PDX airport carpetWith installation of the new airport carpet taking place throughout the month of January, it’s time for last minute goodbyes.

Though frayed, stained, and patched in places, the old Portland airport carpet holds a special place in the hearts of many Oregonians.

As carpet craze gripped loyal Portlanders, products boasting the iconic design popped up everywhere from Etsy to Made in Oregon. From socks and t-shirts to mugs and notebooks, if you can imagine it, someone’s probably selling it.

After all, not many carpets can boast ballads in their honor. When news first arrived of the carpet’s impending replacement, Portland Monthly published “Ode on a Carpet” inspired by T. S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men.” Read the entire piece below.

PDX airport carpet old and new designsAnd Portland Airport spokesman Steve Johnson recently deciphered the carpet’s pattern in this video. The iconic lines and dashes are more than mere flair. The design symbolizes the lights seen from the airport’s air-traffic controllers.

Still don’t believe the hype? Check out the #pdxcarpet shots exploding over Twitter and Instagram. Post your own carpet snapshots to our Facebook page for a chance to be featured online.

In the meantime, the finest farewell remains Portland Monthly’s “Ode on a Carpet”:

We are the rain-drenched,

We are the fugitives and refugees,

Running together

Luggage filled with . . . bacon maple bars? Alas!

Our pounding shoes, when

We hurry together,

Are scattered to A, B, C, D, E

Homesick feet over homespun rug

In our sky portal

Those who have crossed

With direct flights, to death’s other Concourse

Remember it—if at all—not as ugly

Dirty brown, but only

As the hearth rug

The city’s doormat

This is the terminal land

This is the cloud land

Here the airplanes

Ascend, here they land

Turkish not in make but nobility

The twinkle of a fading carpet

At the hour when we are

Trembling with excitement

To board in Zone 3

Leaving behind that rug forever

This is the way the carpet ends

This is the way the carpet ends

This is the way the carpet ends

Not with a cleaning but a replacing.

When not writing, Sierra can be found conducting experiments in the chemistry lab or whipping up delectable creations in her kitchen. With a passion for storytelling, Sierra puts her natural curiosity to use investigating enlightening angles for news and events here at The Oregon Optimist.