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PDD Gift Guide 2016

Sleigh bells and cash registers are ringing. The season of religious ceremony and competitive consumerism is upon us. As usual, Perfect Duluth Day has compiled a list of gift ideas with a Twin Ports connection, so we can put those North Pole elves out of work and keep our local businesses and crafters fat and jolly. Featured here are 15 items produced by the hands and brains of your neighbors. If you have more ideas or are a business with a local offering, please add it in the comments and expand our virtual catalog.

Price Check: Thanksgiving Turkey


Shopping for the annual thankfulness feast can involve a whole gamut of traditional offerings — mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce — but the age-old staple is turkey. What will that bird cost ya? Well, we’ve chased down prices at a variety of Duluth-area grocery stores for this report.

Listed first are three variations of brand-name mass-marketed turkey: frozen Jennie-O Grade A, premium fresh Jennie-O and premium frozen Butterball. Our fourth comparison is of turkeys purported to be a bit more naturally produced.

Here lies the eleventh feature for PDD’s Price Check series where we compare the cost of goods and services in Duluth and Superior. The amounts below reflect the per-pound price each establishment charges. Minnesota and Wisconsin classify unprepared foods and food ingredients as exempt from tax.

DTA Passenger Entrance Music

dta12While riding a Duluth Transit Authority bus last night and listening to my head phones, I came up with a very simple way of amusing myself. Whenever the bus stopped to pick up a new passenger, I clicked my mp3 player forward to the next random track and imagined it was the chosen entrance music or “theme song” for that person. Try it out sometime. It’s my gift to you.

Latin Dance in Duluth

My girlfriend is new to Duluth and loves to dance. Are there any places that offer Latin Dance lessons or Latin Dance nights? Your suggestions are appreciated!

Twin Ports Best Kept Dining Secret


One of the best kept secrets of the Twin Ports is Sclavi’s Italian Restaurant at 1106 Tower Ave. in Superior. I am amazed that more people do not know about it. We live in Minneapolis and it is better Italian food than anything we can think of in the Twin Cities. But as the best things in Suptown are, it is quirky.

Winter Driving in Duluth

Hello from Chicago-ish. We (my wife and I, 50s, no kids, two dogs, one cat) will be moving to Duluth in December, just in time for winter. I’ll be working near the airport, and my wife works from home. We intend to live in Duluth, not Hermantown, Esko, Proctor or Superior.

I have been up there once, scouting the lay of the land and looking at a few houses. I’ve read every word on this site about neighborhoods, “safe” vs. “unsafe” areas, etc. What I really need to know is this: when the roads are bad, is it easier to drive to the airport from, for example, Denfeld than from, for example, Chester Park/UMD? Or vice versa?


Cheap Wedding Venue in Duluth

So, I’m getting married on Nov. 11. My plan was just to elope at the courthouse until I realized that Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. I decided to get the license and an officiant, but now I’m realizing that even though it’s just a handful of us its gonna be too cold to go outside somewhere semi-scenic. But with it being only 43 days away, I’m on a very limited budget. According to Farmers Almanac last year was about 35 degrees and 2014 was 18 degrees so I don’t really wanna chance it outside. Does anyone know somewhere semi-romantic and cheap, possibly with a view, for a very limited amount of people?

Rural Recording Studio Suggestions?

Tweet from @ZOLAJESUS looking for rural studio

Musical artist Zola Jesus made this request on Twitter today. Any suggestions? Tweet back to @ZOLAJESUS.

I replied with Sacred Heart but there must be more.

Price Check: Ames 26-inch Poly Leaf Rake

AmesRakeIt’s that time of year again when T-shirts become long sleeves, cups of coffee become pumpkin spice lattes, and the emerald and sage colored leaves become sandstone orange and rosewood red.

Breathe in the crisp morning air, take pictures of the vibrant Midwestern colors, and maybe toss a puppy or a child into that pile of dead leaves. After you have finished having your fall fun, those leaves will not rake themselves.

An Ames 26-inch Poly Leaf Rake could be the tool that helps you through the dreaded yearly task. The handle has a cushion grip to deter blisters and all the tines touch the ground simultaneously.

Whether you are a first-rake, first-home buyer or a second mortgage home remodeler, this product could liven up your yard again.

Here lies the tenth feature for the Price Check series where we compare prices of products and services in Duluth. The prices below reflect the rate the establishment charges with tax included. The combined tax in Duluth is 8.375 percent. This is the summation of Minnesota sales tax (6.875 percent), St. Louis County transit sales/use tax (0.5 percent) and Duluth general sales tax (1.0 percent). Hermantown’s general sales tax is the same as Duluth, and the same state and county taxes apply.

Reporting Burnt Out Streetlights in Duluth


Is there a website or phone number for Duluth where one can report burnt out street lights? There are three burnt out in a row on the eastern end of Pittsburg Avenue, making it very dark at night and I know of many more, too. Would it be through Minnesota Power or the city of Duluth itself?

Thank you.

Duluth Mountain Biking for Beginners and Kids

Lester ParkA friend asked me last week where beginners should go for a good first-time mountain biking experience in Duluth.

“I want good views — not afraid of some hills — but nothing crazy where I would have to be an expert,” she said.

I don’t mountain bike, so I can’t answer the question … or maybe that makes me the perfect guinea pig for an experiment. Anyway, a quick search of the internet seems to suggest Lester Park has a good “easiest” trail. Is there a middle-aged klutz out there who can endorse the Lester experience as a good trail for a first-time mountain biker? Or is there somewhere better suited to persons of limited balance?

DuluthiLeaks: 87 Places to Drink ’em Up

LiquorHaven’t you always wanted a checklist for places to get soused in Duluth? Well, fortunately the city’s Alcohol, Gambling and Tobacco Commission provides that very list. For the second edition of DuluthiLeaks — Perfect Duluth Day’s new feature in which public documents are released as if they contain secret information leaked from an anonymous whistle blower — we take a look at the list of on-sale liquor licenses issued in Duluth. The list breaks down which places can be open on Sunday, have more than one bar, permit dancing, stay open past 2 a.m. without serving alcohol, or serve alcohol between 1 and 2 a.m.

Gathering of the Juggalos – Northern Edition


Make it happen, people.

Multiple sclerosis as a catalyst from being a burnt out cubicle jockey to self-taught artist and entrepreneur


Perhaps you’ve wondered what it takes to open your own retail space. Here is the formula that worked for one of my neighbors: intense physical pain + $7,200 in startup costs + burnout and restlessness + a debilitating medical diagnosis + a whole lot of elbow grease = one art gallery. And that’s about all it takes.

The story of Lakeside Gallery, Aaron Kloss’s new venture, is incredible. Check it out at Ed’s Big Adventure.

Price Check: Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent


It does not matter if you are eating at a restaurant with a lakeside seat, boating on Lake Superior, or strolling on the Lake Superior Hiking Trail, you are bound to encounter the force of the squitos.

Saying “avoid the outdoors at dusk and dawn” to protect yourself from mosquito bites is like saying “stay indoors to avoid sunburn.”

Purchasing a 6 oz. can of Off! Deep Woods is more practical than avoiding the outdoors for a third of the day. The aerosol spray contains 25 percent DEET, which is an active ingredient to repel mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, gnats and chiggers.

The stench of insect repellent may “bug” you even after a few showers, but it beats the days of putting Xs on squito bites with your longest fingernail (or scratching with the nearest sharp object).

Here lies the ninth feature for the Price Check series where we compare prices of products and services in Duluth. The prices below reflect the rate the establishment charges with tax included. The combined tax in Duluth is 8.375 percent. This is the summation of Minnesota sales tax (6.875 percent), St. Louis County transit sales/use tax (0.5 percent) and Duluth general sales tax (1.0 percent). Hermantown’s general sales tax is the same as Duluth, and the same state and county taxes apply.

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