June 2017 Posts

Twenty-five years since the benzene spill in Superior

Twenty-five years ago today I got a free day at the bar (instead of work) because of the train derailment in Superior and the resulting benzene spill.

Duluth News Tribune retrospective from five years ago: “20 years later, benzene spill still stings in Duluth-Superior memories

Selective Focus: Michelle Bennett

Photographer Michelle Bennett specializes in portraits and makes fascinating images of the artists and musicians from our area.

M.B.: My medium is photography. My subject of choice is people, particularly women. It started when I was in 6th grade when I went to summer camp and my mom would pack a disposable camera in my overnight pack. One year instead of firing away all 36 frames on the camera in the first night I decided to take portraits of my friends and set up each shot with intention. Later on in high school I had an incredible photography teacher. By the end of that school year I was hooked so my dad gifted me his old Pentax Asahi Spotmatic- fifteen years later it’s a paper weight, but I bought the same one once it gave out. In college my professors encouraged me to apply for grant money and was awarded an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program grant two years in a row. The grants allowed me to explore analog cameras while road tripping across the country which ended up being hugely influential to my subject matter.

Happy 14th birthday to us

Today marks 14 years since Barrett Chase and Scott Lunt launched Perfect Duluth Day. Celebrate with us tonight at Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be live music by Woodblind and free coleslaw.

Video Archive: Police training film from 1978 featuring DPD

Police & Violence: Domestic Disturbances Officer Safety Calming Techniques. Filmed in Duluth, featuring officers John Campbell and Scott Lyons of the Duluth Police Department.

Pressroom Podcast: PDD on the DNT


Click the lil’ triangle above to hear a 37-minute podcast about Perfect Duluth Day on the eve of its 14th anniversary.

Duluth News Tribune Pressroom Podcast hosts Christa Lawler and Brady Slater talk with PDD grand poobah Paul Lundgren, food and drink reporter Lissa Maki, and PDD co-founder Barrett Chase (who left PDD in 2015 to become a web editor at the DNT).

Perfect Duluth Day’s 14th birthday party is Thursday, June 29, from 5-7 p.m. at Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake. Free coleslaw while supplies last!

Undesirable customers in Duluth

This postcard hit the mail 110 years ago today, sent by Hazel Britts to Capt. Luther Haleto of Provincetown, Cape Cod, Mass. The card is hand-dated June 27 and postmarked June 28, 1907. The illustration shows a banker closing his doors to “undesirable customers,” two black bear.

Sinclair Lewis’ Perfect Duluth Day

Excerpt of a letter from Sinclair Lewis to Marcella Powers, included in the book Minnesota Diaries:

What a day — the first in Duluth this year completely of the type known to meteorologists as a p.d., or “absolutely perfect day” — cool, the air sweet, sky ringing blue except for lovely lazy clouds, as idyllic and indolent as a Grecian glade, yet full of energy for people from Chicago … the lake a mirror of many kinds of blue and gray glass, some sleek, some delicately wrinkled …

Coffee and … beer? In Lakeside?

Last week I bicycled to Duluth’s Lakeside neighborhood with a friend — to Amity Coffee and BEER?

Today is the one-year anniversary since the law was revised. The Duluth City Council repealed a more than 125-year-old Lakeside liquor ban on June 27, 2016. Amity Coffee became the neighborhood’s first seller of alcoholic beverages four months later.

Dylan musical set in Duluth

Perfect Duluth Day reported in early May that a new musical play written and directed by Conor McPherson with music and lyrics by Bob Dylan was scheduled to open at the Vic Theater in London in July. What wasn’t known at the time is the play is set in Duluth.

Audio clips of two tracks recorded as part of a workshop for Girl from the North Country can be heard in the PDD post from May. Three reports verifying the setting of the play are listed below.

From the BBC New story “Bob Dylan: Conor McPherson on writing the musical“:

Conor McPherson has set the play in a guesthouse in Dylan’s birthplace of Duluth in Minnesota. It is called Girl from the North Country, after a track Dylan wrote in 1963.

Postcards from the Viking Motel

The Viking Motel operated at 2511 London Road from 1961 to 2000, and was demolished in 2001. The two-story, 30-room motel overlooking Lake Superior listed these amenities on its postcard: “Room Phones. Free Color TV. Coffee. Air Conditioned. Bridal Suites. Water Beds.”

Vintage photo: Aerial Lift Bridge under construction

Circa 1905. Photographer unknown.

Hoops Brewing opens June 27

A year and a half of planning and hard work has come to fruition. Hoops Brewing is set to open on Tuesday, June 27.

PDD Quiz: June 2017

 

Summer is here and another month has flown by. How many local headlines did you retain? Take the quiz and see what you remember!

Twin Ports diner breakfasts will be the topic of the next quiz on July 15. E-mail question suggestions to Alison Klawiter at [email protected] by July 12.

Lost and Found

It started to drizzle with the kind of fine mist that slicks the pavement into a mirror and seeps steadily through each layer of clothing. Almost simultaneously, the boy and I lifted up our collars, buried our shoulders to our ears, and started to walk without speaking. There was a deserted bridge in front of us. It was a massive steel thing, born of sinewy cables and bulging beams and it perched over the city reservoir. He led us on our way over it, placing himself between me and the edge as we squinted into the idea of the water below. We could hear its agitated turning, but the darkness was so swollen that we saw nothing but an inky black void.

We were so fucking lost.

The boy and I had been introduced to each other hours earlier. Our mothers talked over us with teasing voices while we both stood mutely by, shrinking into our 14-year-old selves and consenting to eye contact in short, apologetic glances as if to say, I know, I’m disappointed with me, too.

Selective Focus: #perfectduluthday