Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Things I like: Passionate lovers of PDX Carpet

(Things I like: A new series in which Craig opines on random things he likes. For instance, I like referring to myself in the third person, apparently.)

Today: People who have a passion for the Portland Airport carpet.

I've never been to Portland, although I very much hope to go there at some point in my life. I feel like it's a place that I'd fit in swimmingly, despite my being clean shaven and unable to either ride a unicycle or play the ukulele. I enjoy VooDoo doughnuts, indie music, and food trucks so that would probably be enough. Plus I have a deep and abiding love of NBA Basketball, and that's the only sport going in Portland, so I think I'd fit in.

I just discovered that Portland International Airport (known as PDX to the cool kids) has a beloved carpet. A carpet that is currently in its last days as it is being replaced since it is over 20 years old. While the carpet design is rather distinctive, one might be tempted to call it garish or maybe even ugly. Here is a picture of what it looks like...

Kinda ugly, right? However, a virtual cottage industry has grown up around this carpet design. Apparently Portland natives are awash in nostalgia about it. They say that seeing this design makes them feel like they are home, and who doesn't like being home?

If you Google PDX Carpet, you'll find socks, iPhone cases, posters, mugs, blankets, t-shirts, craft beers, pillows, totes, scarves, and all sorts of other items adorned with this distinctive pattern. Portlanders love their teal airport carpet. The hashtag #PDXCarpet will uncover all sorts of foot selfies and assorted pictures of the carpet getting love across the social media spectrum. It really is a phenomenon...although a phenomenon that is rapidly coming to an end...

Recently the airport authority announced that the carpet would be replaced in 2015. There are 14 acres of carpet to replace through the airport, so it'll take awhile, but by Thanksgiving of this year, the old beloved carpet will be gone and replaced with this...

Now, at the risk of being ostracized by the Portland community...this is a more attractive carpet. I'm sure that it will be universally panned for the cardinal sin of not being the distinctive carpet people have come to love over the past 20 years. Even though I think this is a better carpet, it makes me sad that they are replacing the old carpet simply because there are so many people who have created the PDX Carpet phenomenon, and since it's rare for any carpet design to develop a passionate following, I am sorry on behalf of those people losing the thing they love. I mean, there are people who have gotten PDX Carpet tattoos for crying out loud. It's nuts. And while this is a nice replacement, I doubt too many people are going to be taking foot selfies on this new least until another 20 years have passed and this carpet picks up it's own following...which MIGHT happen, right? (Okay, it's totally not happening.)

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