NO PLACE LIKE L.A. IS OUR SERIES THAT ASKS L.A. TRANSPLANTS AND IMMIGRANTS: "WHEN WAS THE MOMENT YOU FELT THAT LOS ANGELES WAS TRULY HOME?"
THIS IS THE STORY OF Ben Phen from Virgil Village.
I moved here from Indiana, a place called Fort Wayne.
I remember for a while feeling just kind of like an outsider – foreigner – in town just because it was very new and culture shock. There was a lot to it.
But one time I was calling my mom, just letting her know how I was doing.
I just remember walking down the street talking to her casually, then looking behind me and just realizing I had walked directly through an arrest scene.
Some guy was getting handcuffed and wrestled to the ground. There was a little scuffle behind me.
I think I just kind of stepped over – I don't know even know if it was the person – just kind of tip-toeing around. Like, oh this is in my way and I'm just going to keep on walking while talking on the phone.
I would've never done that in my hometown. It would've been a "stop and get out of the way and pay attention [moment]."
But okay, I've changed. I've become one of those people who lives here now.