Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Durham's got cojones

On Saturday, a friend and I attended the "Durham Rising" event, a celebration that marked the end of a long downtown revitalization project involving realigned streets, brick sidewalks and public squares, new trees and decorative streetlamps, and a general hope that downtown Durham is on its way to becoming hip and vital.

As part of the festival, the city officially unveiled an enormous bronze sculpture of a bull, our city's mascot (we're the Bull City, home of the Durham Bulls, etc.).

"What a handsome bull," I thought, filled with beer garden-induced civic pride. And then the man in the blue shirt stepped aside, revealing the bull's bullish attributes.

Sure, I know it's totally juvenile to note just how anatomically correct our bull is, but how could you not? I wasn't the only one noting, believe me. There were plenty of snickers and shy pointing.

But when I got done having a chuckle, I couldn't help but feel warmly toward my oft-maligned city. In a region where public art is derided as a waste of money, and anything more risky than a bronze acorn draws outraged criticism (heh hem, like Raleigh's snub of renowned Spanish sculptor Plensa), it took, well, balls to embrace this sculpture as the city's icon. And if there was ever a city that thought of itself as ballsy, it's New York, and even its famed Wall Street bull can't compare.


Anonymous said...

I learn so much every time I visit this site....I always wondered how one spells "cojones!" Thank you! I'm not kidding when I say that a hole in my vocabulary has been filled.

Well, most public bronze statues have some shiny spot on them (like the bronze pig's snout in Seattle's Public Market), the result of people rubbing that particular spot for "good luck." Might I suggest that we start the habit of rubbing the Durham Bull's cojones for good luck???

Anonymous said...

It looks like the Durham Bull's 'cojones' are already shiny... Perhaps they were polished up prior to the sculpture's installation!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, that Wall Street bull is all smooth and shiny and is clearly the marketing version of a bull. The Durham bull looks like he could actually inseminate someone.

P.S. I knew how to spell cojones, but I had to look up inseminate to make sure I got it right. We all get something from HTT!

Anonymous said...

Good for Durham!! A handsome (and virile-looking specimen!) Not all cities have guts. Perhaps your readers would be amused to know that Sarasota FL once had a replica of the famous "David" statue, which was on the grounds of the beautiful Ringling Museum of Art, as its city logo, including on the sides of police cars. But suddenly a moral minority felt the sight of a naked penis and "cojones" was way too offensive, and the logo was removed from city cars, stationary, etc. And Sarasota bills itself as The Cultural Coast!!!!

Rodrigo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This just reminds me of a silly joke.

"Balls" said the Queen, "If I had them I'd be King".

"Not true," said the Prince.