Story and photos by Joseph Herrera/Staff writer/@josephherrera91

The California sun was long gone and I never felt so excited to be in a new city. My girlfriend and I arrived to our hotel inn that sat across from Portland State University, expecting to catch a glimpse of nightlife culture. Unfortunately most of the businesses close at 9 p.m. The population prefer to shack up against the 45-degree weather rather than go wild out on the streets. The streets were dead quiet. The only entertaining thing was a small pizzeria bar that had four 30-somethings singing songs reminiscing on former high school glories.

The next day I opened up the hotel curtains expecting to see the vitality that labeled “Portlandia” what it is, just like the comedy TV show on IFC. All I saw was a cloudy, near-gloomy and windy place. I kept my smiles up because after all, I was on vacation and said to myself, “When in Portland.”

The highlight of the whole trip was making several fat runs to the junk-food haven “Voodoo Doughnuts,” a doughnut shop with fun options. My go-to option was the chocolate glazed donut with Oreo toppings drizzled with peanut butter sauce.

If you’re reading this and thinking that sounds both delicious and fattening, you’re probably right. Luckily a sticker that was on the ATM saying, “It’s worth the weight” made me feel better about my tempting wants.

The last day we experienced Forest Park, which at 5,157 acres is one of the largest urban parks in America. Large green trees that peak out over you grow an abundance of green moss. I’ve never seen anything so green and I’m pleased to say it is my favorite color, so I didn’t squirm like I was being forced to be there.

A culture of uneasiness has surfaced lately in the green city regarding the migration of Californians. According to, Portlanders are concerned that out-of-state buyers will continue to raise real-estate market prices in Portland and decrease home affordability and availability.

It is after all pretty cheap in Portland and I myself don’t want cause tension in a room after I declare myself a homegrown Californian.

Another fun choice of leisure in Portland was to visit a vegan exotic dance club Casa Diablo, now I have to be careful with what I write and how I write it but let me tell you I’ve hardly experienced a situation where it was a win-win. The vegan options were amazing as well as the

If you ever decide to go to Portland make early reservations to visit in the summertime, since prices go up. I should have made those decisions early on, but instead gave myself a flight ticket for Nov. 17 to Nov. 21, the beginning of the coldest time of year. You can do this all too, if you love being caught in the freeze-storm that awaits for you.