The Peabody Lobby
It turns out that in 1933, the general manager went duck hunting with decoy ducks. After a day of drinking, he brought the ducks back, put them in the fountain, and fell asleep. Upon rising he recalled the error of his way. He ran to the lobby expecting the ducks to have destroyed the place. Instead he found that all the guests loved the live ducks in the fountain. Ducks became a mainstay. But these are no ordinary ducks. These ducks live on the roof. Every day at 11am they take the elevator down to the lobby, and walk the red carpet to the fountain. At 5pm they return home.
Waiting for the Ducks
I wanted to see these ducks. The hotel staff suggested I get to the lobby an hour early to beat the crowds that form to watch the duck parade. The place fills up quick and some spots are designated for children—the typical population enticed by ducks. Loving the lobby, I was happy to sit, write in my journal, sip tea, and listen to the piano. Eager and early, I got the best seat I could. It gave me a clear view of the last four feet of red carpet, the stairs up to the fountain, and the fountain. The crowd filled in as the minutes ticked by. Thirty minutes before the main event, the hotel duck master—a man in a red jacket with a duck cane—laid the red carpet and began explaining the history of the duck parade.