Portland Valentine’s Day Phantom has struck again.

A multitude of red hearts, small ones printed on paper and large ones on big banners, decorated downtown landmarks and office buildings when residents and workers emerged Friday morning. The Valentine’s Day tradition began in 1976 and has become Portland’s most beloved mystery.

Reporters who have attempted to find and interview the phantom, including several of our best over the years, have come up short, like a friendly game of cat and mouse that always ends without anyone getting hurt.

It’s clear the phantom has help. The sheer number of hearts and the access to buildings such as the Portland Library and the Central Fire Station suggest a whole network of complicit cupids.

And none of them are talking, except to say:

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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