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Old To Duluth

Barrett posed these questions in rockyboy316's post "New To Site", but I think they are interesting enough to explore on their own (without muddying up rocketboy316's post).

1. Why, specifically, do you find it difficult to make friends in Duluth?
2. How, specifically, are other cities different?
3. What sorts of resources can we invent that would make it easier to make friends in Duluth?

I for one, have to admit that I've found it hard to make new friends since I've moved here. I made my original set (which has grown over the years) through college, medieval geek stuff, and gaming. Most of the new friends I make now are either friends of existing friends, or through work (the two easiest ways to meet new people).
The fact that I'm a bit shy ("shy" does not mean that one can not also be "obnoxious and loud") and a bit awkward meeting new people has only added to my insularization.
Over the last few years(!), I've "interacted" with people on PDD, but I can honestly say that outside of pixels, I haven't really met any of you in person.
People say that Duluth is a hard town to make friends, but maybe it's hard everywhere.
How does one remedy the situation? I obviously don't know...


As a transplant...and a fairly recent one at that (This past winter was my fifth by the Big Lake, though my tenth in MN altogether), I'll chime in...

1.) It's not all that difficult to meet folks here...once you've proven your tenacity (so to speak)...natives and transplants who've spent more than a few years here don't generally 'warm up' to outsiders until they've put in a good (and by 'good' I mean COLD) two winters' worth of residency...but friends made here are frineds indeed...

2.) Duluth doesn't really have distinct lines between the various social cultures or 'scenes.' The only ones I've really seen heretofore are those related to economic status, and even then those divisions really only apply to those who give a shit about their status. Larger cities have pretty definite lines and scens and classes of people who hang out together, with very little interaction between the scenes. Duluth really doesn't have that...it's punks and hippies and rawkers all drinking and partying and playing and hanging out together...

3.) I like the DIY comment on an earlier post in another topic...for me, it's all about community...In a sense I'm a servant of my community. I live here, so therefore I'm obligated to make it a better place, for everyone. And that IS the essence of DIY...I organize music festivals...others play in bands...others contrive wonderful events like Geek Prom, the Kamikaze, Homegrown Music Festival, Scavenger Hunt, Nonchalant Jaunt, and Crazy Train...I think we just need to continue innovating and creating and having fun with what we do here...you don't have to party hard or drink a ton to be a part either...I'm going to be a family man soon, so I imagine my focus on community creativity might change a bit as that reality comes to fruition.

maybe i'm just an optimist, but it is what you make it...and dammit...i love this town...

a citywide tour de bocce would be nice, too.

I think I should have been clearer about #2. What I meant to ask was "How, specifically, are other cities better for making friends?"

thanks for the clarification barrett...

there again...larger cities have definite lines between the scenes...therefore it's perhaps a bit easier to figure out where you 'fit in.'

then again, what the heck do I know...I don't fit in anywhere...

Folks here at least will give you the benefit of the doubt...which says to me that it doesn't really matter what social class you fit with...because we're all here for pretty much the same reason.

I find it difficult to make friends because I'm an introverted misanthropist who'd rather be at home ensconced on the couch watching anime than out dealing with others' lack of consideration for anyone but themselves.

Oh, wait. I guess that's my fault/problem, which will follow me where ever I go.

Well there you go, there are too many Kitsune's in Duluth.
Actually, that is probably not too far off the mark. In many other places the social dynamics are different, people-as-a-whole are a bit more aggressive about meeting their neighbors and a bit less introverted. I imagine there are multiple factors that play into this. The weather works against meeting new people for a significant part of the year, Duluth is not a huge city, but pretty big, and bigger populations are less intimate as people don't rely on one-another as much as "the community as a whole". Add to this the native stock of Scandinavians, who are, lets face it, not the most extroverted people in the world, add this together and you have a hard scene to break into.
People are friendly, but more reserved.

Kitsune - .
The world is a much friendlier place if you don't try to hold it to your high standards.

Duluth is very clique-y. That is about all I've noticed.

Hmm... High standards, eh? I thought they were pretty low.

I didn't say people aren't friendly; I just don't have the interest or energy to put into finding them. I don't drink or smoke, so hanging out in bars is out of the question, I don't play in a band, and being in crowds is tiring. What else is there? The Rotary, or maybe the Gitch?

There's a difference between meeting people and making friends. It's not so hard to meet people in Duluth. But friendships are another deal. It's hard to make friends no matter where you live. Sure, I "know" a lot of people in Duluth, but to forge friendship takes extra time and commitment, things that are not always available. Basically, I don't think it's the characteristics of a city/community that hinders friendship.

Kitsune makes a good point. In addition to hanging out in bars and playing in bands, what are some cool things people do in the Twin Ports?

Casually, I mean. I'm not talking about organizing festivals or anything like that, but more like regular, weekly stuff.

I lived here for a solid year before I met and got to know people that I liked and wanted to be around. That first year I lived here, I didn't go to the bar. I went to school, made artsy things and worked twelve hours a day. As soon as I stumbled in to the Nor Shor and started going a lot I met people. I really thought I had a big circle of friends there for a couple years. Then, I stopped drinking like an irish lass and I got a early morning all day work real hard job (I'm a social worker) suddenly I realized that all those people were mostly aquantences (I can't spell) and that I actually had very few friends outside of the "scene". A big part of this is because I am difficult, mean, and sometimes moody. However, I can't help but feel like there sin't much for youngish creative types who don't want to hang out at Luce or Quinlans.

One good thing that everybody could do is go out and buy Issue Number Six of The Cheerleader magazine, now available at Sunhillow Books and Barnes and Noble. Then when you see somebody else reading the eye-catching blue digest, you can wink at them knowingly and say, "I bought it, too." You'll be instant, lifelong friends, at a very reasonable price. I guarantee it.

P.S. And could you maybe do it soon? My children, who do not understand that sometimes we have to wait for things, are clamoring for food again.

Whatever happened to the city-wide scavenger hunt? I really wanted to join it a few years ago but was out of town.

if only there was some kind of device through which people with similar interests could dialouge without leaving their homes. then, perhaps, even set up meetings, clubs, gaming circles, armies...

armies? hey, that's IT!
you want friends join the army. or better yet - FORM an army - an army of like minded individuals that want to be friends. after everyone is friends attack the town w/friendship. if the town doesn't want to be friends, well, everyone go home & watch tv & be ensconced on a couch. so what? you tried.

We use this in Boston. Could be a little something that could be created for Duluth.


I really don't think it's a problem of people but areas of Duluth. When living there, I thought a 20 minute drive to meet up was long. Now I do a 45 min drive to Boston without blinking....

Tam and I will be having fun in our Big Front Yard quite a bit this summer, grilling, gardening and such with the Moonbaby...I'm sure there could be mutual meeting arrangement get togethers with our neighborly neighbors...as we're going to be mere blocks away from Starfire, Nick and Barrett, plus a few of our non-PDD friends as well...if any of you would want to visit us, that is.
I'm still hoping for a citywide bocce game...

i don't have a large couch, but anyone is welcome to come & watch a movie or 2 w/me if ya'll chip in on my cable bill. bring some chips & stuff, too & i'll be your damn friend.

za za, i won't miss mowing that yard.

Where you at, in.dog.? I'm mere blocks away from Starfire, Nick, and Barrett as well. This might have to turn into a block party.

I love all this good will being thrown out there.

After my bitter posting I had three seperate social invitations come my way. . .maybe I should whine and be bitter more often-oh wait-thats not possible.

All the good will is swilling around, but I'm still going to go home and sit on the couch. I'm just not cut out for society, I guess.

A fun thing to do without drinking and smoking is the wyld thyme irish dance parties. you don't have to know how because the guy tells you what to do. It's lots of fun, I keep meaning to go again.

Where/when are the Irish dance parties?


We're moving this weekend to 6th St. between 11th and 12th Aves., middle of the block, facing the lake...

C-freak...fortunately, I LOVE mowing the yard. even one as slope-ey as that one.

Bad Cat, the Tamarack Dance Association has monthly dances including Irish Ceilis about twice a year. It's a lot of fun and a great workout. Here's their website: http://www.morlracing.com/tamarack/

we'll have to tune up that mower then.

I think that the DIY spirit is definitely commendable, but I also fear that it can sometimes be somewhat of a hinderance.
With 6 significant institutions of higher learning, three indie breweries, enough bars to serve the entire state of New Hampshire for a week and other tremendous duplicates, it seems that resources can get spread thin.
Take the literary arts for instance. A lot of great writers come through the Twin Ports via the universities, local writing organizations and the bookstores. They all have limited funds to advertize and so there's a modest gathering at every event and many of those who would have been interested remain in the dark. The number and quality of the writers coming in is great, but due to the DIY spirit, the unified effort (and possible resultant attendance) is lacking.
So, my question is: how and when is DIY a good thing, and how/when should we work within existing infrastructure?
Could a resurrected MAC (zombie MAC?) help unify the great DIY initiatives? Or would it just rot?

A group of Scandanavians shipwrecked on an island. After several weeks the Danes formed a Cooperative, the Norwegians built a fishing boat, the Finns cut down all the trees and the Swedes were still waiting to be introduced....

in.dog, the wife, the crazy dogs, and I are between 6th and 7th streets on 13th Ave. (just a short amble up the hill from the Shanty, unfortunately the worst liquor store in all of Duluth).

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