About the duck
Just what is so captivating about a 40-foot-tall rubber duck? I lived in Hong Kong when it made an appearance there in the spring, so I get asked all the time.
When I moved back to the Pittsburgh area earlier this summer, it was surreal to see that the duck would be making its U.S. debut here.
Just a few months ago, I stood at the Star Ferry Pier among a crowd of size I'd never seen, all clamoring for a chance to snap a picture of a giant rubber duck. I found myself there after the South China Morning Post front page read “bath time,” displaying a large and charming duck I remember from my childhood bathing habits — a sentiment hundreds of thousands of fellow visitors shared during its time there.
It's a strange thing, that duck. Often the first reaction is to laugh, to sneer, to have a certain disbelief that a giant rubber duck is actually going to sit in the Allegheny and so on, yet everyone attends.
Countless crowds gathered in Hong Kong to see this megalith, this personification of childhood memories or the current indulgences of their children.
As I walked around the pier, I saw vendors selling souvenirs, professional photographers making sure a young couple's photo with the duck is worthy of framing, people of all ages marveling.
The Dutch artist's creation is brilliant, silly, tawdry, unusual, a metaphor for this, a scathing criticism of that, inspiration for countless jokes from the 96.1 KISS “Morning Freak Show,” and a delight to children.
So the answer to the question is simple: The giant rubber duck, this bastion of opaque yellow dye, is all things to all people.
East Washington, Pa.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.