« c&t / rgc tonight | Main | The Mummy Peice (cross post) »

Cri de coeur

A shout out to PDD, which is fantastic--no, no, don't blush. I moved here last August and can’t imagine what I would have done without it. Thus, this post.

While I have fallen in love with Duluth, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t even have a crush on me. To wit: after nearly a year here, I keep running into a blank wall when I try to make social contacts, or even, gulp, friends. I’ve met a lot of people here...but they don’t seem interested in returning my calls, or going to events that I’ve tried to plan. One Duluthian even told me that his friends weren’t really comfortable meeting new people.

I just can’t believe that somewhere as cool as Duluth, with such a positive artist:seagull ratio, can really be so inhospitable to people not To The Hillside Born. So I’m turning to the (virtually) warm and welcoming community of PDD to ask: what advice would you give to a newcomer trying to integrate here? How did you meet your last stranger? [Difficulty: no community college classes.]


I moved here 7 years ago (has it been that long?) and I got to know people through doing a lot of theater (Renegade and Playhouse) and by shopping at the co-op. No kidding, I got to know a lot of cool people through the co-op. Now, it's not as cozy now, but I did make some fine connections there. Now, granted, when I moved here I did have a few aces in the hole as I did have some fairly well connected friends up here already.

So, stranger, what hobbies do you have? There has to be some overlap somewhere. And, if you like games, don't forget the pdd game night! That seems to be going strong.

I'm a gamer - I meet all my best introvert friends through gaming.

I hear there's a Streakers Club. Purely non-sexual.

This is kind of a perennial question. My humble two cents is to get involved in something already established rather then trying to start your own movement right away. Once you've got a cadre of friends and acquaintances is when you start your own prosperous endeavors. So, yeah, list your interests and people here may well be able to point you where to go.

Thanks for the advice (er, except for the streakers club--that one seems a tad seasonal).

Unfortunately my time for volunteering is limited by tediously long hours at work, but I dig motorcycles, making tee-shirts, and would love to find a knitting/sewing circle or non-Borders book club. FWIW...

Wow, I've had a very similar experience here. I have a few friends in the area, but almost everyone I know in the Twin Ports I had met before moving here last September. You'd think almost a year would be enough time to overcome the social barriers of a place.

Most of the people I have met here have been through political activities. Suprisingly few, if any, have been the result of social occasions, though I do try to get out.

There just doesn't seem to be a central place here were everyone hangs out to be social and meet strangers - at least I haven't found one. What do other people think?

Hmm.. I also moved here last September and have made one, maybe two friends. What is wrong with this place???

I think we should all start a club for non-Duluthians in need of pals.


As a "born and raised" type I say to you welcome and we ARE your friends. Really, as stated above this is a common problem. Good Freinds and Good jobs, it takes about a year... so dont fret. BTW T-Shirts and Motorcycles, you're cool.

Just don't pay attention to people for a few years and then they'll start paying attention to you.

Here's the deal dudes: I'm good looking and talkative, so that's the fucking magic solution here in this town! Just be good looking and talkative!

How fucking hard is that?

It's an easy way to meet sleazy girls/boyz and get them in the sack.

Now, if that's not your gig, at least you're going to meet some people.

So you're not good looking and aren't very good at talking to people, you say? Well, my opinion, in that case, is to stay in your house and converse online or something equally depressing.

Either way, I love my life and feel sorry for you.

It's "cri du cœur". (Sorry, I hate mispelling).

It's "cri du cœur".
(Sorry, I hate mispelling. You'll correct me in English).
Hope you will make friends, Myself I am new to Duluth, but I am a mom, so I do get to meet other moms.
The best thing is always to get involved in community things, social interests groups. You'll get busy and talking.
Not everybody here is open but I find that there are quite a few people ready to integrate you.
But hey, I'll see after 2 years...

This posting really caught my interest as I was just discussing it the other day. I am interested in why it is that people are this way.

I moved back from the cities over a year ago and have to say i agree with this. Does living in a beautiful town somehow entitle people to be snotty? what's up? the few friends i have met that i didn't have previous to my move are not from here. ( I was born and raised here)

hey pdd folks, why is people can converse freely in format like this, but anyone who walks up to a group with openness is seen as suspect?

Northerners are a shy people...

You guys caught me. I'm one of the guilty ones. I shun others away. Sometimes I'm so good at it, I can move quickly out of their radar before they even get to say "Hi." I'm sneaky that way. I should have been a ninja. Shikin haramitsu daikomyo.

Anyways, it's easy. While the person's eyes are boring into the side of your face, sincerely trying to make contact with yours (you see, that's an "in", an opening for conversation, which you are desperately trying to avoid), you have to pretend you're intensely interested in something else -- you know, something of profound importance -- and hope that the other person doesn't ask you about whatever it is that you are pretending to be interested in. It's an art, really :)

Believe you me, it is neither snobbery nor paranoia that causes me to do this. I'm not sure what, exactly.

I'm going to blame it on Duluth, though, because I had no such inclinations while living in Boulder or Madison.

Interesting that Huitz was not like this in other towns.

I guess those who are aware of this strange phenomenon must act out to stop this icy madness!

it's no wonder people don't stay here long, but maybe that is exactly what locals want.

Correct me if I am wrong, I have found that people up to age 35 have room for new friends and over 35 don't. Maybe the dividing age is somewhat lower depending on area of Duluth.
Keep your head up strangersstrangeland, good friends are hard to come by but Duluth is full of great potential friends.

i've been up here now for exactly one year [july 1st] with my two dogs and my boyfriend ... my ONLY friends.

when we talked about moving up here we'd visit quite often and we met this fine couple walking their dog in Two Harbors .. we really hit it off and they said to contact them when we moved up here .. alas .. we had no way to contact them .. now when we talk about our friends we mention jeff and naomi in Two Harbors .. wonder what they're up too .. should we call them?? nnaaa

aaahhh jeff and naomi .. where are you ???

that being said .. we have no one to blame for our solitude except ourselves. we're shy and busy .. and really no one really makes a better friend than a golden retriever.

I moved here with wife and child and dog exactly two years ago (I did spend the first seven years of my life here). It does take time. Having children definitely helps, and so we had another. All the friends we have (except Zra and fam) here, we met at the playground while trying to keep our children from killing themselves on playgound equipment that is much too big for them. Now that the kids fit the equipment a bit better, we still go to parks just to meet people. I hate to say it, but kids can be a great social elixer. Also, you can always judge the coolness of a parent by the coolness of their children. I assume, however, that you have no children. In that case, my only advice is to spend as much time as you can hiking the in-city trails with your dog (leashed, of course, and NOT the Lakewalk - you'll never meet anyone cool there, unless it's at Leif Erickson, and then they're only looking for grass), until you run into someone who wants to have a conversation. Always, always get a phone number. Duluthians don't call each other. They wait for you to call them.

Did I mention to always get a phone number? I should also say that, if you don't have kids, you probably shouldn't be hanging out at playgrounds. If you don't have a dog, though, you should feel free to hike the town trails as much as you can to meet folks.

I have heard this many, many times since I moved to Duluth in August of 05. However, for myself, I haven't experienced any difficulty making friends in Duluth. To me it seems like every other place out there. People are generally good people, who are friendly and aren't opposed to meeting new people. The biggest thing, I feel, is how much you put yourself out there and meet people. I enjoy doing this, have done it a lot and as a result I feel very well connected and have made dozens of quality friends in the last two years. The majority of my friends have come from volunteering at endurance sports events, joining outdoor sports clubs (COGGS, Duluth XC Ski club, Duluth Area Trails Alliance), going to see live music and talking to people at the shows, the Duluth Vineyard church and business networking events through the Chamber of Commerce. There's hundreds of people out there who are just like you and want to make friends in Duluth. I truly feel it is just a matter of putting yourself in social situations and introducing yourself.

What's up.

One thing that I find works well is to go down to the Lakewalk and tackle someone.

Post a comment

Seriously: If you click "post" more than once, you're going to end up looking really stupid.

If you don't see your comment after it's published, try refreshing your browser.