Portland Out-Flanders 'The Simpsons' Ned Flanders
Well, neighborinos, it seems Ned Flanders has finally earned the recognition he deserves – well, beyond landing a recent Adidas sneaker collab making an entire generation of kids want to learn his hot cocoa recipe from The Simpsons Movie. Last week, officials in Portland, Oregon, which just so happens to be the hometown of The Simpson's creator, Matt Groening, said Okily-Dokily to naming a new pedestrian bridge “Ned Flanders Crossing” after Springfield's most kind-hearted and certifiably grating resident.
“It’s a wonderful day for our city,” Jo Ann Hardesty, the city's Transportation Commissioner said of the path, which connects the city's Pearl District and Northwest District, in a press release last Thursday. “Naming this new bridge after Ned Flanders shows that Portland can build great things and have fun too,” she continued, taking care to thank "Matt Groening and his team for embracing this idea."
Jeff Miller, the president and CEO of Travel Portland also heralded the new landmark. “The naming of Ned Flanders Crossing celebrates Portland’s thriving comics and animation community that resonates with many visitors,” he said. “We also look forward to visitors making use of the bridge for decades to come while exploring the Pearl District and Northwest District by foot and bicycle.”
According to a Facebook post from the Portland Bureau of Transportation, naming the bridge after Ned Flanders isn't merely a reference to Oregon's Simpson's heritage – the city's choice to name the structure after Flanders is also aimed at spreading an important message about neighborly kindness.
“Ned Flanders has been a quintessential emblem of good neighborliness for over 30 years, keeping his cool and trying his best to be a good neighbor even when confronted with his rather difficult neighbors, the Simpsons,” the agency wrote. "At a time when people seem more divided than ever along political or cultural lines, and less and less willing to even talk to their neighbors with whom they may disagree, we believe Ned Flanders is a symbol of the kind of neighborly connection we should strive for in Portland. Just as Flanders Crossing connects two neighborhoods together across a physical divide, the bridge serves as a symbol of bringing neighbors together across whatever divides them."
Although the city may have said “howdily doodily, bridgerino," there are still other ways to spread community closeness – namely, opening a Portland Leftorium.
Top Image: The City of Portland