Rubber ducky you’re the one, and now the city of Pittsburgh is the one that he has chosen to grace with his bright yellow and friendly presence. It is no secret that the children of world are awfully fond of you, and apparently adults are too. The four-story rubber duck is spreading joy around the world, and luckily for Pittsburgher’s he chose our great cities’ confluence of three rivers to dock at. He joyfully made a splash when he arrived in late September and our fine feathered friend will be remaining until October 20 when the Steelers play the Ravens at Heinz Field. This is the rubber duck’s first U.S. appearance and he was a sight to see as he floated down the Ohio River en route to the tip of the “Golden” triangle at the historical Point State Park, once the site of the French and Indian War.
The rubber duck has migrated to Pennsylvania and is happily docked at the heart of the Allegheny, Ohio, Monongahela rivers, and is admired by spectators that can view him from many positions around the city. The famous Grandview Avenue, located in Mount Washington is ranked the second most beautiful view in America by USA Weekend Magazine, allows for an eagle eye position over the city of Pittsburgh and Point State Park, and it is located in the heart of “Restaurant Row” The laid-back and off the beaten path residential area gives easy access to the upper station of the Duquesne Incline. Whether from the air or by bridge or boat, you can’t miss the designated 20-foot area surrounded by yellow buoys, cameras and no-trespassing signs that give our 14,000 pound feathered visitor 24-hour protection while allowing for spectacular views of the duck from just about every point located around the downtown area’s of the city.
The city of Pittsburgh has had its share of catastrophes over the years, so the surprise visit of the famous rubber duck brings a breath of fresh air to the “Steel City”. Pittsburgh is many things to many people, but it is well known as the “City of Champions” and it has had its share of good things, namely the Pirates heading into post season with the rubber duck proudly honoring the event by donning a Pirate’s baseball cap. Celebrations are not something new to Pittsburgh, and with celebrations comes joy. For this reason alone it is not hard to understand why the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust happily paid artist Florentijn Hofman to bring his “Rubber Duck Project” to the great city of Pittsburgh.
The trust will be in control of funds established from the sales from merchandise that are directly promoted by the project. Local hotels and restaurants will offer visitors “quackages” and all of the downtown stores are marked with rubber ducky decals so that everyone can purchase a piece of history. The proceeds from the sales of all items will go into promoting and developing the beautiful and historical Cultural District of Pittsburgh. T-shirts, commemorative ducks, magnets, stickers and hats are all available at: http://www.pifof.org/merch/
The “Rubber Duck Project”, also dubbed the “Duckie Dynasty” has its own unique duck that the city builds on spec by plans made by the duck’s Dutch creator, Florentijn Hofman. Built up from pontoon boats and then inflated, the rubber duck has floated into Hong Kong, Sydney, Australia, Auckland, New Zealand, Sao Paulo, Brazil and many other various locations. No matter the location, in each city the people feel that the duck brings with him the sense of peace, tranquility and a childlike joy as he spreads happiness around the world in even the most turbulent of times and places. The bright yellow floating sculpture never discriminates, has no political affiliations, and is in fact said to possess healing properties and he has a way of relieving tension just from a glance. His big, black button eyes appear to be smiling back at you and his soft and friendly demeanor is a welcome site to all ages.
First Person: Sherri Granato lives in the Pittsburgh area and has had many unique and fascinating experiences from tasting exceptional food to enjoying a vast array of sports, art, history and culture, and I know without a doubt that if you are open to explore the many diverse neighborhoods located throughout the city, you will discover things that you never knew you never knew. Perhaps this is what made Pittsburgh the perfect location to house the rubber duck for nearly a month. Whatever the reason, I was happy to see his big orange bill smiling at me from across the West End Bridge. The scene was positively exhilarating as hundreds of spectators were scattered all along the steps at Point State Park with cameras, snapping away at one of the most friendly sights these eyes have seen in a long time. I almost felt the need to go and grab a big box of Mr. Bubble and get cozy right there next to that bright yellow ray of sunshine floating around with not one care in the world.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Location from September 27 thru October 20, 2013: The best access to the rubber duck is located at: Point State Park, 101 Commonwealth Place, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15222.