Proud Placemaker: Karla Khodanian, Highland Park

Hi Karla! To start, where do you live?

Highland Park

An area we love and know so well. Where did you move from?

The dorms at UAB! But as far as hometowns go, I’m from Madison, Alabama.

So you moved here for school, yes?

Yes, I came to Birmingham to pursue a Public Relations degree at UAB.

We can imagine there is a bit of a difference between the dorms and living in an actual neighborhood. What attracted you to that particular area of Birmingham?

There is a cozy sort of comfort about Highland Park. Being a young gal, the big city can feel awfully intimidating sometimes. But Highland Park makes me feel like I’m home. Between the lounging in the parks, grabbing drinks at Rojo and just taking mid-day walks with friends who live nearby, the neighborhood is filled to the brim with life!

Love it. We soon will mistake you for a native! What are some other qualities you love most about living in the city?

It’s hard not to love a city where every building is just as unique as every person residing in it. Growing up in a town that oozed suburban commercialism and white picket fences, I love Birmingham because it is the farthest thing from cookie-cutter. From the amazing award-winning restaurants to quick bites of heaven found at a food truck, this city does such an amazing job of supporting its local businesses. Loving Birmingham suddenly becomes the most contagious feeling in the world once you choose to live in the city.

Spoken like a true Birminghamian. So what key piece of advice would you give to someone who is seriously considering making the move to our neck of the woods?

Don’t settle for the suburbs. Through attending UAB I was immediately immersed in a downtown environment, but through living in the city I truly learned to embrace it. Birmingham is different from other cities. You won’t believe it until you’ve lived here, but trust me on this one. Yes, we like to hustle and bustle just like the rest of the fast-paced world, but we also take our time to enjoy the finer things here. If you want to belong to a community that believes in itself more than any other, come to Birmingham. Come to Highland Park. Come to Crestwood, Forest Park and all the other great neighborhoods. Don’t listen to the naysayers who claim Birmingham is “broken” and “dangerous.” Listen to the girl who can truly call this place her lifelong home.

Well, it’s been so wonderful to get to hear from someone who already has such a sweet and sincere loyalty to the city. What one last thing will you leave us with?

I am a proud Armenian who knows that you will probably make a Kardashian reference once you hear my name. I’m also a proud Public Relations major who is looking to get hired in this great town after graduating in April 2014.

We'll spread the word!

FYI, Birmingham - Keep up with this creative young Placemaker by following her over on Twitter. You can also catch Karla crafting all types of creative, LIVable goodness over at Social Venture this fall while she interns with us at LIV Birmingham!
 

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