Say Nice Things 2024

Say Nice Things About Portland… Again!

It’s time to take Portland back from the buttholes. Here’s how.

Portland’s Cutest Creatures

Let’s say nice things about the city’s most adorable critters!

Why I (Still) Love Portland

A former Portlander returns to survey the city’s damage—and rebirth.

Say Nice Things FUN PAGE: Can You Find Time-othy the Chrono Goblin?

Time-othy the Chrono Goblin is causing trouble in Portland's past, present, and future... so find the little fucker, QUICK!!

Say Nice Things About… Biking in Portland

Things have changed since the early 2000s (not to mention 1896), but biking in Portland is still magical.

(Portland Chefs) Say Nice Things About… Portland Chefs

Portland’s premier restaurant and cart owners hype up the local food and chefs they love!

Say Nice Things About Local Drag Artists (Proudly Representing Portland All Year Long)

You might not know these performers (yet), but these drag artists consistently embody Portland’s strange and timeless beauty.

Say Nice Things About… Portland’s Themed Bookstores!

Whether you’re into sci-fi, romance, or weirdness, Portland has a bookstore for YOU!

The Evolution of Sleater-Kinney

Indie rockers reflect on 30 years as a band, and why they still call Portland home.

AfroVillage Does the Real Work on Portland’s Homeless Crisis

Founder LaQuida Landford shows up for Oregon’s most vulnerable ‘round the clock.

[Welcome to our second annual "SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT PORTLAND" issue! Read it online here, or if you like physical, paper-y things, you can find it in more than 50 locations all around the city!—eds]

Tired: Portland is weird. Wired: Portland is sexy! Inspired: Portland is CUTE! 

Sure, we’re a messy collection of normies, snobs, and freaks, but you better believe we’re adorable, too. Every last one of us. And some special citizens are cuter than most. They are the venerated… the squee-worthy… the very reason that the heart-eyes emoji exists. Friends, I present to you: Portland’s Cutest Creatures.*

Tamu the Baby Rhino

Tamu—whose name means sweetness—has been mostly out of public view since his birth at the zoo last December, but on the day I visited, they opened a gate to allow him space to frolic. Alas, he and his mom were afraid of the smell of their new scale used to weigh Tamu, so they stayed hidden. (Did you know rhinos are highly particular creatures? Now you do!) Zoo officials will keep letting him explore his habitat, and visitors can expect to see more and more of him as the weather warms up!

Timber and Thorn, the Teenage Bears

Timber and Thorn aren’t siblings by blood, but they’ve built brotha-from-anotha-motha bonds since coming to the zoo from Alaska. They aren’t quite a year old, so they’re still kinda scrawny—but as adults they can hit 500 lbs, and stand between 5-6 ft tall. Wow! A favorite activity is rooting around in paper bags to find hidden treats of dried bugs. The brothers sleep together like freakin’ kitty cats, and zoo handlers say that they’re at their cutest first thing in the morning, when they are sleepy and have beary messy bedhead.

Filbert and Maple, the Beavers

Filbert and Maple are the zoo’s Instagram page stars, and they love nothing more than takin’ pics and chompin’ sticks. And it’s a good thing they like grinding their pearly whites on the foliage—this is what keeps their teeth from getting too long and unhealthy! While tiny beaver babies would be adorable, don’t expect a next generation from this pair; they are platonic life partners, nothing more. (Maple even has a little beaver IUD! Those exist!!) It’s a beaver state; we’re just living in it.

Moshu the Red Panda

Don’t tell the other animals, but when I chatted with zoo staff about who they all thought was the cutest, Moshu was frequently named! She exploits her impossibly perfect face for all the bamboo and apple snacks she can fit into her impossibly perfect face. Moshu is getting up there in years and spends a lot of time sleeping, so it can be hard to peep her in person. Rumor has it she’s most active in the mornings, but only for about a half-hour, so if you do get to see her moving around, this means that you are a chosen person, and destined for great things!

Takeoff the Husky Mix

Takeoff does not let his giganticness stop him from flopping onto his back at your feet to demand belly rubs. He found himself at the Humane Society when his family lost their housing—it can be hard to rent with a big dog!—but he was clearly very loved. He would not stop shaking my hand, and I’m sure it’s his friendly nature and not because of the snacks I was dishing out. Quite honestly, there has never been a more boopable schnoz.

Fluffy Goblin Puppies

There’s a litter of three creatures at the Humane Society that are purportedly puppies, but could easily be mistaken for small brown sheep with crimped perms. Their names are Rikki, Tikki, and Tavi, they are some kind of shepherd mix, and their mass is approximately 90 percent floof. Fun fact: puppies take a ton of work for shelters—they’re messy, need frequent help, and are most at risk for getting sick—so shelters try to get them in and out as fast as possible. If you’re looking to adopt a dog, don’t feel bad about picking out a puppy, because they need it!

Oliver and Millie, the Flat Cats

Oliver and Millie are gorgeous Persian pals who were left behind when their humans moved. Outrageous! Who could leave such perfect faces behind?! Sure, these faces are prone to crusty boogers and could cause the cats breathing problems, but what they lack in snout length they more than make up for in softness, sweetness, and you guessed it… cuteness.

Honorable mention:

My dog, Dolly Walnuts. With only one eyeball you’d think her vision would be limited, but no—she sees every single bus, bird, and garbage truck, and she hates them all! She enjoys quietly sitting on my lap when I’m in work meetings and only barking when it’s my turn to unmute and talk. She’s a 17 lb disaster and my very best friend.


 *Did I demand this assignment to gain private access to the zoo and humane society so I could pet animals? Yes, obviously this is what I did! What… like you wouldn’t have?