April 2023 Posts

PDD Quiz: April 2023

It’s time to take stock of another month of 2023. How many of the local headlines do you remember? Step up to this week’s current events quiz and find out!

The next PDD quiz, previewing upcoming summer events, will be published on May 14. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by May 11.

Homegrown Music Festival 2023 Primer

The 25th annual Homegrown Music Festival is upon us. All the specifics are in a 116-page Field Guide available around town or online as a PDF. The most accurate version of the schedule is always at duluthhomegrown.org/schedule. And this here primer consists of the random last-minute bulletins that always spring up.

Every Single Homegrown 1999 Photo Available

Members of Ballyhoo performing at the inaugural Homegrown Music Festival in 1999. (Photo courtesy Leon Rohrbaugh; photographer unknown)

On the eve of the 25th annual Homegrown Music Festival we take a look at every single locatable image from the first Homegrown in 1999. It was a few years before digital photography became a common thing, a few years before social media existed, and a few years before Homegrown became one of the most photographed events in Duluth.

Corner of the Lake, 1963

This photo by Lyman E. Nylander is dated April 28, 1963 — 60 years ago today. It shows several Canal Park icons — the Aerial Lift Bridge, Duluth Harbor North Breakwater Lighthouse, Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum — but the Duluth Lakewalk is still decades away from being built.

Because of the I-35 tunnel, with Gichi-ode’ Akiing / Lake Place Park built on top of it, shooting a modern photo from this perspective would be either challenging or impossible.

Beyondbliss – “Goodbye My Friend”

The new music video by Superior-based rapper David Kittelson, aka Beyondbliss, was made from a collection of old VHS tapes of performances. The song is the first single from the upcoming Beyondbliss release, which Kittelson has referred to as his final album.

Beyondbliss performs at Wild State Cider on May 1 at 7 p.m. as part of the Homegrown Music Festival.

Mystery Photo: Winding on the Hoist Motor, Duluth, 1908

This image is from a postcard mailed 115 years ago today — April 26, 1908. The writing on the front of the card appears to refer to it as a “new style winding on the hoist motor” in use in Duluth. Perhaps engine experts and handwriting analysts can help correct or affirm this phrase and provide some description of what it means.

Ill Fortune – “Third Eye Open” (w/ Lane Newman and Dane MD)

Grand Rapids hip-hop artist Hunter Fortune, aka Ill Fortune, has a new album — Ill Ol’ Me. The video for “Third Eye Open” features Lane Newman and Dane MD, and was shot by Olivia Newman and John Persons.

Ill Fortune performs at Pizza Lucé in Duluth on May 6 at 10 p.m. as part of the Homegrown Music Festival.

The Hometown of Daniel Greysolon Sieur du Lhut: A Travel Guide

Part 1: Background

About five years ago I came across the article Du Luth’s Birthplace: A Footnote to History. In 1966, the author visited the French village where Duluth’s namesake was born and documented the few traces of him that remained. The article is well researched (all the quotes from Sieur du Lhut used here are taken from it) but the images are low resolution scans of black and white photos taken more than 50 years ago. I wanted to see more of what the place actually looks like.

Edgewater Resort and Waterpark taking down abandoned wing

The Edgewater Resort and Waterpark will be tearing down a portion of its complex that served as its main motel for decades. (Photos by Mark Nicklawske)

A long-running and ever-changing Duluth hotel will tear down the oldest part of its sprawling complex as owners begin work on a new renovation plan for the Endion neighborhood tourist destination.

The Edgewater Resort and Waterpark, 2400 London Road, started demolition work this month on a vacant, two-story wing that was constructed in 1965 and served as the Edgewater Motel for decades. The Edgewater Resort and its adjacent waterpark will remain open during the project.

Avant-Garde Women: Gertrude Stein Makes No Sense

Stylistically it is appropriate to link Gertrude Stein’s experimental 1914 book Tender Buttons: Objects, Food, Rooms to Dadaism, because the book makes no sense. It pre-dates Dada’s 1916 anarchic language-destroying sound poetry, so we can’t say the Dadaists invented nonsense. Perhaps we can say the Dadaists invented “sheer nonsense.” Stein hadn’t taken it quite that far. But Tender Buttons began her mission to explore the strange new worlds of the sense/nonsense boundary.

Else Lasker-Schüler explored that same boundary in 1913, in her language-subverting experiments that also influenced Dadaism. The Dadaists paid homage to, and expanded, Lasker-Schüler’s work: her “nonsense sound poetry in Berlin cabarets, poems that would be used a few years later by the Zurich dadaists in the Cabaret Voltaire” (Baroness Elsa by Irene Gammel, pp. 146-147). Lasker-Schüler was the only woman in the inner circle of German Expressionist poetry, a Stein-esque figure in her own right who cross-dressed and ruled the Berlin nightlife. And one of her innovations was the performance of poetry that didn’t make sense.

For that reason, both she and Stein represent a proto-Dadaist spirit, even though technically Lasker-Schüler was an Expressionist and Stein was a Modernist. All the cool kids were doing it. Stein’s writing of Tender Buttons was contemporary with Lasker-Schüler’s nonsense performances, which Stein very well may have been aware of, her hyper-senses tuned to the avant-garde. Like the birth of calculus, many artists were developing similar approaches around the same time. Nonsense was in the air.

Video Archive: Duluth inventor Bill Kielczewski, 1983

Forty years ago today — April 21, 1983 — Twin Cities Public Television aired a profile of Duluth inventor Bill Kielczewski on its program Nighttimes Magazine.

Record Breaker: Winter 2022-23 is snowiest in Duluth history

The Duluth News Tribune reports that the 2 inches of snow that fell overnight was enough to make the winter of 2022-23 the snowiest since records starting being kept in 1870. The season snowfall total as of 6 a.m. today sat at 137.1 inches.

Is Duluth Climate Proof?

You may have heard Duluth referred to as climate-proof, but what makes this small Midwestern city resilient to climate change? And is it, in fact, climate-proof? Hear from National Weather Service Duluth Meteorologist, Ketzel Levens, UMD Professor of Physics and Astronomy, and the Large Lakes Observatory, Jay Austin, about the science behind Duluth’s unique climate.

This digital PBS North production is a part of the Climate Across America campaign, an imitative of the PBS science series Nova.

Accurate Duluth Map

Please enjoy this highly accurate map of Duluth and Superior.

Sheila Packa on MPR

Sheila Packa was interviewed by Cathy Wurzer on Minnesota Public Radio. She asked her what poem made her want to become a poet.