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Duluth vs. Superior

On almost every point, Superior suffers by comparison. Duluth has 90,000 inhabitants; Superior has 30,000. Duluth has some of the most impressive nineteenth-century architecture in the Midwest; Superior is famous for asphalt shingles and insulbrick. Duluth is known for first-rate medical facilities; Superior has an oil refinery. Duluth has Spirit Mountain and a ski jump; Superior is flat as a turkey platter. Superior is clearly inferior to Duluth, but if you like an underdog, you have to love that town across the harbor. I sure do.

–Barton Sutter, from “Sister City,” an essay in his book Cold Comfort: Life at the Top of the Map

21 Comments

mlatsch

about 3 years ago

Traffic getting a little slow with the warm weather? (:

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

Oddly enough, traffic on PDD tends to increase in the summer, although you wouldn't think it would. But yeah, I do feel a bit like stoking controversy this morning. Duluth and Superior have really been getting along great in the past decade. There has been a solid spirit of cooperation instead of competition throughout the region. It's all very good and productive and boring, isn't it? I like it even better when segments of particular neighborhoods within the same city brag of their exceptionalism. I mean seriously, the Irving part of West Duluth is so much better than the Oneota part of West Duluth. Don't you think? Denfeld vs. Upper Cody? -- Don't even get me started!

Conrad

about 3 years ago

To me it reads Duluth is more crowded then Superior Duluth is older looking then Superior Duluth is anti business Duluth's hills in the winter are a bitch I don't get how that makes Superior an underdog. I agree with Paul in that this type of stuff is really pointless.

adam

about 3 years ago

To speak kindly of Superior, 1. There are some amazing neighborhoods and homes in the Billings Park and East End at very nice entry points. 2. Community leaders and organizations are discussing and planning bike lanes, sidewalks, and other initiatives to green and add curb appeal to the community. 3. Major corporations and employment opportunities in manufacturing exist in Superior. Those companies just fly below the radar a bit - like Barco, Genesis, Exodus. 4. Wisconsin Point has a serious dearth of tourists, making it pretty nice during the blistering summer months.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

My point-by-point comparison of Minnesota and Wisconsin points from a 2006 Lake Superior Magazine story:

Housing: Minnesota Point has about 500 homes. Wisconsin Point has two lighthouse-keeper residences. Advantage: Wisconsin. Lighthouses: Wisconsin Point has a 90-year-old lighthouse at the shipping canal between the two cities. Minnesota Point has a crumbling, decrepit, 148-year-old lighthouse in the middle of the woods, along the Park Point Hiking Trail. It was saved from demolition because it marks the official Zero Point for all surveys of Lake Superior and is the oldest remaining architecture in Duluth. Advantage: Minnesota on that one. Traffic: Minnesota Point has about as much traffic as a normal street in Duluth, sometimes congested when the Aerial Lift Bridge is up. Wisconsin Point generally has two to nine cars at any given time. Advantage: Wisconsin. Public beaches: Minnesota Point has several public beaches, including one with a beach house, volleyball courts and lifeguards. Wisconsin Point has no designated public beach; it’s all wide open with no artificial amenities. Advantage: Kind of a tie. It depends on what you’re into.

adam

about 3 years ago

5. You have to admit driving past Fraser Shipyards warms your heart during winter layup and gets one all sentimental about our maritime history.

Starfire

about 3 years ago

Superior has Craig Rhode.

RightElbow

about 3 years ago

Yes, Superior has an ample supply of payday loan storefronts and empty lots... but you can buy booze on Sundays and have fires on the beach. Advantage Wisconsin.

secretseasons

about 3 years ago

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."

rhetoricguy@gmail.com

about 3 years ago

Can I just add: Barton Sutter: beautiful language, offputting authorial presence?

sean42

about 3 years ago

It might not be the "cool" side of the bridge to live on, but my house is on a nice sized lot with a big yard in a quiet neighborhood and I didn't pay a lot for it. I think Superior rules.

De man

about 3 years ago

I think most Duluthians are letting you Superiors have this one. Maybe we aren't clever enough to think of good reasons Duluth trumps Superior or we just need to let you win from time to time. (dlh mayor is d ness sup ??: adv dlh; dlh has a lakewalk sup has barkers island: adv dlh; sup has mariner mall dlh has miller hill mall: adv toss up depending on what you're looking for.... ;-) )

De man

about 3 years ago

ps: The entirety of my previous post was in jest. This is two cities, weirdly separated by a lake and a state line. Gotta love going to mom or dad...

Tom

about 3 years ago

Well, if you're 90-years-old and need a place to get your daily exercise on a crappy day, I guess the Mariner Mall might be what you're looking for...

digit3

about 3 years ago

Souptown area has Mt Du Lac. Much cooler bar there than Spirit but have you seen the mega hilltop chalet/house/restaurant at Mt Du? Kinda reminds me of that doctor's house on the ridgeline looking over Lester like a blight to the landscape. Superior has Dogfish Head beer.

nicolai

about 3 years ago

If you are still buying Dogfish Head in Superior then you are buying old stock. DFH pulled out of WI about a year ago.

Codie

about 3 years ago

It's pretty lame that any city that isn't completely devoid of character and decent zoning standards is labelled "anti-business."

in.dog.neato

about 3 years ago

6.) Superior is living up to it's name. apparently. or at least that's what the sign says.

Conrad

about 3 years ago

I don't think you can compare Mont du Lac to the blight on Skyline if only because they are doing it to enhance many people's experience instead of putting up a giant wall on one of the best views on all of skyline. Reagan's voice goes through my head every time I make that corner "tear down this wall" and I hate Reagan.

Conrad

about 3 years ago

Ha. I see I mixed up my blight. Sorry

Ruthie

about 3 years ago

Where in Superior can you get Doghead Fish.

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