Sidewalk Days: Parklets, Pies, Pops; Meatless Meatballs and Mermaids

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View of Sidewalk Days after dinner time, looking toward Lake Avenue from Superior Street.

So my friends and I wandered down to Sidewalk Days, a project of the Greater Downtown Council. For most of the day, Superior Street is closed from Lake Avenue to Fifth Avenue West. At night, like last night, the closure can extend all the way to Fond-du-Luth Casino and Greysolon Plaza.

We stopped at the parklet in front of Lake Superior BakehouseParklets take a few parking spots on the main drag and turn them into plywood green spaces. We (a group of nerds including Duluth’s own Nifty Nerd) were hunting for refreshment, and the Bakehouse had beverages and a blueberry cinnamon roll that was amazing. The woman staffing the table was kind enough to mention reading and liking an earlier essay I wrote. I blush to think that people read my work, but it was the tastiness of the treats that won our hearts.

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Parklet in front of the Bakehouse

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Selling amazing pies from the Bakehouse on the street.

One of the fun parts of Sidewalk Days is seeing the entrepreneurs out. I ran into, accidentally, a man whom I met last February in Sir Ben’s, where he talked about a crazy-awesome idea to sell vegetarian meatballs. I was excited to see Justin Bacon promoting his crazy-awesome idea at a tent for Ruth’s Gourmet. They were giving away sample veggie meatballs in three flavors, and each was awesome. At the time, I was dating a woman who had a ten-year old son who was a vegetarian (while her nine-year old was not). It was always a challenge to buy proteins, because the veggie meat substitutes in the frozen section suck. I wish we’d had these meatless meatballs. Justin is onto something here, and I wish him luck.

(Thanks, too, to North Shore Bank, where I get my 50-cent pieces and where free ice cream was being distributed.)

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New location of Fizzy Waters

Amongst the entrepreneurial in spirit were the folks at Fizzy Waters. The new location on Superior Street is ready for business. The space is several times the size of the previous location in Canal Park, and I wonder how it will be filled. I bought a draft root beer from the street vendor in front. So quenching.

Just a few more cool things spotted: the teachers of the child-level and adult-level mermaid classes at the YMCA were present in all their glory.

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The sign in the first pool denotes a Mermaid Crossing. I wish I knew how to swim so I could study with these ladies, who speak of their classes with enthusiasm.

I ended the night at the Zeitgeist, where the art of Martin DeWitt hangs. There was a band that most moved me when it played “Ziggy Stardust.”

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Zeitgeist Atrium

I visited other places: R.T. Quinlan’s, where we noticed that Jodi Kujawa does Karaoke, Namaste (a new favorite for me), and Maurices had so much clothing on sale in front of its building. To rest, some of us stopped at Rogue Robot.

Get downtown. Enjoy your favorite spots in the sun.

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