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Where's the good life in Duluth?

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I'm set to move to Duluth this spring - my husband was offered a job, and we're neighborhood shopping. I'm hoping this will spur some neighborhood pride amongst the natives and folks will open up about the places they live.

We have two kids - one in 1st grade and preschooler and would love to be able to walk to a few things and meet other people with children.

So, where's the good life?


What kinds of things would you like to walk to?

Hunter's Park/Woodland area. Although I've never heard it referred to as Hunter's Park. Lots of great nature areas around in here - Hartley, Bagley, Lester...gets quieter and quieter the further east you go. I'm a huge fan. I've never lived out on the west side/gary, so I can't speak for these areas. Piedmont is pretty nice, too.

I like East Hillside/Chester Park. I've lived progressively further and further up the hill since I've moved to Duluth from Superior, but not very far right or left.

It's close to a grocery store or two, gas stations, Walgreens, bus lines, parks, the Lakewalk, fairly decent dining and/or beer and most importantly: it's within walking distance of not one, not two but THREE parks that have play areas for children of all ages!

There's a house for sale on Wabasha in Woodland. I would move there if we had the means to leave Cloquet.

I live in the upper Woodland area, it is like it's own little town in ways, sometimes I miss being in the center of things or not closer to the Lake, but it IS a nice area, even got the Piggly Wiggly

i think nettleton is the best elementary school (tho i don't any kids myself). i think the red plan calls for it to close though. i've always lived in the central/east hillside and think they are great neighborhoods.

I live down in Lakeside, which is great because you have to drive several miles to buy beer. [Some people seem to think that's a feature, anyhow.]

In response to Barrett - walking to a coffee shop /library would be ideal. We're pretty square.

Woodland has a Piggly Wiggly - I thought that chain was only in the south and the movie, "Driving Miss Daisy."

Does anyone know the elem schools that Hunter Park and Chester Park children attend?

Thanks all

Congdon Park

Lakeside has an incredible school that is preK through 1st grade- Rockridge Elementary. Lakeside itself is beautiful parkwise yet void of diversity culturally.

I live around 19th and 4th (East Hillside). From here you can walk to the local food co-op, to three parks, including Chester Creek Park (a pretty good "wild" park in the middle of the city that follows a stream), the Mount Royal Branch Library and Mount Royal Shopping Center (includes the best "mainstream" grocery store in town (in my opinion), a liquor store, a coffee shop, video shop, haircuttin' joint, post office--although the Mount Royal walk is admittedly a bit uphill and too far for winter time).

The main drawback to the area is a changeable one--a fair number of college students live in the area, so some parts of the neighborhood suffer from over party-itis at times. But there are a fair number of families around, too, and if you are below 8th street you don't get hit with university overpricing of homes so bad. I also am within three blocks of two bus lines that will get me downtown to the main library, the Children's Museum/Train museum and the main downtown shopping areas. I can walk down the hill (about 8 blocks) and get on the Lakewalk, too.
Good luck home hunting--it's a buyer's market here. Hope you move to our neighborhood--we want more young families here, dontcha know.

ALL the cool kids live near Chester...Hillside Baby!

Nice houses, nice neighbors...convenient to work (I walk to work every day...six blocks down, two blocks over) and to my local waterin hole (two blocks down, two blocks over)...convenient to the parks and an easy Sunday walk down to the Lake.

Good luck...and er...umm...drop us a line when you get settled...

Schools here are open enrollment, so wherever you feel compelled to send the kids...that's where they go.

East hillside/Chester is great. We're 19th av E and 5th (Some here refer to that as Endion...) with 2 kids a little older than yours. Schools are either Grant or Congdon depending on how far east or west you go, but there's also an overlapping area. Grant Park has a weekly play group that my wife helped to start a few years ago. Woodland library is close, or the downtown library is an easy bus ride. Chester creek cafe for coffee, or Bixby's or Mt Royal right by the woodland library. Chester Creek (the actual creek and park) is one of the best things ever in the whole world.

Bird, I've got it all laid out for you in a column I wrote a few years ago. It goes like this:

Abandoned Car Test

Although there are many unique neighborhoods in Duluth, the city is essentially divided into three sections: West Duluth, Central Hillside and East Duluth. For whatever the reason, Duluthians are raised three different ways.

Say you notice there’s a strange car parked on the street near your house. The car has a flat tire and a smashed windshield. How will your neighbors to react?

In East Duluth the car would be towed within a matter of hours. The first person to notice it would call the police immediately and report the nuisance vehicle.

In the Central Hillside, everyone would ignore the car. It would sit undisturbed until winter, when the snowplows need to get through. Then, the city would have it towed. Although many people would notice the car for several months and recognize it as abandoned, it would never even become a subject of conversation.

In West Duluth, the car would go undisturbed for a few days, and then everyone would start talking about it. Theories of where it came from and what happened to its owner would abound. No one would call the police though. After a month or two, little kids would start playing inside the car until a few older kids would eventually come along and shoo them away. Then they’d push the car down a hill into a crick.

Except for Brian and his crazy kids, we have a great neighborhood! No sleep til Endion. Anywhere 5-6 block east of Chest Creek is your best bet.

Clearly, everyone's focused on Duluth...any thought to being a Wisconsinite? That would mean a short commute for your hubby to get to work, though. There's hardly a place in Superior that can't be walked to. We've got great hiking, biking, and x-country trails. There's a park in every area of town. The schools are very good. I'm partial to Great Lakes Elem. (Superior's East End) or Bryant (South End), myself. Just a thought...

Having lived in all parts of Superior before I moved to Duluth, let me just say: don't.

Baci, the pinching, poking, cookie-stealing robots will be paying you a visit in the next day or 2.

I would not move to Duluth at this time. The city is broke and hundreds of millions in the hole. If you buy a home plan on your taxes doubling and tripling in the next ten years and then you may not be able to sell it. However, if you are going to have a above average income then all those things may not matter to you. Taxes are very high in Superior but we will most likely catch and possible pass them. Also utility rates in Duluth continue to skyrocket. Good luck.

We moved to Duluth a year and half or so ago and we've loved it here. We're in Observation Hill. Nice, family friendly and a great view. Open enrollment means you need to worry less about whether you love the school your neighborhood would be "assigned" to. Checkout Lowell for elem schools -- it's fantastic.

Paul Lundgren, you're a frickin' genius. I'm still laughing.

Duluth is a great city to live and work in, assuming you can find work, which you have, so you're good. There are a lot of great pocket neighborhoods scattered around the place. I lived both in Central Hillside and Lakeside and I liked both for different reasons. Central was much closer to all the places I wanted to walk to, and if you don't mind walking past some drug deals on the way, it's just fine. Lakeside was pleasant, but far away from everything I wanted to be near.

Coffee houses and libraries, eh? I'd go Chester Park area or Woodland. Chester Creek Cafe is a great social hub for the Chester Park area with good coffee and free wifi.

I like to walk/bike, and live on the East Hillside - it's a great central location, and walking/biking distance from a good number of amenities. There's some nice spots on quiet streets in Chester/Endion/East Hillside, particularly near Chester creek. College rentals as neighbors can be a concern on certain blocks, but there are many areas where this isn't a problem. Chester park offers great hiking/exploring and both alpine and nordic skiing. A centrally located neigborhood with lots of woods and a modest urban ski area: it's a unique and great place to live.

Fun question. It makes you narrow down what really is important. Ignore Anarchy. If you want his type of koolaid visit the citizen blog - the place where the sky is falling right wing wackos post. If you listen to them nothing would even get done in this town. Actually there are only a dozen posters with several screen names, so it seems like a consensus community - but it's an absurd minority. I like E of Chester Creek through W of Hawthorne Rd. It seems like all the places we like to go to shop and hike are in those neighborhoods. Getting downtown from these places is a breeze - 6-8 mins down london rd or 26th. Great spots to get on the lakewalk too. Call Casey Knutson Carbert, she's at edmounds realty. She has sold most of our friends their homes.

My husband and I moved to Duluth this spring and unfortunately, we have been very disappointed.

We are both from northern WI originally but had moved to Florida for a few years for employment reasons. That in itself was a sunny mistake but we both got SCUBA certified, saw some cool birds and lived through 3 hurricanes.

We decided on Duluth because we always enjoyed coming here for art, music and other events and it is so beautiful here.

Finding a place to rent was AWFUL. Rent is high. We live in Piedmont only because it was the least expensive and nicest rental that would take our dog. Our neighbors are all old folks; full of great old stories about how Duluth used to be but not really into snowshoeing or poker games.

The job market has been very disappointing. My husband had to switch jobs because the place he worked decided that they would need to lay him off in January. My place of employment doesn’t offer insurance and is managed by a team of kangaroos.

My biggest beef of all is SNOW REMOVAL SUCKS IN THIS TOWN!!!! We can’t get our vehicles out of our alley for 3 or more days after a storm like the one we had earlier this month. Is this due to the budget or some sort of plot with the Chevy/Ford/Dodge dealers so we all buy huge frickin trucks with plows?

My husband suggested this morning that we think about looking at the Pacific Northwest. But I love the people here! Artsy, educated, crazy with a bit of a drinking problem. I love perfectduluth day. I love the co-op and Burrito Union’s coffee and the lift bridge and that cool trail at the end of Park Point.

I really wish I had a Chevy 4x4 with a plow and a job that paid well enough that I could afford to keep it filled with gas.

Snow removal can be easily answered. The city has cut back on the number of plow drivers it has hired substantially to deal with fiscal issues. Don't know the exact numbers, but I remember reading that after the storm earlier this month.

The apartments directly across from Whole Foods Co-op are quite nice. Convenient access to liquor and other helpful drugs.

I live in East Hillside now, but I lived in West Duluth (by this I mean the neighborhoods called Spirit Valley and Denfeld on your map) most of my life, and never owned or really needed a car that whole time. The cheapest and most abundant grocery store in town is out there, as is a great coffee shop, a branch library, lots of parks, the zoo, the Spirit Mountain ski hill (ok, you'd need a car for that one), trails galore, diners, pizza joints, bars, and so on. It's basically like a small town of its own.

Plus, unlike the rest of Duluth, it's predominately flat, and a hell of a lot easier to drive on in the winter.

Tamara-- having my car broken into in all parts of Duluth, having my friends' homes robbed (yes, that's plural), and a plethora of other uninviting things, I say the same for Duluth.


To each their own.

Oh and you can read the post of someone like Rob and see Duluth has been getting some nasty people of late. Maybe you will fit into this kind of insulting elitists but I hope you are better people. I have some new young people who moved in next to me and they are the greatest so do try and ignore people like Rob. Just hope you don't get him for a neighbor. I just spent hours clearing my neighbors driveway so us lifelong Duluthians aren't at all bad. Merry Merry ho ho


What is this "cheapest and most abundant grocery store in town" of which yo speak? Do tell.

Seriously, though. Observstion Hill is awesome. Quiet, convenient, close to woods and trails, not too many abandoned cars. The only downside is that there are no grocery stores within walking distance.

Wherever you end up, I'd recommend off-street parking. I used to live in Spirit Valley, which has nice pockets of houses and convenient shopping. Barrett didn't mention KMart, which is good for days when you need jumper cables or underwear.
I live in Kenwood now, which lacks playgrounds.

Another perspective on Duluth is provided here, BOD. I know that most on this site will disagree with many of the opinions given there but you, BOD, may appreciate another perspective on what's happening in Duluth- as someone not yet familiar with some of the typical lines that have been drawn in the sand by Duluthians.

In the end, you'll make the decision that's best for you and your family.

And many who post here will tell you that we're aware of the city's financial mess, and we're aware of how it got that way. We know the job market sucks. We know we're getting screwed for many many millions of dollars worth of debt from promises made made by politicians who are absolved of their scurrilous dealings because they're not in office anymore. We don't however, blame these problems on the current administration...many if not most of the problems we have today are the direct result of past actions...we just have to fix it.

Still, we make the choice to live here in spite of the negatives because we feel that overall, the positives outweigh the negatives. Yeah, we could pick up and move someplace else...move from one city with problems into a larger city with larger and more complex issues...right.

I'm gonna suck it up and tighten it up as much as my neighbor, however bleak.

Besides, bitching about it all the time gets tiring...draining...and kinda makes me feel ugly and sullen.

I've got to weigh in -- I live in Chester Pk, near Chester Creek Cafe and really love the neighborhood, though I really like the neighborhood just west of me, on the other side of Chester Creek. One is near downtown, but not too close, there's the park nearby, we can walk to the cafe, the library isn't far, UMD is just up the road. . . I have had problems with some of the students throwing crap on the ground and stealing my yard signs (though, that might be the freaks on DCB, they've been waging a vendetta against me), but, really, in my opinion, any neighborhood east of 6th Ave. and west of 21st Ave is going to be great. And Grant School has its problems, but my child has learned some invaluable lessons there, inc. that not everyone in Duluth is white.

Best place to live? Over there, by yonder dale

i live in woodland, right by the fryeberger arena. like bird said, there's piggly wiggly. and there's mount royal which is like a lunds!, a cheap & friendly liquor store and denny's ace hardware. hartley and hbh are just a jaunt away, although she is more of a jaunter than myself. lots of graveyards as well.

There is open enrollment, but if you are out of the school's district then you get put on "the wating list" with (in my experience) crappy results. Lowell's waiting list has excluded those out of their general area for the past 3 years..........likewise for Congdon this past year.

I would like to put my two cents in for the East Hillside. I live about two blocks up the hill from Barret, two blocks west of Zra and Tamara, a block from lower Chester Park. I love it!! I work at St. Mary's Hospital and the aforementioned Chester Creek Cafe and walk to both jobs (in opposite directions). It is a bit longer walk downtown but definitely doable. I love my neighborhood. The college student party factor doesn't really come into play in my area because, like Claire said, South and West of 8th & 19th has a lot less students. My neighbourhood has a pretty even mix of rentals and owner-occupied homes (a few more homeowners, I believe) but everytime a house goes up for sale, new hope for a new homeowner in the neaighbourhood arises (hint, hint). Upper and Lower Chester Parks are awesome, great places to take the dogs, visiting friends and family, your troubles and worries to leave by the river side...
Two of my favorite views in Duluth are the view from the 9th St. bridge over Chester Creek (toward the lake and the view of the moon over Lake Superior as I start to walk down 13th Ave. on my way home from work at about midnight.That's one of the times when I say to myself "Oh yeah, that's why I moved to Duluth."

A loud "Thank You" Shout Out to the many people who responded to my post. That so many people care gives me hope. Moving is hard deal and I need all the hope I can get.

I'll definitely check out the areas mentioned - particularly the beloved Chester Park. I like the cafe very much and it is not far from a magazine I do work for - Cabin Life on 9th.

The spouse unit is going to be working at St. Mary's - like B. Cookie.

I will post when we buy a place - presently Spouse is coming up a few days a week and staying in a charming rental home near the zoo.

When we buy (probably early spring) we'll be sure to let you know so you'll be ready to lend us a cup of sugar.

I, too, have great things to say about Chester Park, and the Hillside. However, if I had the money, my kids, wife and dog would pack up and move down to Park Point, lake side. No question.

If I had kids there's only one place I'd live and that's Congdon Park. Lived there for 16 years and never locked my doors-even when I went to NYC for business for a week. I lived w/in walking distances from three schools. Mt. Royal shopping area has all the basics and is minutes away-laundry, liquor, grovery, post office, (good)pizza, gas, library. Duluth's a good place to raise a family. You'll enjoy the move. Get involeved in some kid of winter activity, oterwise it'll be a long one!

this post (and others like it) have inspired me to think about a couple of things.

1. A PDD Duluth/Superior new residents guide. Like "Twin Ports: Noob to Pro" or something like that. Prolly a little bit of culling and web/word stiching and most of the content is here in the archives already.

2.A PDD Welcome Wagon Visitation or Party. Co-opt a home grown event or make a new one (kids welcome for the first part) and have name tags and activitie....anyway I just thought it'd be fun, I have no time to be a major organizer or anything but I'd sure help out. I think we've dicsussed this before

funkenschutz, we've looked at a couple houses on the Point and my concern was having friends for my children. There was a house recently for about $200K (bayside) but it had some structural issues.

Funny, Baci - I *am* that person in our neighborhood, setting up the welcome party and inviting families over. Maybe we could do the first one at my yet-to-be-purchased home. We love hosting and have had a series of parties called "Low Expectation Get-Togethers" - essentially if you don't expect me to vacuum or make fancy drinks that require 8 ingredients and an incantation over a blender - then you'll have a good time.

Baci, you say that but we all know you are the partyman. Did you already forget about the Bash-Baci Kegger that we're supposed to co-host at some point?

I missed the Starfire/Chris Monroe/PDD bash a few weeks ago, b/c we were at Renegade -- now I have something to look forward to -- BTW, Bird, I love the idea of a low expectations bash. That's indeed the way to go. I hope all goes well with the home purchase. And do look at Nettleton and Grant. I've heard fabulous things from my friends with kids at Nettleton and I do like Grant (though we still mourn the closing of Chester Park). I especially like the social diversity there. And my 10 year old is thriving there -- which is what it all boils down to, right?

I'll bring the blender and drink recipes. We'll need that. But I don't care about vacuuming.

I live in Lincoln Park, which is quite a quaint quiet neighborhood with many trails and nice people. Houses are cheap and well built.

I personally would love to live in woodland or observation hill/goat hill area. I think those are really the best areas. Of course, houses are outrageous and small or huge and expensive.

I'll make appetizers! Woo! (You're not even here yet and we're ready to party with you, bird!)

wow, did someone really recommend living in superior? Have fun commuting to a real city! (unless you work on the docks, rob people at the hammond spur or are a prostitute)

Tamara, If you are still out there could you tell me a little bit about Duluth vs Superior. I have been looking at property in Superior and was thinking of moving. One reason I want to move is I'm tired of the hills. Also the vet center is over there and I wanted to volunteer. We would both be retired so a job is not that important. I went by one house we are looking at and all the streets were plowed right away. Also I go over there to help out another family and it would save me the drive. They seem to have everything I need in Superior.

Commuting to a real city? Typical elitist Duluthian response.

My street gets plowed out quickly. My job is about a mile away. And no, I'm not in any of Duh's mentioned career fields. Going shopping is like a 5 minute drive. If you like to have a Marlboro with your microbrew, you don't have to stand outside. Traffic around our major shopping areas isn't a clusterfuck. My brother lives in West Duluth with his family, and they do most of their shopping here because it's quicker than running to the mall.

Granted, our mayor is a jackass, but look at who you guys elected.

Yeah, Superior definitely has its problems, but I have to agree--traffic is almost always much lighter, there's no hill to contend with on craptacular weather days, and as far as services/stores they've got just about everything one needs. Plus, on a purely selfish note, their Target store's way less congested than the one in Duluth, and they've got the accordion museum. Aces in my book. :+)

Lowell Elementary School is a music magnet and it has a great reputation. It is also the newest school. I think it was build in the early 90's. I went there myself, and I'm not suggesting it out of bias but because I've had friends from all of the schools and they would admit Lowell was the best.

yeah, we've only got three years or so til we have to start making those decisions...music magnet, arts magnet...montessori? Ruby Ridge Homeschool? Summit kinda left a bad taste in our mouths, so we're going to be pretty selective as to where we send the kids. I'm leaning toward rockstar, so Lowell is a good spot...

To the Congdon resident who leaves his house unlocked while travelling: I moved here 8 months ago and have had several things stolen out of my unlocked vehicle. I routinely see footprints in the snow around my house windows and locked (learned that lesson!) vehicles.

Other than that, I like Congdon. My neighbors have been great. I recently came home after the holiday break to find my driveway and sidewalks had been cleared of snow.

The best school in the city (Congdon) is blocks away. Its skating rink is open to the public. Tisher Creek is really nice. My kids like hiking there. The Lakewalk is close. I can drive to Canal Park in minutes.

My friends claim that Congdon school lacks "diversity". I'm not sure what they mean by that. My daughters class has students of several different racial backgrounds.

The cost of living here seems more expensive than anywhere else I have lived. Housing prices are ridiculous, taxes are high, groceries and gas are high. And you can't buy liquor on Sunday!

Pistoffnick -- you get very high points for witty screen name - BTW. And I promise to continue locking my door post move.
May I ask where you lived before that had a more reasonable cost of living? I'm a Mainer by birth and find it comparable to there. Are groceries more expensive in Duluth than in the Twin Cities?

Thanks for the post.

Before I write anything, this is only my opinion. I'm not interested in a comment war.

I lived in Superior for nearly 7 years in all neighborhoods except for Billings Park. Prior to that, I grew up in midwestern Wisconsin. I have lived in Duluth for 4 years, mostly in the East Hillside/Chester Creek area, which is where I currently reside.

I attended UWS for 4 years then worked in the Piedmont Heights neighborhood for 7 years. Now I work in the Endion neighborhood.

I prefer Duluth. I like not having to commute over the bridge every day. I like the fact that I can go to a good restaurant, take in the symphony at the DECC and not have to drive back over the bridge to get home.

Gas is cheaper in Minnesota as are clothes and most other items due to the lack of sales tax. When something says it costs $3.99, that's what it costs.

Rent in the two cities is comparable. It is a little cheaper to live in Superior but not by much. Utilities seem to be higher in Superior so it balances out.

Since I don't drink as much as I used to, being close to a drinking establishment has little pull for me now. When I lived in Superior, proximity to a bar was almost a necessity, and luckily I didn't have to go far to find the nearest bar.

I like being able to see the lake from my front porch, which, unless you have money and can afford to live right by the lake in Superior, is nearly impossible.

I like that where I choose to live is within walking distance of just about everything that I require to make my life complete. Food, diapers (for Hazel and the new kiddo), the Lakewalk and my bank are all within walking distance.

As Zra said, we're starting to think about schools. I enjoy the fact that Duluth has a variety of educational opportunities for us to make sure that Hazel (and Walter when he gets here) receives the best education. You don't have that option in Superior.

For me, right now, Duluth is the right choice. I feel at home here and content and that is what matters to me.

Anarchy, I think your reasons for moving to Superior are sound. It makes sense to me because you have interests over there.

I am not saying Superior is a bad choice for everyone, it's just not the choice I made.

This post has been very enlightening and pleasant ... for the most part. Kudos PDD as always for keeping it nice.

I love reading about why people love where they live ... yeah. I heart Duluth too.

I've been day-dream house shopping for a few years [still renting the days away] and signed up for email updates from twinportsmls.com I love getting the email in my inbox and seeing what's for sale today. The downside is you can only pick one neighborhood at a time, to get listings emailed to you. IT's a good way to stay on top of a certain neighborhood though.

Oh and my two cents on renting. I thought it would be hard to find a place with a fenced in yard that would allow my two goldens, but I fould a great duplex with wonderful responsive landlords and friendly neighbors just a block off London Road. MUCH easier than when I was living in Minneapolis.


It is good to hear about the good life in Superior, too. Thank you to the folks for chiming in and I do think it is worth taking a drive across the bridge at some point to do some comparison shopping.

However, I think the spouse has a heart connection to Duluth - he was stationed there a couple of years ago and fell in love with the city. Even though living on flat (and plowed) land sounds smart to me, and the schools rate pretty well on greatschools.net, I can't stand in the way of true love. Love is rarely a sensible venture.

Thanks Tamara, Ya I guess it boils down to personal choice and what's best for each of us. I don't mind going over the bridge as long as I don't have to go up and down the hills of Duluth. Thus I could still could do my Canal Park area thing. BTW I like the view of Duluth from Superior. Oh, I have been reading up on circuit breakers and property tax deferral programs for seniors in both states to see if we can live in either.

Superior does have open enrollment for schools, too. However, there is only one public middle school and one public high school, so it only applies at the elementary level. One just has to go to the board office and fill out a form in February, I believe.

Bird, I'm in Duluth, also a New Englander by birth, and wish I could afford to move back. Loved it here for a few years despite the very negative effect on my bank account, but in matters that are important to me, Duluth has gone way downhill in the past 2-3 years.

But I'm just answering your food question (as a vegetarian which may make it irrelevant)... a couple years ago I was close to moving to St Paul and did some price comparisons between the coop here and coops and Whole Foods Market in SP and there was a huge difference. 50% on several basic foods. Yes that's 50% not 50 cents.

I suppose I should clarify that's 50% higher in Duluth. But overall, I think this is a very cheap place to live (renting anyway) which is fortunate since most of the jobs pay very little.

eco -- I'm sorry that you've having a negative Duluth experience. I'm hoping that going there with the spouse employed and my ability to freelance from anywhere, that we'll be o-kay financially. In fact, we consider this a move to a better life where the housing market is less crazy than Minneapolis. I hope we're not diluting ourselves.

We're co-op shoppers so it is discouraging to hear that whole foods are so expensive. Maybe a Trader Joes will come in ;) or when I'm down in the cities once a month for work I could take orders for a perfect duluth day TJ run.

Thanks for posting,

TJ run!!!!!! 3buck chuck parties ... oh yeah...our kiddo LOVE TJ goat cheese which is significantly cheaper at TJ than WFC



Freakin hippies...

get a job ya ingrates!

Actually, I'm thinking that the whole WFC debate was addressed some time back when the new place first opened...yeah, it's pricey.
My bosses spend less on groceries in NYC than they do here...big whoop. We're at the tail end of a supply route. You'll pay even more for your eats up in Grand Marais...Cub has a fantabulous organic section that my be smaller than WFC's and it's quite a bit cheaper. But that's not the point.

the point is that there are too many granolabulgartvppatchoulihippies here.

okay, not really.

Since a number of people expressed concern about car break-ins... This might not work for everybody, but no one has gone into our car since the morning a couple years back when we found the door ajar and the half-rifled-through bag of dirty diapers on the back seat.

As a member and regular shopper of both Mississippi Market in St. Paul and WFC in Duluth, I haven't noticed any price differences. both stores are in the same COOP "network" and have the same sale prices and nearly identical regualr prices.

And, WFC has Alakef coffee which is far far better than anything in St. Paul. If only Alakef could reduce their price to be comparable to the beans in St. Paul......

Oh - by the way, neighborhoods.....Chester Park all the way! (Although my wife wishes we would've found something in Hunter's Park area)

Duluth: it's the view, it's the crazy, cold, pure-horizon Lake (in spite of the God-forsaken weather it brings us). It's the woods. It's Chester, Congdon, Lester and the 39 other named streams running through the town. It's the North Shore: the rock climbing, ice climbing, kayaking, canoing, fly fishing, ice skating, XC skiing, trail running and hiking. Don't you get it? No, we're not cultured. Yes, everything costs too much. Yes, people break into cars here too. The unrelenting cold, the hard-to-drive hills, and the meagre salaries all suck, but just look outside people.

I'm currently 20, grew up in Superior, and now attend UW-Madison. I must say, that I love Madison, and the different, distinct neighborhoods are one of my favorite things about that city, and Duluth. I'll probably head out to the Pacific Northwest for grad school, maybe even California, but I have always known that I'd want to come back to Duluth to raise my family (I only hope that my partner will be willing some day). The schools are all great, the lifestyle here is an active one, and my kids would hopefully have a blast getting involved in a plethora of winter sports or other activities available here.

I must say, however, that somebody is GOING to have to establish a Trader Joe's here before I come back. If not, I may just have to take that little entrepreneurial enterprise upon myself! (Seriously, high quality foods, ridiculously low prices. We've got one in Madison, and it is a HUGE hit. If you've never been to one, you must check it out!)

PDD-I just stumbled across your blog now, absolutely lovely, and will probably be checking it out from Madison quite regularly!

Speaking of the important things, restaurant meals (including McDonald's, Subway, and the like) and liquor are a lot more expensive in Duluth, thanks to all the surcharges the city tacks on, which are meant to soak the tourists but really soak the locals.

When a politician tells you that something is not being funded from the general fund, but "just from the tourism tax," that's what they're talking about. Every fifth bite of your hamburger goes to the aquarium.

Sorry. Carry on with the original conversation.

chester, the prices @ WFC for Alakef are set by WFC, not by us...if you shop @ Mt Royal or Cub and want organic exclusively, we have bulk french, breakfast and mexico at Mt. Royal and organic french @ Cub, at non-WFC prices. If it doesn't matter whether or not it's organic, you can pick up the stuff @ pretty much any store here in the ports.

TECHnically, at least 80% of the (non-certified organic) coffee we sell is organic, particularly the ones from africa and indonesia are organic, even though they haven't gone through the certification process...it costs more to buy and use pesticides than it does to pay people to take care of coffee trees. The certification process is another doozy of a program that involves quite a bit of cash, which a lot of estates don't have.

keep drinking it, we'll keep roasting it.

jesus, i feel like these comments have gone far enough but i can't help weighing in on a couple points. i work my hippie mama ass off for the money i spend at WFC, and i fucking hate it, but alas there is no other place to shop if you care about what you feed your kids. nothing can compete with park point. i am p.p. lakeside born and raised and give thanks every morning i wake up on the sweet lips of lake superior. you wouldn't ever regret raising kids here.

Cub's organic section has expanded greatly - and it's cheaper. You might want to check it out if you don't like WFC.

Thanks for the encouragement Yoni. I need all I can get as I'm truly a change wienie. All the comments have helped significantly.

We buy as much organic as possible so I'm glad to hear there are a few options.

I usually shop at WFC and at Mt. Royal, which also has a great selection of organic foods now. I hate driving to the mall and only do it when i have to pick up cat food for my kitties, who won't eat anything but Natl Choice, which Petco sells.

Sometimes I have hoity toity heebee jeebees about the new Nt Royal, but mostly I like it, and tends to be where I shop. I absolutely DO like the fact they shelve the organic products right next to the standard products, no "special" section. It encourages people who may be non-inclined to checkout he "hippy" section of the store to look at and perhaps buy organic stuff as they go about their shopping. Strangest "organic" product I've seen recently... Organic Kraft Mac and Cheese.

Mmm Everyone knows it's all about the Annie's Mac n' Cheese!

Is Mt. Royal where Bixby's Coffee is located?

yeah, bird.

Hey Bird,

I refer to it as Bixby's "coffee"....nice place but could use much better coffee. As for Mt. Royal - nice place but could use more free-range meat options also.

Does anyone know somewhere in town to buy venison - like the co-ops in the Twin Cities sell?

Chester, have you tried Wrazidlo's Old World Meats? I have never specifically asked for venison but they generally have or can order whatever cut or type of meat I'm looking for at the moment.

Otherwise, there's that really odd place next to the used car dealer in Superior on Highway 53 (a little ways past McDonald's) that sells ostrich, buffalo and alligator meat. They might have venison.

Along with the endless supply of firecrackers that they sell.

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