If you haven’t heard of the PDX carpet phenomena, then look it up. The carpet has become infamous: inspiring tattoos, t-shirts, Deschutes PDX carpet beer, and more instagram photos than one can count. This phenomenon mostly began when it was announced to the public that the carpet would be replaced. Immediately, Oregonians and others visiting the airport banned together and flooded social media with photo after photo of the carpet.
And yes, we really do love our carpet, but what we love more than our carpet is our community. The carpet has seen a number of hellos, goodbyes and memories. This movement, however, was more than just an effort to show the love of aged, retro carpet; the movement showed the communitarian spirit of Oregonians. Portland is a quirky city and most people know this. Hell, our motto is “Keep Portland Weird” because that’s exactly what the city is: weird. But who said that weird is a bad thing, anyways?
Portlanders celebrating their love of the carpet are the same as everything else we celebrate; it’s about more than just the carpet. It’s about celebrating how unique the city is, and more importantly, how much we love our uniqueness. It may be the city of roses, but our roses march to the beat of their own drum. And how could you not love that beat when we have so many unique claims:
- We have the International Rose Test Garden. The garden has 10,000 varieties of roses, how many varieties of roses does your city have?
- We have the world’s smallest park. It’s called Mill Ends Park and trust me, it’s small.
- We have the world’s only nonprofit pub. Where else in the world can you drink beer and support charity? Nowhere!
- We host the annual World Naked Bike Ride. Last year the ride had roughly 8,000 people participate in it.
- We have enough food carts to feed the world, or at least everyone in Portland.
- We have Powell’s books — the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world.
- We’re crazy enough to have our own TV show.
The citizens of Portland are proud of who they are and the city they live in. Proud enough to love everything down to the carpet they walk on. Can you say the same for your city?