Drawing Duluth.

Before coming to Duluth, I looked at a few maps trying to get a sense for the basic geography of the city and surrounding region. I was able to pick up a few things, but there was an unexpected problem — I couldn’t figure out Duluth’s shape. No matter how many maps I looked at, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the general silhouette.

So, last night and today, I’ve asked a handful of people to “Draw Duluth,” including a couple friends as well as a few strangers (if you’re looking for a technique to make new friends, this is a good/weird way to introduce yourself to a rando). The helpful and interesting results are as follows:

-I’ve heard a lot of “Duluth is 30 miles long and 3 miles wide” type comments. The above is an elegant and simple reflection of that.

-These are fairly meticulous in terms of neighborhoods and detail because I asked them to do maps of Duluth. Both also give water a fair amount of space. (If it helps you make sense of it, I believe the drawing on the right is rotated 90° counter-clockwise.) I think between these two and the first one, I got that “shape” issue is settled.

Now, for the following two, I was a little more sketchy/careless in my directions, asking something more like, “Draw Duluth.”

-Differently executed drawings, but very similar topics/spirits — looking back at the city of Duluth from the harbor with the hills in the background. I guess this gives an idea of a non-geographic “shape” of Duluth in how people think about it.

Even further down that road, check out the next two:

-Pretty self explanatory, I think, and a little broader interpretation of my vague direction of “draw Duluth.” And finally, what I believe was a sketch for the napkin drawing above that I don’t think I was meant to see but am posting anyways:

-A disembodied arm, either toasting or bringing a half full (half empty?) pint of beer to the invisible holder’s mouth. Some part of Duluth drawn, for sure.

P.S. I am incredibly impressed at the quality of all the drawings! Right?

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5 Responses to Drawing Duluth.

  1. I think it’s actually more like 8 miles wide. It’s need to skim over your progress and see what you’ve been up to. This is pretty exciting.

  2. The “30 miles long and 3 miles wide” remark reminded me of how in 2003, a bunch of us from Perfect Duluth Day walked from one end of Duluth to the other in what we called “The Nonchalant Jaunt.” It started at the Wabegon Supper Club out past the Fond du Lac neighborhood and ended at the Lakeview Castle restaurant on the North Shore. I actually had to work that day, so I bailed out after the first 10 miles, which was the perfect amount of walking. The others finished, and they were broken, bruised, and battered by the end of it.

    I didn’t participate the next year, when the group walked the length of Skyline Parkway. In subsequent years, we just wandered around various neighborhoods and such until we got tired. The Nonchalant Jaunt eventually stopped happening, but I think it should return sometime soon.

  3. Pingback: Fond-Du-Luth: Casino? Casi-yes! | January In Duluth

  4. JP: Actually, as the crow flies, it is about three miles from the Miller Hill Mall to St. Louis Bay. But I suppose if you go to the end of Park Point, it’s more like eight or ten.

  5. Really? Just three miles? It seems like it takes about a week to get from downtown up to Hermantown most of the time. But I guess Central Entrance kind of dog legs from Mesabi.

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