Florentijn Hofman's Giant Rubber Duck

If you live in town, you already know all about this but, if not, guess what?! Florentijn Hofman's giant rubber duck is in Pittsburgh! He set sail from the Roberto Clemente Bridge last Friday, kicking off the International Festival of Firsts. After bobbing briefly down the Allegheny, he landed at Point State Park, where he'll remain moored through October. A thing I'm learning about Pittsburgh is that almost everyone has a two year old, so you can imagine the kind of reception this installation has received. Last sunday, hoping to spy him from afar--and with a mind to avoid downtown parking--we headed up Mount Washington, my new, second-favorite spot in town.

We got some great views of the city; I don't think I'll ever get tired of looking out on Pittsburgh! Luckily, we are also able to catch our first glimpses of the ducky himself. He looked like a toy from so far away!

That's like, five times as crowded as I've ever seen Point State Park (though I've never seen it on the fourth of july). It was still bustling when we went to see the you-know-what in person, earlier this morning. 

I really can't say enough about Point State Park--it's perfect! So grand, so dynamic, so perfect for picnicking. Its sweeping lawns and little wooded areas are perfect for Felix to run about in, and of course, there's that fountain! But what he loves most of all is to play cars along the long stone stairs that face the river. And let's not forget, the duck certainly didn't disappoint! He's just so jolly, after all. 

It's hard to show how big he is in person, so its easier to tell you that he's 40 feet tall--smaller than usual, in fact; the design had to be modified so he could fit under the bridges. He's been all over the world, you know! Sydney, Hong Kong, Amsterdam... read about him in Wired, even! Along with the people, there were a bunch of ducks and geese gathered all around, too, which made me smile. It was like a spin on Ten Little Rubber Ducks, the based-on-a-true story by Eric Carle, which I checked out from the library last week in order to generate some buzz, as it were, before the main attraction. It's a really sweet story, and I highly recommend it--Felix loves the surprise at the end, and I love Carle's bird illustraions, always. 

photos by me (and chase); collage illustrations by eric carle

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