I saw most of the Christmas extravaganza's usual trimmings and trappings from Portland's most cherished Christmas tradition—from Santa's ruby-upholstered throne to those charmingly creepy mechanical elves—but the monorail, that boxy train that I'd rode as a two-year-old, was gone.
Well, the search is over, because one monorail car is on display in the Pioneer Place Management Office.
Let me repeat that: the Pioneer Place Management Office.
This is not a place you're likely to go—unless, like me, you really love that Monorail.
You may be thinking, "What's the big deal? It's a train for kids! Calm the fuck down!"
If you're thinking that, you probably didn't grow up loving the monorail. When I was a kid, getting on that train and riding it in a circle around the ceiling of Santaland felt like the craziest, most exhilarating thing in the world. And while it was disheartening when Meier & Frank became Macy's and moved the monorail to the basement, at least Macy's had the good sense to leave the monorail open so anyone could sit on it. I'd been too tall to ride it for years, so the new setup was arguably an improvement.
Sadly, this year Pioneer Place could not be bothered to situate the monorail at an attractive location. Say, next to the fountain of coins? Or maybe the spot where kids sit on Santa's lap? Or hang it from the center of an atrium and build a light and music show around it?
Instead, they've hidden it away, displayed with a sign that reads, "Please do not sit on me."
I don't want to put too fine a point on it, but I've go to say: What. The. Fuck.
"Please don't sit on me?"
As if the monorail could talk?
I've got news for the Portland Business Alliance, which apparently owns this particular monorail car: If the monorail was an anthropomorphized train like the talking choo choos in Thomas the Tank Engine, it would be begging people to sit on it. That's what it was made for. Who cares if it gets battered or broken? Its paint is already wearing off and it has what looks suspiciously like a vomit stain.
So, Pioneer Place and the Portland Business Alliance, why don't you move the monorail car out of that office and let a couple goddamn kids sit on it?