I Love the Ballet! Now What?? It’s probably expensive!

But being at Lincoln Center brought up a nice memory from my twenties. My friend Shelley had told me that from time to time she put dish washing liquid in public fountains. A simple, tried and true prank that I couldn’t wait to do myself. The first time I did it was at the fountain at Lincoln Center. I was SO scared. I used the Shelley method, which was to buy a bunch of liquid detergent, empty it into a plastic bag, then while sitting at the fountain, poke a hole in the bag and let it slowly drain into the fountain.

I did this one afternoon, trembling the whole time. After a few minutes the bubbles started growing and growing, mountains of bubbles. Guards from Lincoln Center came out, discussing what to do about it, and I’m still sitting there with the bag, empty now, still shaking and trying not to look guilty, but loving the bubbles which were growing up and over the fountain. It was the middle of the afternoon and there were a ton of people around, who started reaching into the fountain, playing with the bubbles, throwing handfuls at each other, and I just got happier and happier, the whole thing was just so much fun, and everyone was enjoying it, even the guards who were still discussing what to do.

For the next few years, whenever I needed a lift, I’d pour some sort of bubble making substance into a fountain.

(The picture below is the fountain at Lincoln Center. A perfectly designed bubble-churning device is how I see it now. After doing this for a while you learn which fountains will work better.)

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

2 thoughts on “I Love the Ballet! Now What?? It’s probably expensive!

  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome idea!!!!!!!!!!

    On this dreary, rainy day (at least here in Boston), it makes me happier just thinking about bubbling fountains.


  2. I should have done it on Friday! I had a terrible day (turned down for w key interview), but I’m feeling better now.

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