to order, similar to Subway sandwich shops.

All Star Wrestling – Duluth Auditorium – Dec. 4, 1986

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The American Wrestling Association brought some of its finest grapplers to Duluth 30 years ago, as the newspaper ad above attests. It was six months before the World Wrestling Federation juggernaut brought a series of shows to the Duluth Arena. The AWA, of course, was a smaller promotion and held its card in the Duluth Auditorium, with the ring placed on the stage the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra typically occupies.

Amsoil Championship Snocross – Duluth 2016

Emily Haavik – “New Beginning Girl”

emily-haavik-2016-photo-by-brandon-wagnerDuluth native Emily Haavik returns home from the Twin Cities next weekend to release her debut album You Were the City. The CD release party is Dec. 11 at Beaner’s Central.

The album was recorded last winter by Jason Wussow in the basement recording studio at Beaner’s. According to Haavik, the song “New Beginning Girl” is the “catchy” one.