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Charlie Parr – “Moonshiner”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PYz-c2EyrE

Charlie Parr on a blue chairAn intimate performance by Duluth’s Charlie Parr for the Blue Chair Chronicles.

Old Grand Marais Photos

GrandMarais1

A collection of old Grand Marais photos. Photographer unknown.

Another Lift Bridge Time Lapse

https://vimeo.com/180438153

Roux Duncan captures a few ups and downs of the Aerial Lift Bridge on a lovely summer day/night.

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?

Duluth Duluth Duluth is on fire

https://vimeo.com/180457995

Duluth is on fireTall Ships make James Gottfried wanna dance dance dance.

Cthonic Bedrock and Devonian Boulders

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OY2Wp3c9Gk

Patrolling Lake Superior’s Cthonic bedrock formations and Devonian boulders. Basaltic rock is dried lava sheets that decay into shelves littered with boulders at the edges. That is what we see here. Max depth 20 feet give or take a couple. Water has been cloudy this year due to rain, but finally cleared up enough here at the end of the summer to get this footage at one of my fave freediving spots.

Perfect Drinking Establishment: Sir Benedict’s Tavern

PDD-Drinking-Establishment2016Area boozers and barflies have reached a general consensus: Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake is the perfect Duluth drinking establishment. The English-themed pub located at 805 E. Superior St. netted 34.5 percent of the vote in Perfect Duluth Day’s poll.

Sir Ben’s is a bit of an institution. It opened as a pub in 1978 (before that the building was a service station) with a focus on sandwiches and beer. The favored watering hole has long attracted a range of fans, from college students to musicians and business people.

Owners Josh and Kaila Stotts took over the tavern in April 2015. Josh was surprised to learn about the PDD poll. When asked what patrons appreciate about the bar, he said. “We try to offer a welcoming ambiance — a place where people can relax and feel really comfortable.”

Perspective Map of Duluth in 1893

Perspective Map of the City of Duluth 1893

Similar to the “Perspective Map of Duluth in 1887,” but more recent and from a bit different angle.

This Week: summer is, in fact, not endless and more

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Here’s a bit of what you’ll find in this week’s PDD Calendar:

August is ending, and many ongoing summer events are winding down. The Hermantown and Downtown farmers’ markets are closing up shop in the upcoming weeks, the last Doggy Happy Hour at the Fitger’s Brewery complex happens on Tuesday, the Shark-Watching Society meets for the final time in 2016 and Teague Alexy performs during the last installment of the Chester Creek Concert Series.

Also: Woodland is ground zero for BBQ on Tuesday, Mayor Emily Larson and City Councilor Elissa Hansen invite the public to City Hall in the City, the 2016 Pride Celebration kicks off with the mayor’s reception and includes the Bayfront Pride Festival, the dark history of American assassins is explored in musical form, the classic football rivalry between East and Denfeld continues at Public Schools Stadium on Friday and a gaggle of musicians play the Super Big Block Party.

Is Bottoms Up the beer pouring device of the future?

GronksMikeMohr

Mike Mohr in front of one of his Bottoms Up beer dispensers

Gronk’s Bar and Grill in Superior has long been known for serving burgers upside down. In February, the bar was the first in the area to install a remarkable tap-beer delivery system that fills glasses from the bottom up. Since then another Superior drinking establishment, Jack’s Place, has also added a Bottoms Up system in its beer garden.

Gronk’s owner Mike Mohr first saw the Bottoms Up system at the Wisconsin State Fair. He was impressed with its technology and speed. Later, when his daughter was advocating for more craft beer taps at Gronk’s, he thought the novelty might be a good way to draw beer fans in.

PDD Quiz: August 2016

Paul-Stanley-thinks-Tony-Bennett-is-a-miserable-assholeAugust is waning. How’s your short term memory? How much do you remember of what happened in and around Duluth this month? Let’s find out.

R.I.P. Monty

Monty Lee Wilkes

Monty Lee Wilkes

We mourn the passing of Monty Lee Wilkes, local boy who made good.

How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse with a Special Needs Baby

Heather JacksonImmeasurable amounts of Internet memes and quizzes have confirmed that I’m far from alone in daydreaming about my personal preparedness for a full-blown zombie takeover. I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m Doomsday Preppers-level obsessed with the subject, but I do regularly have Z-Day strategy conversations with my husband (which I’m keeping under wraps because we have a legitimately solid plan of operation and I can’t have other survivors flocking to the same rendezvous points or utilizing the same resources.)

These fun and hypothetical talks have evolved over the years as we’ve moved locations from our tiny college town in Western New York, to cities in between, and our ultimate settlement in Duluth. With the birth of our oldest daughter in 2011, the well-worn subjects of head-smashing weaponry, classification of zombies, and go-bag contents expanded to include comfortable long-distance child wearing techniques and fail-proof ways to keep a kid quiet. Unfortunately, we can’t even manage that last one in this current, zombie-free reality.

Then last year I gave birth to our second daughter. Would two kids slow us down? Yes, almost certainly. But we couldn’t leave them behind because that would be totally inhumane, and if we strip ourselves of our humanity, then what is left to separate us from the zombies we might face? (Plus, we’re their parents and stuff so … responsibilities, ya know?)

They’re here! First-year Students Have Arrived

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c89d66xsuEo

UMD 2016Student leaders, great weather, stunning campus, incredible first-year students: UMD Welcome Week.

Selective Focus: Mary Plaster

SF-TeaserMaryPlaster
Mary Plaster is best known As a papier-mâché artist, and for the Duluth All Souls Night celebration she has led. She tells about her work and the challenges of putting on an event like Duluth All Souls Night.

M.P.: I am a self-employed artist and facilitator, working in a variety of mixed media for 35 years. I paint, sculpt, do graphics, and photography. Fresh out of Missoula, MT High School art classes, I attended Minneapolis College of Art and Design and worked at Children’s Theatre Company in the properties department. I saw my first MayDay Parade in the late 1970s and fell in love with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HoBT). I also attended a mask and physical theatre school near San Francisco.