February 2024 Posts

Postcard from a Rest Point Overlooking the St. Louis River

The text on the front of this undated postcard, found listed for sale on eBay, reads: “St. Louis River from Beautiful Rest Point 1/2 mile from Kum Bak Tourist Camp, Duluth, Minn.”

Anyone who has ever heard of Kum Bak Tourist camp, please enlighten in the comments.

Wired Whisker Cat Café, Duluth’s first cat-adoption coffee shop, opening later this year

Misha Smith stands outside the future home of Wired Whisker Cat Café, 1823 E. Superior St. The building served as home to Endion Square Children’s Center for 33 years. (Photo by Mark Nicklawske)

Duluth will soon see its first cat café open with a special lounge where customers can drink coffee and meet the “purr-fect” adoptable pet.

Jungle North Holdings purchased the former Endion Square Children’s Center, 1823 E. Superior St., in November and is currently directing a full building renovation. St. Louis County records show the new owners paid $216,000 for the 1,800-square-foot property.

PDD Shop Talk: Help Perfect the Perfection

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Minnesota Historia: Surf Rock on the Iron Range

After Minneapolis rock band the Trashmen scored a Top 10 hit with “Surfin’ Bird,” surf rock swept through Minnesota like a tidal wave, reaching up to Virginia on the Iron Range. Relive the rapid rise and tragic fall of Virginia band the Vaqueros on a very special musical episode of Minnesota Historia.

Minnesota Historia is a PBS North web series dedicated to Minnesota’s quirky past. It is hosted by Hailey Eidenschink and produced/edited/written by Mike Scholtz.

Austin Castle and the Northern Pines – “Saratoga”

Austin Castle and the Northern Pines perform “Saratoga” in this video shot at Castle Danger Brewery in Two Harbors. The footage was recorded by Jose Leon of KTWH Two Harbors Community Radio and edited by Castle.

Austin Castle and the Northern Pines have a string of sporadic Saturday gigs at Castle Danger beginning March 30. Castle also performs monthly “Sunday Strumday” shows with bassist Ashe Burton at the Cedar Lounge; the next one is March 17.

PDD Quiz: February 2024

Test your memory of February 2024 headlines with this edition of the PDD quiz.

A basketball-themed quiz drives your way on March 17 in honor of March Madness. Submit question ideas to Alison Moffat [email protected] by March 14.

Wings as a Fashion Accessory

Back in 2019 I was invited to speak at an arts-centered retreat called “Life is a Verb Camp” in North Carolina. My speech happened to fall on Halloween, so this camp organizer (author Patti Digh) had set a bunch of costume pieces out on a long table and told folks they could wear them.

I approached the table and there they were, shimmering: a large, green, sparkly pair of butterfly wings with two little arm straps. I fell in love instantly, and asked my husband Paul if he could hang them on the back of my chair. They slipped over the handlebars easily and suddenly my wheelchair was transformed into a fantastical thing of beauty. It’s like it had been waiting for the wings forever.

I wore them all weekend, long after my speech had ended, and the wings not only filled me with delight, but they brought cheer wherever they went. People would grin whenever I’d turn to the side, revealing the wings behind me. I realized, for the first time in my life, my wheelchair was finally a true visual expression of my internal aesthetic. If you could see the color palette of my soul you’d know it has a lot of sparkles, rainbows, flowers, and jewel tones.

The Daily Show: Is Duluth a climate change safe haven?

If climate change soon renders parts of the United States uninhabitable, then where are all the coastal elites supposed to go? The Daily Show‘s Michael Kosta took a trip to Duluth to investigate how Californian climate refugees and displaced New Yorkers might fare in this snowy sanctuary city.

Big Into – “Expected Daemons (Bail Out!)”

Big Into is releasing a music video every month for each new track off the band’s upcoming EP. “Expected Daemons (Bail Out!)” is the fourth video in the series.

Postcard from the Duluth Boat Club

This undated postcard, published by E.C. Kropp Company, depicts a sailboat race on Duluth’s waterfront with the Duluth Boat Club in the background. This version of the club building was on the bay side of Minnesota Point at South Tenth Street. It was built in 1903 and destroyed by fire in 1951.

Minnesota Historia: Alexander Miles, Elevator Action Man

In the 1800s, elevator doors were often left open to chance. The last person to use those doors might remember to close them. Or they might not. Then a real estate developer in Duluth invented automatic elevator doors and made the whole world a safer place to elevate. But that was just another day in the incredible life of the richest black man in the Midwest, Alexander Miles.

Minnesota Historia is a PBS North web series dedicated to Minnesota’s quirky past. It is hosted by Hailey Eidenschink and produced/edited/written by Mike Scholtz.

Exploring the Abandoned Boase Elementary School

Boase Elementary School in Hoyt Lakes, about 40 miles north of Duluth, was built in 1956 and has been abandoned since the last classes were held there in 2002. In the video above, Duluth Urbex explores the building’s crumbling classrooms.

The most prestigious flagpole in Duluth. Or perhaps anywhere.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument. (Photo by Matthew James)

A few weeks ago a postcard of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument appeared on Perfect Duluth Day that included the text “by the noted sculptor Paul W. Bartlett of Paris.” That didn’t seem like a particularly French name to me so I decided to see if he was actually a noted sculptor and actually from Paris. Both counts proved accurate.

Bartlett was from Connecticut, but grew up in France and spent a considerable amount of time in Paris. But Bartlett only designed the statue in front of the monument. The architect Cass Gilbert designed the base that supports the flagpole. And both of these people gained considerable attention during their respective careers. Their most prominent works are within a few minutes walk of each other in Washington D.C. And when I learned this, I was attending a conference in Washington D.C., so I paid a visit to those works.

Riley Grace Brett at Gabriel’s Book Store

I met a new local author in the wild over the weekend at Gabriel’s Book Store in Lakeside. Riley Grace Brett volunteers there; she has also released a new novel.

PDD Geoguessr Challenge #12: Caribou Coffee at home, across the country and around the world

The first Caribou Coffee in Edina, Minnesota, now closed. (Photo by Bobak Ha’Eri, 2011 CC-By-SA-3.0)

The first Caribou Coffee opened in Edina, Minnesota, in 1992. Last December, it closed. But there are still plenty of other Caribou Coffee locations to visit. Geoguessr Challenge #12 examines some of these other locations in three separate games. The first draws from the 302 remaining Caribou Coffees in Minnesota, selecting five locations in northern Minnesota (defined as any place at or above Highway 2).

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