How others see us

duluthshore

A travel article / narrative about Duluth was posted today on the Chicago Tribune website; it looks like it might be slated to run in Sunday’s paper.

The writer includes lots of local businesses and sights. There are some factual errors, but those aside it’s fun to see how others see us. Unfortunately, it appears there are no photos with the article (the picture with this post was taken by me from Enger Tower in late summer 2006).

18 Comments

ironic1

about 13 years ago

13,000 foot long ship??? Whoa! I wanna see that! Where've they been hiding those 'cause that's a good trick, hiding a 13,000 foot long ship.

zra

about 13 years ago

wow...U.S. Steel finally built an ore boat that's just shy of 2 and a half miles long...betcha can see that sucker from space.

@ndy

about 13 years ago

I'm sorry but the article is downright terrible. First, I'm pretty sure McClelland is from Chicago, also a port city, and he's written a book about the Great Lakes, focusing on Lake Michigan. He should surely know there is no such thing as a 13,000 foot ship, or even a 1,300 foot ship on the Great Lakes, as they wouldn't be able to bypass the locks throughout the St. Lawrence Seaway. Second, he clearly has a very romantisized, outdated view of sailors' activities while in port. Due to the Patriot Act, the deckhands aboard foreign flagged vessels are not even allowed to leave the dock much less prowl around the West End or the Norshor. Third, nobody, including visitduluth.com the DECC or any other websites refer to the William A. Irvin and the Sundew as the 'Great Lakes Floating Maritime Museum'; clear evidence Mr. McClelland's little article was not based on visiting Duluth, but rather Wikipedia.

akjuneau

about 13 years ago

I'm not sure if it's the author's fault, or an editor's mistake, but I'm guessing the line was supposed to read "13 1,000-foot-long ships" (would that be right?)

An error that jumped out at me was his apparent belief that grain drives shipping in the the Twin Ports, when in reality it is far, far behind taconite and related iron ore shipments. I did think the whole sailors-gallivanting-around-town bit was kind of corny.

Errors and all, though, it's still interesting to see how others perceive our town. And if you want to set the record straight, there is a comment option at the end of the article.

Barrett Chase

about 13 years ago

I think it's supposed to be "13 1,000-foot-long shitters."

zra

about 13 years ago

giggle 

*snort*

pH

about 13 years ago

Maybe the author was here on Talk Like A Pirate Day?  Would explain all the sailor encounters.

Ramos

about 13 years ago

Well, now we know how McClelland perceived Duluth: as a ridiculous caricature.

As others have noted, the old cliche of ships docking and rowdy sailors spreading out into the city is completely wrong. Even when foreign sailors left the ships, pre-Patriot Act, I rarely saw them do any carousing. Often they would beeline to Walmart or Best Buy to load up on consumer electronics. 

Also, "Beyond Duluth, Minnesota 61 is a rugged road following the narrow verge between Lake Superior and a vast forest of birches." You'd think he was lurching along in a covered wagon, gnawing on pemmican, not sailing down a four-lane highway that thousands of people drive on daily. When he talks about the "vast forest of birches" I think he means the birches he saw growing next to the road. I've seen those, too.

Clearly, this article is the work of an untrustworthy individual.

chadp

about 13 years ago

I don't know about y'all but I have caroused with sailors albeit in Superior.  I was listening to some punk bands at Bev's and got to talkin with some Polish fellas.  We bought each other a few rounds and they wanted me to go back to their ship to listen to some eastern bloc heavy heavy metal.  I would have to0 but I couldn't convince anybody to go with me (I am a strong proponent of the buddy system).  The next day I heard on the news that the Polish ship had been raided by the FBI for some unusual aluminum tubes that may have been going to Iran.  I guess I missed my opportunity to get a free one way ticket to Cuba.

The Big E

about 13 years ago

wow...U.S. Steel finally built an ore boat that's just shy of 2 and a half miles long...betcha can see that sucker from space.

You can see some of the smaller ones from space, too....

@ndy

about 13 years ago

Actually I am pretty sure the ship in the Google Earth photo is the biggest ship on the Great Lakes, the Paul R. Tregurtha, owned by the Interlake Steamship Company. It is a measly 1,013 feet though, not 13,000.

wildgoose

about 13 years ago

Didn't read the article yet, but I totally eat this stuff up.

I like your photo from Enger tower and I am wondering why there is not MORE effort to drive turistas up there.  the park is fantastic, the hike and views from that little gazebo up there are equal to or better than just about anything in canal park and you really get a "full picture" of what Duluth-Superior is from that park.  

But ... you can't even enter Enger tower for most of the year and last I checked it is in need of some major engineering updates, and a pee scrub.  

Naturally, I know the answer to my question ... because no matter how hopeful I seem there's always a little cynic in here somewhere.  But ... why aren't we doing more to facilitate and encourage visitor access to that park ... or the hundred or so other parks and trails in Duluth that are NOT on the Canal Park waterfront?

Barrett Chase

about 13 years ago

Shhh ... Wildgoose, we like to keep the free areas of Duluth to ourselves. The presence of more people in Enger Park -- especially out-of-towners -- won't enhance the experience.

Chester Dark

about 13 years ago

Guess that's your answer WildGoose! As a relative newcomer in town, I also wonder. Seeing the old photos of tour vehicles on Skyline drive make me wonder why the entire length isn't marked and paved better. It would also be an awesome bike route (again with fewer potholes and bike lanes), walkers route, etc.

When my wife and I were frequently visiting from the Twin Cities, we stumbled on Chester Park and the Chester Park Cafe and that made us want to live here. Well, plus the other more obvious amenities.

Calk

about 13 years ago

Damn, Chester Dark, don't tell anyone about Chester Park or the Cafe either, I don't want either of them over-run with tourists!

Tim K

about 13 years ago

Skyline Parkway is marked with some nice signs, but not enough of them. There used to be a green stripe painted along the shoulder the entire length, too. Technically, it runs from Seven Bridges road out to Spirit Mountain. It isn't called Skyline the entire length, but it used to be marked the whole way.

Paul Lundgren

about 13 years ago

Skyline goes beyond Spirit Mountain to Beck's Road, although that stretch is blocked off to vehicles most of the time. There's also a hiking trail further west that used to be part of Skyline. (It also used to have seven bridges, but some of the bridges are long gone now.)

zra

about 13 years ago

we did the piedmont > spirit > becks section of skyline yesterday in search of abandoned tires for our taters, to no avail. pretty clean up that way.

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