Pink and Orange Plastic Rain

photo of pink and orange plastic strips suspended from ceiling
Pink and Orange Rain

Really, pink and orange plastic rain was falling from the ceiling, as you can see. At the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the main lobby area is filled marble floor to rotunda ceiling—it was once the Allegheny City Post Office and is built on a grand Victorian scale—with pink and orange plastic rain, a welcome feast for the eyes on a gray winter day and providing a great contrast with the Corinthian columns and neo-classic ceiling.

But the plastic rain also reminds me in a rather obtuse way of an assignment in a linguistics class I took in college. A paragraph was written in phonetic pronounciation, and we had to translate it back to regular English. The paragraph was from a review of an art exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art which featured “strips ov plas’tik rayn”, though I think they were blue in the paragraph. I don’t know why I remember that assignment, or why fragments of memory float around and some stay and some fade or come back later, but three decades have passed since that assignment, and on a meeting with a customer whose office is at the Children’s Museum I am reminded of it when I see the plastic rain.


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