I’m sure you won’t believe me, but I actually don’t know how I ended up in a taxi with six Marines zooming across Rome in the middle of the night. I was visiting a friend in college, and she met up with some other friends, and then we were heading somewhere else after the bars had closed their doors for the night. It just happened.
The taxi zoomed to a stop, just near the banks of the Tiber River. We unloaded, unsteadily, and moved as a pack across a bridge. It was beautiful (as you’d expect), the city lights reflecting off the surface of the water, and we all took it in as we crossed. A few of our friends in uniform had been drinking (perhaps a little too much?) and one of them slurred through a story — just a week before, he’d jumped into the Tiber, cowboy boots and all, while running from the police. As he’d sailed off a low bridge and into the polluted water below, he’d screamed, “I have diplomatic immunity!” and I guess that was the end of the chase.
Not the best image of Americans abroad, but sometimes taking in a city’s main waterway makes you feel invincible. The Eastbank Esplanade, which hugs the Willamette river on the east side of downtown Portland, is a really fun thoroughfare to walk, bike or take in the city skyline we hold so dear. Just don’t go about flaunting your diplomatic immunity.
The Eastbank Esplanade stretches along the east side of the Willamette river downtown Portland, starting near the Steel Bridge and heading south. It’s a splendid spot to bike, walk and take in the city skyline.