Last night the family unit and I made our way down to Bayfront to the Bridge Festival. As the night went on I started to think about where we live and why we live here. I moved here in 1985 and Duluth was, at that time, pretty much a cultural desert. There were few restaurants, virtually no original music to be found. You never saw people riding bicycles, you did not feel any sort of energy, other than that which came from the natural beauty.
Now you look at where we are. This is a truly special place to be. Is it perfect? No. Will it ever be perfect? I hope not. This community has been on a long journey. We have gone from a “Will the last person to leave, turn out the lights” era to a time when the community is bustling with energy. We have an extensive trail network, we have the Playhouse, we have Renegade Theater, we have Rubber Chicken Theater. You can go out pretty much any night of the week and see original live music of all types. You live in a place that has a wide variety of interesting places to eat. You can get a huge variety of beer, of distilled spirits that are made here. Do we have the best of everything and what everyone wants? Probably not. Is it easy to focus on what we don’t have? Just read the comment section of this blog to find out that you never make all the people happy all the time. I am asking you to take a moment and appreciate all that has happened here. To focus on what we have. Not what is wrong or what you think we are missing.
It is easy to rip on tourists, students, etc. and the problems they bring. There are plenty of negatives that people focus on, I am thinking about the positive elements. There is an energy in this community that was not at all present in the none too distant past. I much prefer this version, with its bad streets, drunken college students, Canal Park tourists. We are on a journey. These problems will be addressed and will be overcome as long as we realize there’s so much energy in us. As long as we focus on moving forward. As long as we realize people who think differently than we do can and do make our community a better place.
Thanks for listening to the ramblings of someone inspired by a great night listening to great music in a beautiful place surrounded by great people.
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