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Visiting the Giant Duck (Read 4037 times)
Visiting the Giant Duck    posted on Nov 25th, 2013, 6:48am

By Alena Loiselle, Guest Blogger
(Pittsburgh, PA) -- You have to hand it to Florentijn Hofman, the guy sure can turn heads with his artwork. In 2007 he created a huge “rubber” ducky, which has been touring the world ever since. Although there is a different duck made for each city, the feeling is still the same. One is awed by the sheer size and joy of the sculpture upon approaching it.  
We as Pittsburghers were thrilled to find out that our city was to be the first new world bathtub in which the duck would bob.  Although ours sculpture was made a little shorter than its brothers and sisters to accommodate all the bridges he had to float under, at 40 feet tall that’s one big duck. Hundreds of fans lined the shores and bridges to see it arrive, and over a million people had flocked to Point State Park to gawk at its yellow awesomeness. The traffic making the initial southern downtown approach, made all the more striking by the city being revealed all at once by exiting the Fort Pitt Tunnel, was brought to a standstill on some  days by what we coined “rubber-duck-neckers” These were people who tried to drive across the Fort Pitt bridge and catch a glimpse of the duck on the river below.  
Our personal visit with the duck was not unlike Woodstock, or perhaps a papal visit. We watched as hundreds of people, many speaking different languages, made the pilgrimage from downtown to the river to see the big fellow. The first glimpse of his big, friendly eye peeping through the trees made us laugh out loud. Holy crap, there really is a huge duck on the Allegheny River! It was one of those times where when one total stranger bumped absent-mindedly into another, instead of looking mildly irritated they just smiled and went on their way.  
We spent some time photographing and staring at the artwork, then stood in line for merchandise (sold out) before trudging back to the car. Even though we knew we could see it a second time, something told us we were not going to be able to get back downtown to do that.  
The channel four news camera, which is mounted atop Mt. Washington, gives us a beautiful view of the city each morning as we enjoy our first cup of coffee and catch the news. The addition of that duck on the river made things so special for those three weeks. How we wished, child-like, that we could have kept it here forever. But as children we are taught to share, and as adults we knew to let it go, so the rest of the world could in turn have their own symbol of happiness and joy for a little while.  
Re: Visiting the Giant Duck    posted on Nov 29th, 2013, 7:29pm
Posting a comment here so that this would be bumped back up to the top.  Smiley
Re: Visiting the Giant Duck    posted on Nov 30th, 2013, 2:44pm
So.Jealous. When I heard it was coming from Hong Kong to the USA (location TBD) I was so hopeful they would pick Seattle...oh well  cry
I didn't realize it was a new one in each city.
You guys are such lucky ducks!
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