PDX Airport

LEGO masterpiece lands at PDX Airport

A new creation by Portland LEGO artist Erik Mattson is on display at Oregon’s Portland International Airport (PDX).

Mattson’s scale replica of Portland’s St. John’s Bridge is made with about 120,000 LEGO pieces and is 4-feet-tall, 2-feet-wide, and 32-feet-long. It is built to scale with one LEGO “Stud” equaling 1 foot.

The only part that isn’t made of LEGO pieces is the bridge suspension, which is made of fishing line.

Mattson’s LEGO version of the Portland’s St. Johns Bridge is in the Concourse DE display case through July 2020 as part of the PDX Rotating Art Program, which shared these images.

Here’s what the real St. John’s bridge looks like. The steel suspension bridge is the tallest bridge in Portland and spans the Willamette River in Portland.

Credit: Cacophony, via Wikimedia.

This isn’t the first LEGO creation Erik Mattson has shared with travelers passing through Portland International Airport. His 80,000-piece LEGO sculpture of Oregon’s iconic Multnomah Falls was on display in 2018.

National Book Lovers Day

Nashville once had a supermarket library branch

Book lovers everywhere celebrate National Book Lovers Day on August 9.

Traveling and books go together. And one element of travel we’re missing is the pleasure of buying a book at the airport and reading it cover to cover on a long flight.

Although some may be closed temporarily due to health concerns, there are full-fledged bookstores we seek out at airports.

Sometimes we make sure to arrive early or book long layovers to make sure we have time to browse.

We’re fond of the great reads discovered in San Francisco International Airport at Compass Books and at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at the still-new branch of the Elliot Bay Book Company.

And we hoping for a return visit to Renaissance Books at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport (MKE), among others.

But, sadly, some airport bookstores may not reopen after the pandemic.

Already Powell’s Books is permanently shuttering both its kiosk and bookstore at Portland International Airport (PDX) after a 30-year run.

But we’re confident travelers will still be able to find something great to read in airport bookshops for flights in the future.

So, to mark National Book Lovers Day today, we’re imagining a visit to Nashville International Airport (BNA) in the days when it was home to both a library and a reading room.

Do you have a favorite airport bookstore or book swap? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Powell’s Books out at PDX Airport

Here’s yet another reason to curse COVID-19.

Powell’s Books has permanently closed both the store and the kiosk it operates at Portland International Airport.

Book lovers know Portland’s Powell’s Book as the iconic store that has been selling new and used books since 1971.

The company’s flagship location, Powell’s City of Books, in downtown Portland is a block long and boasts more than a million books. The store hosts hundreds of author readings and appearances each year.

The Powell’s Books branch at PDX is a rarity in airport book shops in that it carries new and used books and has been operating for 30 years.

Besides the joy of having a real bookstore at the airport, many travelers loved being able to order a book and pick it up at the airport on their way out of town. Or when they landed.

Better yet, the airport branch of Powell’s Book was located pre-security, with lot of other shops that draw locals as well.

Since Covid-19 blew in, Powell’s has shuttered all its locations, but is still offering shipping and pick-up. Powell’s plans to reopen its downtown flagship store and, perhaps, its other branches in town. But the company has decided that will not reopen its airport shop or the concourse kiosk.

“The privilege of welcoming book lovers to Portland, and sending Portlanders off on their travels with a good book in hand, has been a true gift, Emily Powell, CEO of Powell’s Books, said in a statement, “It’s hard for me to imagine our future without the airport, and without the airport’s seasoned team of booksellers.”

Shops closing at other airports too

Losing Powell’s Books at PDX is a heart breaker. But, sadly, it is not the only popular airport shop – or restaurant – that PDX and many other airports around the country are losing.

As passenger numbers stay in the dumps, many airport concessions can barely afford to stay open or reopen.

Post-pandemic, we’re sure to see a great many shuttered airport shops.

Snack Saturday: food trucks at PDX Airport

Finally!

Portland, Oregon – the city that popularized gourmet food trucks and is now dotted with hundreds of them – has food trucks at the airport.

PDX FOOD CART POK POK

Koi Fusion and Pok Pok are the first two food cart operators to open at Portland International Airport. Three other food carts will arrive later this year – with each cart getting a six-month stint to give other local businesses the opportunity to participate.

The first two trucks to roll in are great examples of the local fare: Koi Fusion is a Korean-style BBQ with a Mexican influence.
Pok Pok,– which also has popular spots in Portland and New York – is known for spicy Thai cuisine and chicken wings.

Another piece of good news – PDX has a street pricing policy, so the food served at the airport food trucks costs the same as it does out in the city.

Enjoy!