February 2016 Posts

2016 Lake Superior Ice Sculpture Finale

Behind the Curtain at Duluth.com

Duluth.com got a pretty sweet write-up today by the Duluth News Tribune.

Duluth.com is dedicated to celebrating all things Duluth. Duluth.com highlights sustenance, adventure, fun, and the people of our community because each business, person and activity contributes to Duluth’s unique brand.

Whatever you do: Duluth.com

Duluth 1910

Duluth 1910

This Week: Rhinos, Robots, Cats and Caucuses

Untitled design (61)

Politics and civics grab the headlines this week with caucus after caucus after caucus after caucus after caucus taking place throughout Minnesota on Tuesday. In the realm of literature, Lucie Amundsen talks about all things poultry at her Locally Laid book launch on Wednesday. At the same time, the Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Festival screens at Zinema 2. Chickens or cats, take your pick. If that’s not enough variety, more than 100 robotics teams from across the region compete at the DECC Arena on Saturday.

Two new theater productions open on Thursday. UMD’s Dudley Experimental Theater stages a drama about rhinoceroses taking over a French town, while the Underground presents a comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan that follows a band of immortal fairies.

In the realm of music, the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra pays homage to the mythical god Wotan on Saturday, then its three youth orchestras roll out the lollipops on Sunday. The Red Herring Lounge counters those shows with Minneapolis’ Bad Bad Hats on Saturday and 1990’s teen sensation Aaron Carter on Sunday.

I don’t believe in God, yet she is always with me

I was on a trail run the other day in the woods near my house when God spoke to me. He said, “Who cooks for you?” When I didn’t respond he said it again, “Who cooks for you?” So I replied, “We eat out a lot.” Yes, on that particular occasion God was a Barred Owl.

Map of the Day: Duluth’s Canal Parking

Canal Park Map

After a ridiculously warm weekend, it seems like spring has arrived early. Before you know it, thousands of Minneapolis-types like myself will be driving up Interstate 35 to the cool shores of Gitche Gumee.

Since its post-industrial low point a few decades ago, Duluth has built Canal Park into one of the top-drawing tourist spots in the state. It’s definitely a great place, but I continue to be amazed by how much prime Canal Park real estate is occupied by pavement for storing cars. After a visit last fall, I made this map and found there are 21 acres of surface parking in Canal Park.

PDD Quiz: February 2016

Duluth GoatFebruary 2016 is almost over and it’s time to see if you were paying attention! Take the quiz about events in and around Duluth over the last month.

Our next quiz will be on March 13 and, since that’s near the ides of March, we’ll be looking at the history of disasters in the Duluth area.

Send your suggested quiz questions (and answers) to lawrence @ perfectduluthday.com by noon on Wednesday, Mar. 9.

2016 MN State High School Hockey Brackets

Minnesota Boys Hockey Brackets

The AA and A boys hockey tournament seeds and brackets are set.  #1 seed Hermantown plays its quarter final game Wed. at 6 p.m. vs #8 seed Dassel-Cokato. Grand Rapids seeded #4 and will play #5 seed Bemidji in the AA quarterfinal game at the X at 8 p.m. Thursday. Good luck to all the teams!

Class AA MN High Sshool Hockey Bracket    Class A MN High Sshool Hockey Bracket

Creep. Weirdo.

Chris Godsey Saturday EssayI can’t remember ever knowing who I am or believing I belong.

Moving story, bro, but what’s your point? A lot of people occasionally wonder who they are. We all sometimes feel out of place.

Right. But I mean I have no idea who I am. I mean I have never (literally not ever) felt like I belong among other humans. Oh, and sometimes when I’m trying to figure out that stuff I feel like part of me was from Duluth — from this place — long before I started living here. That’s pretty weird.

I come from people who lived in Duluth for a while and loved it and contributed to it and died and are buried in dirt here. My maternal great-grandpa, George Beck, was Duluth Central principal for about 30 years, then helped found WDSE-TV. Mom grew up in McGregor and often came over on the train to visit him and great-grandma (Leila) Beck. Mom got a Duluth Business University degree and worked at the air base for a while. Dad graduated from UMD in 1970, the same year I was conceived at 927 West Fifth Street. Great-grandma died in ’81; Great-grandpa went in ’91; their bodies are at Forest Hill Cemetery.

When my mind was forming itself, Mom and Dad brought my younger brother and I here a few times. They also told us a lot of stories about this place: Mom’s tempting, terrifying girlhood dream about diving into the canal; Dad and some college buddies — they’d gone to watch a storm — helping authorities haul up the body of a diver who died trying to rescue two doomed boys from currents between the canal’s piers; Mom going downtown for movies and snacks and shopping with her grandma, and gazing over The Lake from Central’s clock tower with her grandpa; Dad’s UMD professors (some stuffy, some hip) and roommates (rowdy); and on and on.

Fat Tire Biking in Duluth

Duluth is known for being cold and dreary in the winter. The locals disagree. Duluthians ride their fatbikes as a way to get out and have fun in the winter.

From urban to groomed singletrack to downhill riding at the local ski hill, this is the future of fatbiking and Duluth is leading the way.

Selective Focus: Simple

Paul McIntyre

Paul McIntyre, untitled

Who would have that thought simplicity should be so difficult? What we leave out of a picture says volumes over that which we cram into one, at least according to my aesthetic principles. Given the visual clutter I’m daily exposed to, my preferences would seem to be in the minority, so it was gratifying to see some consonant souls this week.

Price Check: Women’s Columbia Fleece

Columbia JacketStores are shifting from winter to spring gear and this means one of many things: clearance coats everywhere. The most common women’s Columbia Sportswear Company product is the Columbia Benton Springs Full Zip Fleece. This fleece features two zipping pockets so there is a slim chance of your precious iPhone falling to its death. It can also be dressed-up with a scarf and heels or dressed-down with sweatpants and your favorite hoodie.

Here lies the second feature for the Price Check series where we compare prices on basic, practical products and services around Duluth and Superior.

The prices below reflect the rate the establishment charges with tax included. Clothing is exempt from Minnesota’s sales tax. Wisconsin and Douglas County sales tax total 5.5%. 

2016 Duluth-area Beer Festival Primer

Beer-FestAs craft beer continues to explode in popularity in the Twin Ports and beyond, local beer tastings and beer-centered festivals proliferate. Below are some highlights of beery upcoming events in the region. The name of each event links to the PDD Calendar entry for that event; the links in the event descriptions link to the official event webpages.

gcbrewfestSMFebruary 27 – Grand Minnesota Taste-Together
Grand Casino, Hinckley

The sixth annual Grand Minnesota Taste-Together features over 160 different craft beers from local, regional and national breweries. The event culminates with a concert featuring The Voice’s Madi Davis and English folk-punk group Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. Twin Ports Nightlife organizes the festival.

bockfestMarch 10-12 – Bockfest
Fitger’s Courtyard, Duluth

Bockfest is an annual German celebration of spring that has been taking place at the Fitger’s Complex since 1995. This family-friendly, outdoor event runs from Thursday evening through Saturday night and includes fun games and traditions like the black forest torte-eating contest and the big dip into Lake Superior. There will be music, food, a campfire and Split Rock Bock, a seasonal beer made by Lake Superior Brewing.

GGBBrewfest2016LogoApril 16 – Gitchee Gumee Brewfest
Wessman Arena, Superior

Sample over 100 beers from 25 different breweries from the Midwest and beyond at the area’s longest running beer-tasting event, the Gitchee Gumee Brewfest. VIP and regular admission tickets are available. The event is in its 19th year and typically sells out.

Minnesota Caucuses

The St. Paul Pioneer Press has put together a (relatively) quick overview of how the caucuses work in Minnesota.

More Lake Superior Plate Ice Tectonics

This one was shot by Jacob Selander on Feb. 13 along the North Shore.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!