December 2021 Posts

2021: The Year in Duluth Gig Posters

It wasn’t quite the wild and crazy return to rawk that Duluthians longed for, but 2021 did mark the transition away from livestreams to in-person concerts. Sometimes outdoors, sometimes masked, sometimes with vaccine cards required and often just with fingers crossed, music fans edged back into the concert scene in year-two of the COVID-19 pandemic. If one thing remained normal, it was that Perfect Duluth Day collected a bunch of gig-poster images to share at the end of the year.

Superior looking to save Princess Theatre

The building at 1310 Tower Ave. in Superior — known in modern times as the home of Frankie’s Tavern — is the subject of a feasibility study to determine the cost of saving it. The Superior Telegram reports it was built as a theater.

Jazz Time

Duluth Public Access Community Television presents Duluth band Jazz Time, performing six tunes.

New restaurants abound in Duluth/Superior; trend is tacos

Aaron Maloney and Alex Giuliani prepare tacos in July during a popup preview of their future Canal Park restaurant, Chachos Taqueria. Image via Facebook

Though 2021 was another year punctuated by pandemic problems, new Duluth-area restaurants proliferated. The Twin Ports gained more than a dozen restaurants, as seasoned and fresh-faced entrepreneurs alike took the leap to open eateries.

Among 2021 restaurant closures were two of Guy Fieri’s favorites

Television personality Guy Fieri poses outside Shorty’s Pizza and Smoked Meats with members of the restaurant’s staff. Fieri visited four restaurants in the Twin Ports area in 2014 — Shorty’s, Gannucci’s Italian Market, Pak’s Green Corner and the Kounty Quarthouse. All four have since closed.

The effect of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry is tricky to quantify, but in the Duluth area there is one noticeably positive trend. More new eateries are opening than existing ones are closing.

While the ongoing pandemic played a role in pushing some eateries that were in trouble over the edge, in most cases other factors were at play. At the top of the list of closings in 2021 were three family-owned ethnic restaurants.

It Takes a (Shipping) Village: Duluth’s Harbor springs to life

Since 1871, when the Duluth shipping canal first opened, the St. Louis River has seen many changes. This video from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency briefly outlines a century of river use by many industries, and how cleanup and restoration of the estuary began. For St. Louis River Area of Concern resources visit

Selective Focus: Snow Day 2021

A few select images from today’s blizzardry via Instagram.

“The Peace Pipeline” film wins best documentary short

Shot in Duluth, the film won Best Documentary Short at the 2021 North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival.

Great Lakes Now: Resilient Duluth

“Great Lakes Now checks in with Duluth mayor Emily Larson in an update on the improvements being made to the Lake Superior city’s waterfront, which resiliency efforts were featured in a ‘Resilient Duluth’ segment in June.

On the Water Trail

On the Water Trail is a six-part series that explores the science of the St. Louis River Watershed. Host Emily Lockling, student researcher from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, introduces the people who are working to improve the waterway after decades of dumping sewage and other legacy contamination.

Moment of Nature: North Shore of Lake Superior

Today’s episode of CBS Sunday Morning concluded with the usual “Moment of Nature,” segment. The focus of videographer Scot Miller was the north shore of Lake Superior. The televised clip was only a few seconds long, but the expanded version, embedded here, is a full minute.

PDD Quiz: 2021 in Review

Put your memory to the test in this week’s year-in-review quiz!

The next PDD quiz will preview upcoming events for 2022; it will be published on Jan. 16. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Jan. 12.

Postcard from Duluth’s Shipping District

This postcard was mailed 110 years ago today — Dec. 26, 1911. John Sisco of Scottsdale, Penn. was the recipient.

Not much is recognizable in this view of the western downtown area and waterfront. The steeple of Sacred Heart Cathedral still stands today at Sacred Heart Music Center. The Board of Trade Building is now Board of Trade Lofts. What other structures in this postcard have stood the test of time?

Saturday Essay: Select Gems from 2021

Saturday Essay logo genericTypically the “select gems” feature on the last Saturday of the year has nothing to do with Google Analytics popularity contests, and instead is more of an “editor’s choice.” But 2021 wasn’t an ordinary year for Perfect Duluth Day’s “Saturday Essay” series. As reported last week, a single author swept our annual list of the five most-read essays.

So this year’s “select gems” are the five most-read essays of the year that weren’t authored by Jim Richardson. Because the rest of us aren’t exactly chopped liver.

In the past six years PDD has published 263 essays showcasing the work of 43 different writers, and we’re always looking to expand that roster. Anyone who has an original piece of literary excellence that seems to fit (or appropriately defy) the established format should email paul @ to get involved.

And now, links to a few select gems from season six …

Roy Halvorson: Christmas Tree King

From the December 1957 issue of Flying magazine, “the world’s most widely read aviation magazine,” comes the story of Duluth’s Roy Halvorson, “Christmas Tree King.”