SW Portland smells a bit like ash right now because there was a big fire on the roof deck of the Riverplace office and condo building down at the south end of Waterfront Park.

Eight fire trucks and their crews put out the blaze so quickly that, by the time I showed up, the whole thing was over and people were just standing around talking and enjoying the sunshine.

But what I learned is that firefighters look iconic doing anything. Seriously, all they were doing were tasks like unloading bottled water and moving boxes but it looked like the set from an action movie about American heroes. The conclusion here is that the Portland Fire Bureau should cover some of its costs by renting out firefighters to AmericanizeTM events. Like tomorrow, it's the 25th anniversary of the MAX. Wouldn't a celebration of public transit seem a bit less socialist if there were burly firefighters wandering around carrying things?


Iconically squinting at the sun.
Iconically hauling wood.
  • Iconically hauling wood.