I would like to share with you a little piece of my day of love here in Portland. Every Valentine's morning for over 25 years a strange thing happens. Every storefront, window and doorway in downtown Portland has a bright red heart taped to it. A sneaky character, or band of characters, attacks the city sometime in the night with their little signs of love. No one seems to know who the caper is, and no one seems especially determined to find out. He/she/it is lovingly referred to as "The Valentine Phantom", or "The Valentine Bandit" according to the Portland TV News team. Here are a few pictures I took this morning... the only thing you can't see are the smiling faces of each and every Portland resident.
This was the first heart I saw, stepping out my front door... it was across the street and I ran back to get my camera... and thank goodness I did!
There were also many hearts drawn in chalk around the town, I can only assume that this as well is the work of the Phantom.
The Phantom also saved a spot in his heart for Salt! What he doesn't know is that inside this building there is more heart than any other storefront in town! And he must have known what he was doing because he also put a little bit of love right about 'DOCUMENTARY'! Just like all of us Saltines (Salt students... sometimes "Salties" is more appropriate, but I would rather sound like a snack!)
These little white paper hearts also fluttered down Congress Street. Some might say it is littering, but I say it was beautiful, especially on a lightly windy day.
However, most exciting and mysterious is the Phantom's pièce de résistance two storey high huge heart banners on the Portland Museum of Art and new this year, the Portland Public Library. No one knows how they get there, or how he or she gets onto the roofs, but here they stands...
The Valentine Phantom has made this year's celebration one I won't soon forget. What a wonderful tradition (est. 1976)!
The best part is, it seems that this is not a caper that needs to be caught!