Karim Akbar: ‘I think the rent has finally caught up with us’

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Karim said he’s intent on leaving L.A. for Portland.

Karim Akbar
Moving to Portland, Or.

Karim, an aspiring writer and radio broadcaster, hasn’t left L.A., but he said as soon as he gets a job in Portland, he is out of here.

“I think the rent has finally caught up with us. A lot of it has to with the luster of L.A. fading.” Karim lives in the valley and said he doesn’t go west of Sepulveda, and can’t afford some of L.A.’s best cultural places – like the Hollywood Bowl. “I’ve stopped going to concerts, I’ve stopped going to local bars and pubs and what not and just trying to focus on saving. I’ve definitely cut a lot of stuff out just because it’s just out of control. “

Is Portland cheaper?

I mean a lot of people from here are going up there with trust funds but I think on average the rent is definitely much cheaper there than in LA.

A view of Mt. Hood.
A view of Mt. Hood. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Did you think you would stay in L.A.?

I thought I would stay here you know but you know as I was growing up, it just kind of became apparent that I just wasn’t going to be able to get the things that I want while affording the rent. I think for me it just kind of became clear that it’s definitely time to move.

What’s the allure of Portland?

There’s just you know it’s where young people go to retire, as they say. There’s a cool craft scene, a cool beer scene. It’s just a lot greener a lot cleaner you know it’s less of an urban sprawl in L.A. it is you know you can get around quicker.

Is there anything that would keep you in L.A.?

I don’t think so.

Do you think it’ll change you and your personality?

I think so. When we traveled up there it was just like a total change. I mean you kind of reconnect with a slower pace, you change yourself as well.

Anything you’ll leave behind in LA?

In-N -Out, but there’s one up there too.

This is part of a series looking at why people are choosing to move out of Los Angeles. Are you leaving Southern California? Share your story!