Nothing seems normal in Portland. Well, almost nothing. In these trying times, one beacon of stability has returned.
The spinning Franz bread loaf is back.
In a moment of serendipity, the day after Gov. Kate Brown ordered Oregonians homeward, Franz Bakery's iconic, glow-in-the-dark, rotating bread loaf returned to the roof of the company's Northeast Portland factory on March 24.
The loaf has been missing since 2018. It was getting a cleaning and a new lighting system, and its return was timed to Franz Bakery's 114th anniversary celebration. FOX 12 first noticed the renewed loaf.
Franz Bakery representative Jessica Larson confirmed that the acrylic loaf, once dim and grimy, had been upgraded with an LED system, replacing the previous fluorescent lamps. The upgrades and deep cleaning are only the second since its original installation in 1956: The loaf's original skin sustained wind damage in 1980. Larson said the loaf's immense size—roughly 8 feet high and wide, and 18 feet long—kept crews compliant with social distancing guidelines.
You could gather beneath the loaf, letting its spin remind you that we are all in a cycle of eternal return—everything dies, baby, that's a fact, but maybe everything that dies someday comes back.
But please don't. Don't turn the Franz loaf into the next agave plant. Don't ruin something else with your body.
Instead, enjoy this GIF of the loaf, created by Portland entrepreneur and passerby Cabel Sasser.
Think of it like a Yule log, but for a summer spent stuck with your family. Don't panic. Don't yell at your horrible children. Watch the loaf.