“Hello. Can I talk to you?”

One week in and I just figured out how to precisely articulate just how imprecise January in Duluth will need to be; I know it’s not all going to stick, but I’m hoping to roll around in the Duluth mud a little and then track some footprints on this website. That being said, it’s time pivot the approach a bit — to my favorite kind of mud.

Because my voice has been a rasp and I’ve been getting my bearings in town, my first steps into Duluth haven’t been built around meeting people (voice is almost back!). In fact, I’ve noticed that I’ve begun exclusively greeting people like this:

Graphic by my wonderful friend Kate

 (I distilled the process into it’s two constituent mechanisms, which you can see on the right.)

Whether it be the sidewalk, skywalk, bus, bar, or anywhere in between, I’ve been trapped in that reticent mouth scrunch and nod. That’s normally fine, but I’m here to learn about Duluth, and people are an inextricably huge part of that. Also, I truly love meeting new people and talking to them.

To start making this happen, I posted this on PDD. And hoping for a similar but different response, I posted this on Craigslist. Also, I’ve started making conversation with strangers and reaching out to folks. And in the spirit of meeting new people, I’ll do this too:

I’m probably being too forward, but consider the motley picture above a “Howdy!”  and open invitation for a conversation (taken this morning, awkwardly, at Takk For Maten). If you see that guy bumbling around town, sitting at a laptop, staring at the lake, or otherwise, feel free to say “Hi!” Or “Hi.” We can chat about Duluth or the weather or nothing in particular. If you’re anywhere from gregarious to eremitic, I’d love to chat. Also, I won’t be offended if you choose to ignore me instead.

Hope to meet you soon! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail if you’re interested in chatting but not too into the stranger thing. Other voices coming soon!

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