Hot! Big Red Ball




There’s a big red ball in Scottsdale. It’s been floating around the city as part of a mobile public arts project. Kind of like the Gates in Central Park, or wrapping an island in pink cellophane, the Red Ball Project is an 8-foot inflatable red ball wedged into modern structures around town. It’s supposed to get us to look at the architecture of the city in new ways.

I was kind of excited about it. In a strange way it reminded me of The Red Balloon, a photography storybook I had as a kid where a red balloon follows a boy through the streets of Paris. And for the first week, the Red Ball eluded me much the same way it eluded Pascal. It was supposed to be at the Orange Table, a favorite lunch spot of mine. But when I got there, I found out I was a day early. Yesterday, we knew it would be at Pinnacle Peak, so we planned a climbing day around it. As we drove up, it teased us with flashes of red behind the cars and palo verdes.

We parked, and walked up to the trailhead ramada where the ball was stuffed under the roof. I was a little underwhelmed by the choice of placement. It seemed much smaller than I thought, but we still had fun taking pictures before hiking up the trail to start our climbing day. From our routes on the peak we could look down on the ball, now just a small red dot. They deflated it before we finished our day, and we watched it melt to the ground, then disappear.

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  1. You write very well.