Northpark's Duck Tales

Friday, February 28, 2014

Northpark Mall...its got everything: small marine animals, an artful interior landscape, women with fancy baggage, Neimans.  It was built in 1965 by art patron Raymond Nasher – the same dude behind the Nasher Scultpure Center.  On weekdays you'll find a decent size crowd of kids and mommies hanging out by the faux pond that's stocked with ducks and turtles.

I've always thought it was a little bit tacky, but I am nonetheless very happy it's an acceptable practice.  Dallas parents know what I'm referring to – 

You see, we have this habit of allowing our youngins to ascend, mount, or otherwise climb that large flowerpot statue thing that's situated in front of Neiman's:

said large flowerpot statue thing-
see her shoes back there?    

Yep; that's right.  We'll even go so far as to let the kids to take off their shoes and socks (everyone knows that bare, moist feet increase traction).  Eiseman Jewels shoppers have a lovely view of these shenanigans while they're buying Rolexes.  

I'm not sure when we began allowing this, but I remember climbing up that large flowerpot statue thing circa 1995*.  If I had to guess, I'd say that it probably began on an August afternoon in the early to mid-80s: 

There was a mother who felt guilty about not taking little Sandra to the park (the large hairdo of an 80s mom frizzes somethin' awful in 105˚ heat).  The pair are walking out of Neiman Marcus, heading for the benches next to the faux pond:

little Sandra: 'I can't believe you won't take me to the park.  You PROMISED!'

80s mom: 'Well it's not my fault that we're havin' another hundred degree day.  Let's watch the ducks for a while before we head over to Orange Julius.'    

80s mom sits on a bench and looks down to search her fanny pack for a scrunchy.  Sandra – exasperated, bored, and full of energy – eyes the large flowerpot statue thing.  She decides to goes for it.  

15 seconds roll by.  80s mom gives up trying to locate a stray  scrunchy. 

80s mom raises her voice: 'Sandra, just what do you think you're doing?  That is totally inappropriate.'

An unfazed little Sandra ignores her 80s mommy and continues climbing up and sliding down the large flowerpot statue thing.  

80s mom: 'If you don't stop that this minute...I won't buy you that Wham! record.'

Another child has joined in at this point.

the ducks don't seem to mind these shenanigans –
they've been tranquilly tolerating our kids
pelting them with pennies for decades

We Dallas parents know that this practice is tacky, but we're still glad that the 80s mom decided that frizzy hair would be tackier (hair is very important in Dallas).  

80s mom, if you're reading this, know that we Dallas parents salute you.  You're a true pioneer in the continuing effort to find stuff for the kids to do during Texas summers.  

* Okay...I climbed it again two weeks ago.  But I resisted the temptation to remove my shoes and socks.  Gotta have standards.

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