The Mayor of Snow-Fort City (aka Lake Superior Aquaman) Posts

Snow-Fort City Build/Sledding Party

WDIO covered the event which happened on the solstice, Dec. 21. Thanks to all. #snowfortcity has suffered from the recent rains etc but all great cities have been destroyed at least once.

Acceptance Speech, Mayor of Snow-Fort City

Thank you, distinguished citizens, for conferring upon me this office of Snow-Fort City Mayor. It is no small honor to assume my half-imaginary duties in this pop-up, collaborative, city-planning art fantasy at the edge of Lake Superior. “City” is an aspirational term for this arrangement of snow walls and monuments in Duluth’s Leif Erickson Park. Snow-Fort City’s true location lies somewhere within our skulls — like all cities. My Facebook post initiating construction was shared more than a hundred times in just a few hours, and it attracted the Duluth News-Tribune and KBJR-6/CBS-3, which tells me the vision of the snow-fort city is the real object. Almost none of the post-sharers, newspaper readers, or TV viewers made it down to the actual Snow-Fort City. They are content to view it with their eyes closed, in its most pure form: the Platonic one.

It literally came to me in a vision, like the origin of so many great cities. In a way, like Duluth itself. I remember the words of George Nettleton’s wife from 1856, when her husband’s mind swam with dreams of Duluth-as-future-city: “I thought he had a pretty long head to see that there was going to be a city here sometime when there was then nothing” (Duluth: An Illustrated History of the Zenith City by Glenn N. Sandvik).

Snow-Fort City, Day 8


 

I am running for Mayor of #snowfortcity.

Snow-Fort City, day 7


 

#snowfortcity day 7. Leif Erikson Park. Best day yet and perhaps even the last. The weather’s turning subzero for a while but we had this one last great day of wet, buildable snow to top things off.

Snow-Fort City, day 6

#snowfortcity day 6. Leif Erikson Park. The fort of the tree people is the most durable and impressive structure so far. Albeit unfinished, the vision and craft of its architects (principally Morgan Pirsig) is impressive.

Snow-Fort City, day 4


 

#snowfortcity day 4. Come at me, bro. Found lots of damage this afternoon as I rolled up, so, much of the day was spent in repair mode.

Snow-Fort City, Day 3


 

#snowfortcity Day 3: it’s a thing now. There are 7 nodes of activity in various stages of completion, but we have successfully transformed Leif Erikson Park.

Snow-Fort City, Day 2

It was a great day to build a #snowfortcity with volunteers Stephen Bockhold, Sean MacManus, and others including an unnamed mom with two kids in tow who attested she was a #peoplesfreeskate participant last winter. One of the kids she was with, who I’ve never seen before, called me “Aquaman” unprompted on camera while KBJR-6/CBS-3 was filming: hope that makes the final cut.

Snow-fort City, Day 1

#snowfortcity

Day 1. Duluth’s Leif Erikson Park. Most of my time was taken up by Duluth News-Tribune reporters who showed up – oops got in the paper again. Otherwise slow going with cold powdery snow – spray bottles and water make the job easier so bring those. It’s sort of Day 2 since some folks built this formidable snow fort yesterday, and got the base of another one started. It’s sort of Day 3, since I built a proof-of-concept wall before the blizzard, but it blew down so I restarted it today. A huge help was Morgan Pirsig et al. who laid down a solid sled trail which helps define the space. It goes so fast we need to bank it by the stage now. Troy Rogers aka Robot Rickshaw showed up and we demonstrated proper wall-building technique for the media. A season-long project to turn the park into a citizen-led collective art installation and playground.

Snow-fort City proof of concept

 

I built this Snowhenge wall segment in Leif Erickson Park today in three hours with a bucket. Will it remain after a weekend of playing children, and snowstorms including 30-mph winds? Probably not. But rebuilding and rebirth are central to this season-long project where work and leisure are indistinguishable. The blizzard should die off Sunday and the upcoming week should be clear to terraform the gift of snow.

Snow-Fort City: It’s Time [UPDATED BELOW FOLD]

Calling all guerrilla snow-fort builders, amateur igloo engineers, wintertime sculptors, snowmen whisperers, and anyone haunted by dreams of city-wide snowball fights: It’s time.

Freediving the Edmund Fitzgerald

It would be possible to dive to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald on the strength of a single breath. Even at the wreck’s depth of 530 feet, it might actually be safer to dive unsupported by scuba tanks than to scuba dive to it. This essay is intended to hypothetically explore the intersection of different types of diving, the wreck itself, and the lake in general. At a minimum, I am suggesting that the freediving possibilities of Lake Superior have not been fully explored.

My interest is provoked because I utilize some freediving breath-hold techniques in my underwater videography as Lake Superior Aquaman. I have never scuba dived, and so I think of the lake in freediving terms. I do not intend to offend the families of the deceased by invoking the Fitzgerald tragedy. However, its iconic stature as a deep wreck in Lake Superior makes it ideal for these illustrative purposes.

I am not suggesting any actual dives to the Fitzgerald. For one thing, both freediving and scuba diving present significant risks, especially beyond 100 feet deep. Also, it has been illegal to dive to the wreck since 2006, unless approved by the Canadian government in whose waters it lies. This is because of successful lobbying by the victims’ families to keep the wreck sacrosanct.

The Richardson Brothers Podcast: Charlotte Montgomery interviewed by Jim Richardson

The first of a projected series of Duluth music scene interviews. Jim Richardson interviews the multi-talented Charlotte Montgomery: solo singer-songwriter, member of the band Red Mountain, and dancer in the Duluth Dolls. This interview features a performance of one of Charlotte’s original songs – “West” – and it is a barn-burner. Charlotte is leaving town after eight years; her farewell performance was at Blacklist Brewing, Saturday Nov. 9 at 8 p.m.

The Richardson Brothers Podcast: New Episode

This week: “SuperDuluth, the Living City,” a hallucinatory vision of the city awakening in a dream of light and water.

“Duluth’s Song” by Charlotte Montgomery

Charlotte Montgomery, one of Duluth’s most inimitable singer-songwriters, is moving away. This also means the band Red Mountain is losing a vocalist. She has left us with this new song, a perfect example of her haunting sound.

You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Shot and recorded by Mikayla Haynes of Clyde Fox Creative.