Two days ago, a six-story rubber duck sailed into the Port of Los Angeles, cruising by battleships, container cranes, and cheering spectators. Ever punctual, the duck arrived in time for the triennial Tall Ships Festival LA.
Designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, the duck stands 61 feet tall, 110 feet long and 85 feet wide, a mighty duck indeed, in fact the largest rubber one in world. Debuted in 2007, the duck and its doppelgängers have bobbed around the globe. Each harbor builds its own bird; sadly Taiwan’s burst. According to the artist, the ducks come in peace. “The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers,” Hofman writes on his website. “It doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial [worldly] tensions as well as define them.”
As the first of its kind on the West Coast, the Rubber Duck is docked in L.A. until Sunday. Shucks. I came this close to spending the weekend in the City of Angels. If I hadn’t balked, I would have donned these cardinal-colored duck boots and taken a gander at the big bird.