Reprinted from A Passion For The Pen
by Tara Darazio
If you live in Pittsburgh, you know exactly what it means when someone asks if you've seen the duck. For three weeks, our beautiful river will be home to a 40 foot rubber duck, yes, you read that right, part of The Rubber Duck Project: “a series of sculptures that has floated along the world’s waterfronts, delighting onlookers in places like Amsterdam, Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paulo, and Hong Kong. Artist Florentijn Hofman views the Duck as a lovable global ambassador. “We are living on one planet,” he told WESA Pittsburgh, “and all the waters in the world become our global bathtub, so we are one family where we have to take care of each other in this bathtub of the rubber duck.” (Quoted from this article).
First view of the big yellow one
Of course my husband and I, being very kid-like ourselves, were pumped to see the duck. And it only helped that we have a two and a half-year old, that we knew would also love it! We went to The Point on Saturday, just one day after Mr. Duck’s debut, and although crowded, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought.
It was a PERFECT day. The sky was an awesome shade of blue, the air wasn't humid, and the mist from the fountain gave off just the right amount for a quick cool down. I knew I wanted to blog about this because I was fascinated at the LOVE that surrounded that duck.
A rubber duck to most people reminds them of childhood. It’s an iconic figure that made us laugh, and seeing a giant one, well that can just about do wonders.
Normally in a crowd of people, you find a lot of pushing, yelling, general annoyance, but I didn't see one ounce of that by the duck. People were overly happy, excited, joyous. I counted 10 people who asked someone if they wanted them to take a picture, and we had a lovely family man snap one for us, as well. People were kind, quick to move away so the next batch of folks could see, and I myself stopped in my tracks for about three minutes so I wouldn't ruin someone’s shot, and I saw dozens of others doing the same. RESPECT was floating all around that day. It felt like Christmas, when people seem to take life a little slower, relish in moments, help others, act the way we should all year. Duck-mas was in full effect.
My wonderful family
The duck brought everyone together. In our world of crazy, cool technology and everything 3-D, a giant duck that does nothing, shouldn't be that interesting, but that was quite the contrary. People drove from all over the place to come and see the duck. Why? Because they knew it would bring them happiness. We all want to smile, see our kids smile, heck, even see strangers smile, and the duck would do just that.
I loved seeing the faces of little kids as they got up close to the duck. I loved watching an elderly couple stroll along the walkway, even stopping to take a selfie with the duck in the background. I loved being a part of a historical moment in our City, spending the time with my family, a story to tell for ages to come.
So I urge you, if you are anywhere near Pittsburgh, take a trip down to our visitor. He won’t sing, he can’t dance, he doesn't light up, he won’t even notice you’re there, but you will smile, and sometimes smiling and laughing is just about as good as it gets.