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No Place Like LA: Ben, who isn't phased by crime




Los Angeles Police Department police cars fill the intersection outside a Jack in the Box restaurant in Hollywood, California, January 31, 2017.
Los Angeles Police Department police cars fill the intersection outside a Jack in the Box restaurant in Hollywood, California, January 31, 2017.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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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.

TELL US YOUR OWN STORY, TOO. IF YOU'RE A TRANSPLANT OR IMMIGRANT, WHAT WAS THE MOMENT WHEN YOU THOUGHT TO YOURSELF, "L.A. FEELS LIKE HOME, NOW?"