akjuneau Posts

Window Watching

I’ve always wondered about how the window placements on this house came about. It’s on Arrowhead Road, east of Kenwood Super One. I’m a fan of big windows, so this house and its lack thereof always sticks out as I drive by.

In a way I guess it’s kind of smart, because it probably cuts down on noise from the busy street. But there must be some window-less rooms up on that second floor. I wonder what could be done with that massive blank spot in front.

Anyone know more about this place?

A problem that needs addressing

There’s something that’s confused me a bit about Duluth since I moved here (and I realize I may be the only person who has ever wondered about this).

Just about every town has a “0” point for its street addresses. In Duluth, that would be the corner of Lake and Superior, right? 1 E. Superior, 1 W. Superior, 1 N. Lake, etc. The lower the address number, the closer it is to the zero point. And in general, there are imaginary lines that spread out from that point, dividing addresses into north-south, and east-west.

That all works out well in Duluth on the main grid of streets – downtown, West End, West Duluth, Lakeside… but then it starts to get odd.

Trouble in Thunder Bay

People may complain about crime in Duluth, but it appears our sister city to the north is having a really, really bad year.

According to Thunder Bay’s daily newspaper, the Chronicle Journal, the city just recorded its sixth homicide of the year. And we’re only in August. That may give Thunder Bay the highest per-capita murder rate in Canada.

I love visiting up there, but… yikes.

Local TV news flashback fun

Some more vintage Duluth TV newscasts have been posted on YouTube. Red Owl, Jack McKenna, Kirby Puckett … enjoy (though some of the news in these clips is kind of grim).

Hibbing High School reunion makes international news

Last weekend was the 50th reunion of the Hibbing High School Class of 1959.

Why is that notable? In that class was Bobby Zimmerman, later to become Bob Dylan.

It appears Dylan did not show – but a British journalist did, and he wrote a pretty long story about it that’s posted on the Daily Telegraph Web site this morning.

What are they chucking out the window in Rice Lake Township?


I took a one-mile walk with the dog this evening. Litter found (and picked up / disposed of properly) along the road:

– Minnesota trailer license plate

– The back of a child-size guitar

– Walgreens receipt for three pounds of epsom salts, nothing else ($3.44)

– Note reading: OFFICE MAX

– remains of a Deli Express sandwich container

Perfect 40-or-so-miles-from-Duluth Day


First time canoeing on the Brule River. Stones Bridge landing to Highway 2.

Finally (part two)


Soon-to-be (?) U.S. Senator Al Franken, D-Minn.

The real thing?

While walking downtown today I noticed this painted billboard. It’s on First Street, east of First Avenue East.

I don’t remember seeing it before; maybe that’s because it’s facing opposite of the one-way traffic on First Street. In any case, has it always been there? Is it authentic? Restored? A reproduction?

Anyone know anything about this?

There’s an ad in today’s paper about a “salvage stone sale” this weekend on Park Point, at 3101 Minnesota Ave.

The ad refers to a Web site. The site says:

“Own a piece of history: Brownstone, limestone, slate, marble, granite… An incredible collection of historic building elements including benches, capitals, finials, etc.”

Does anyone know if someone is pulling apart an old house out there? Is this someone’s collection of garden decorations? Just a vacant lot these sellers had access to? Are these things from old buildings here in Duluth?

My proposal: Superior-to-Skyline Run

It’s Grandma’s Marathon week, so runners will be flooding into town for the long, rolling race along the shore of Lake Superior. It’s an iconic setting and an iconic race.

I’ve wondered a few times since moving here, though, if there should be another iconic running race in Duluth, one that celebrates another facet of Duluth like Grandma’s celebrates the lake. My proposal: A run from the shore of Lake Superior to the top of the hill. Call it the “Superior-to-Skyline Run.” Short, simple and steep. Let’s start crowning Duluth’s Kings (and Queens) of the Hill.

Who, what, when, where, why and Howard


I have some questions about various “Howards” in the Duluth area, and I’m hoping someone on PDD can provide the answers:

1. What is/was the “Old Howard Mill” referred to in Old Howard Mill Road?

2. Why does Old Howard Mill Road have two parts so far apart (see Google map excerpt above)? One segment is north of Glenwood Street, and the other is across the Northland Country Club and a bit farther, in what would be… the Congdon neighborhood? Hunters Park? Not quite sure. In any case, why the gap? They don’t even seem to line up.

3. Howard Gnesen Road: It goes up to Gnesen Township, so that half makes sense (Gnesen Township was named for a city in Poland, by the way). But what does the Howard refer to? Is there a connection to the Old Howard Mill?

I think that exhausts my Howard question file. Can anyone out there provide some info?

Lexicon update

I moved to Duluth in September 2006. Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about words and phrases that seemed unique to Duluth and/or the region. At that point, most seemed pretty odd to me; none had entered my vocabulary.

But I realized this week that at some point in the past few months, I’ve started regularly using one of those language quirks – adding “the” before road names. As in, “Oh, yeah, I saw that house, too – out there on the Rice Lake Road.”

It’s interesting how something little like that really makes you feel grounded in a place.

The oldest sidewalk in Duluth?


A couple years ago I was out for a walk and noticed this section of sidewalk at the corner of Grand View Avenue and 17th Avenue East. I liked the nice touch of stamping the street name in the sidewalk, and I was impressed at the “1926” date – meaning this concrete had survived (with a crack, but still survived) more than 80 cold winters, hot summers and annual freeze-and-thaw cycles in Duluth.

Musings on a basketball rolling downhill


I was driving down Lake Avenue yesterday morning when I noticed a kid, maybe 7 or 8 years old, who – in my opinion – had just intentionally chucked an old basketball down the hill from about Fifth Street.

For a brief moment, the ball and I were traveling side-by-side (the ball, unfortunately, going against traffic in the uphill lane). When I stopped at the four-way stop at Fourth Street, the ball, of course, kept on going. I glanced in my rear-view mirror and saw the kid jumping up and down – again, I think in joy at watching the thing sail downhill, and not in protest of an unfortunate lesson in physics and topography.