Why Do People Have Such Strong Feelings for the Portland Airport’s Carpet? – Facts So Romantic

A typical view of the Portland airport’s old carpet on social mediaMichael Morgan via Flickr

“Take a pic of your feet on the carpet,” texted my sister. I had just landed in Portland, Oregon, to visit my siblings, and was walking to the airport exit. Autocorrect must have made a mistake, I thought. Yet I was a little curious. I glanced at the turquoise-blue low pile beneath my feet: dated and tawdry. Basically forgettable. But then she texted an explanation of sorts: “[There’s a] cult following for our carpet that’s being torn up.” 

She wasn’t exaggerating. In the wake of an announcement that the 27-year-old carpet would be replaced starting January 23, 2015, people began to express a surprising connection to this humble, beat-up floor covering. There are carpet-inspired t-shirts, shoes and socks. Some enthusiasts are preordering tiles of it to install in their homes. Selfies with carpet are posted regularly using the hashtag #pdxcarpet (“PDX” being the three-letter code for Portland’s airport), and it has a Facebook page. Some people even had the broadloom’s abstract shapes—symbolizing a control tower and runways—tattooed on their bodies.

This is the #PDXCarpet to end all.…

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