At a time of great civic angst, the one thing Portland can agree on is the airport.

Sure, it pulled out the beloved carpet in 2015. But since then, Portland International Airport has gradually transformed into a diorama of the city itself. It's got a Powell's and a Pendleton store. It's got doughnuts from Blue Star, and Country Cat serves its famous skillet-fried chicken. There's even an offshoot of the Hollywood Theatre, screening locally made short films.

Portland-based Blue Star Donuts began doing business at PDX in 2016, along with local operations Tamale Boy and Tender Loving Empire. (Thomas Teal)
Portland-based Blue Star Donuts began doing business at PDX in 2016, along with local operations Tamale Boy and Tender Loving Empire. (Thomas Teal)

The more the airport adds, the more it looks like a neighborhood you'd consider moving into. Last year saw the addition of craft boutique and record label Tender Loving Empire. In the coming months, PDX will add Deschutes to a bar scene that already includes Laurelwood and Henry's Tavern. Providence is also about to open an express care facility onsite, where you can purchase over-the-counter medication and send out prescriptions for pickup.

It's the little things, too—like the overhead heaters in the rideshare waiting area, which are much appreciated when you step off the plane from balmy Southern California into an icy Portland night.

Most airports make you yearn for the sweet relief of a cramped international flight. Ours makes you wonder why you'd want to leave at all.