The Big Duck of Long Island

| June 22, 2012 | 6 Comments

Our little dock on the Sound was near the ferry to Long Island. I had a particular roadside attraction on my list for this trip but it all depended on how we felt about making a day of going over to Long Island. The decision was made. The day was sunny and crisp. So, let’s get on a boat.

The boat ferries us over to Long Island and we hit the road. Our mission? The duck. Not just any duck, but THE duck.

The Big Duck is a building shaped likeĀ  – guess it, take extra time if you need to – a …. duck! Very good. You get a smiley face with a crown. Back in the day, the owners of this building sold Peking ducks and wanted a building that would attract attention and customers. Thus, they made the building in the shape of a duck. Clever, huh?

The building has been influential in architecture to the extent that any structure built in the shape of the product sold by the business is referred to as a “duck”. If the building of a hot dog restaurant is shaped like a hot dog, the building is called a “duck”. Over at Eccentric Roadside you’ll find a nicely detailed post about the duck with pictures of the inside. Unfortunately, the gift shop was closed on our visit. Don’t they know we live for the gift shop? Just ducky.

You know how I was telling you last year about the crazy people who find me? It’s like they think I’m from their planet. I have some interplanetary aura, like I can get in touch with the Big Brain on planet Wackaloonacosis and let it know they’re futtin’ tired of being on Earth and they need a major vacay, like now. As if I have some communication device capable of traversing light years of space.

Well, we’re drivin’ to the duck and along the road is this woman, walking briskly, talking to herself and gesticulating wildly. You’ve seen people like this, yes? It’s as if they’re talking to an invisible being and always very engaged in an intense conversation. This woman was no different. We get to the duck and wouldn’t you know, she stops at the duck because people are there and she’s an alien who needs to understand the natives. I must say, she was dressed very nattily, but this is the Hamptons, after all. I guess if the Big Brain is gonna drop you on Earth, and specifically the Hamptons, you need to dress like the indigenous peoples.

At one point, she takes off her hat, puts it on the ground then proceeds to dance around it like she’s doing some ritualistic duck dance, complete with quacking. She quacked! For real. I know. I was taking pictures of the duck and she’s all, “Take my picture with the puffin!” I said, “It’s a duck!” She said, “No, it’s a puffin! Spanky told me it’s a puffin!” I ask, “Who’s Spanky?” She gave me this look like I wasn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the box. I mean, everybody knows Spanky.

She poked her head out a little and then emerged and said, “I can fly! Look at me. I can fly!”

Then she walked away in this exact position announcing to the world how she could fly like a puffin. Whoo boy was she a nutter.

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Category: Architecture, New York, RoadsideAttraction

Comments (6)

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  1. Deborah says:

    It does (sorta) look like a puffin. More like a duck, yes…but somewhat like a puffin. And I’m not quite sure why I”m fixating on “The Witches of Eastwick” where the Jack Nicholson character approaches the Cher character whilst she is riding her bike along a rural road. The “puffin” bird lady looks a bit like Jack in a hat. Maybe?

  2. Profile photo of eb says:

    LOL!! I like that… Jack in the Hat.

  3. Gunnar says:

    We had a nice chat with Spanky when we were at the Duck/Puffin and s/he send you warmest regards…

  4. e says:

    And we think that *we* are everywhere… *They* are everywhere and they have your coordinates! Fly home to Spanky, now and leave the nice women alone.

    It looks like a duck. It looks nothin like a puffin. Sheesh!

  5. Crystal says:

    Oh man. I totally should have taken you to see Lucy when you were here. (I’ve never even been to see Lucy!)

    http://www.lucytheelephant.org/?presets=preset5

  6. Profile photo of eb says:

    Actually, I have been to Lucy but it’s been many years. We lived in Northfield, NJ when I was in first – fifth grade. I went on a school trip to see Lucy once and my parents took me there a couple times. This was before they did the restoration. But I’d love to see her again.

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