Why Thousands of Selfies Feature This Carpet

Portland airport's floor covering is a celebrity in its own right
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2015 2:43 PM CST
Why Thousands of Selfies Feature This Carpet
Holiday traveler Justin Lough, 4, carries his luggage through Portland International Airport as he and his family start their holiday Monday, Nov. 19, 2007, in Portland, Ore.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Today, Portland, Oregon is parting ways with a beloved friend: a rather unattractive carpet in the city's international airport. The turquoise floor covering with odd geometric designs was originally installed in 1987, when its look was perhaps a bit more in style; yesterday, workers began removing it, KGW.com reports. During the intervening decades, it has become deeply worn—and also, recently, extremely popular. It has become an Internet meme, featuring in some 29,000 public Instagram photos since January 2012, vocativ reports; that figure doesn't even count Facebook and Twitter posts.

The carpet has become a symbol for an eccentric city, vocativ notes. Its influence has reached well beyond the Internet. There are carpet-inspired bags, posters, and much more at the PDX Carpet Store; Rogue Brewery, based in the state, recently launched a PDX Carpet IPA, KGW notes. Though the well-used carpet is being removed throughout the year, it's being replaced with a fairly similar design. The original design is based on the airport's layout as viewed from a traffic control tower; the new one gets its look from architecture at the airport. (More Portland, Oregon stories.)

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