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
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