To the airport in Portland, Ore., we say: How do we love thy carpet? Let us count the many, many ways.
To all fliers hanging out at airports, we say "Quick, look down!" I must have missed the memo that addresses what travel website Jaunted is calling the "shockingly popular" trend of people taking pictures of #airportcarpet -- often with their feet included -- and posting on Instagram.
More than 880 carpet photos (and counting) have been shared on Instagram, ranging from Seattle Tacoma International Airport's (SEA) nautical blue waves on a rich green background to realistic pictures of rocks at Wellington International Airport in New Zealand.
Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport's (PHX) swirling circles inset with airplanes also has fans (Instragam tag @phxcarpet). The few of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) shades show rather unmemorable swirls and geometric patterns in muted colors.
The most ridiculously loved airport carpet has to be Portland, Ore., where keeping the city weird is a daily goal. Portland International Airport's (PDX) floor coverings laid down in 1987 feature a teal (or maybe sea foam?) background with intersecting pink, purple and red squares in geometric lines.
"We've been pleasantly surprised by the attention and adoration given to our carpet," airport spokeswoman Kama Simonds said Thursday, noting one woman has had the pattern tattooed on her body. The carpets have a Facebook page, several Twitter accounts, and the Instagram hashtag #pdxcarpet -- none of them run by the airport.
Portland Monthly last year even penned and posted "Ode on a Carpet," by T.S.A. Eliot.
But eventually airport carpets -- even those that are well-loved -- get old and need to be replaced. At the end of this year, Portland will spend $12 million to replace the carpet on its 18 acres of airport and car-rental space. The new pattern is "very reminiscent" of the old carpet, Simonds said, and should be finished in 2015.
And anyone can sign up for the airport's free email update of the state of the airport carpets. Really.