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No Place Like LA: Paul, finding his LA identity in Texas

KPCC listener Paul Koehler stands on a beach in SoCal.
KPCC listener Paul Koehler stands on a beach in SoCal.
Paul Koehler

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No Place Like LA is our new series that asks transplants and immigrants to LA, "When was the moment you felt that Los Angeles was truly home?"


I am originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I moved to Los Angeles in 2012.

The moment I became an Angeleno? It didn't even happen in Los Angeles.

It happened in Texas.

I was in Dallas for a business trip. My colleagues and I stopped at a diner.

Waitress looked at us and said, "Oh, where are you from?" 

Up until that time, I had answered people, "Well, I'm originally from the Midwest and I lived in Japan for a long time and then I moved [to LA]."

But that was the first time I had said, "Oh, I'm from Los Angeles."

Took two years, but by that point I had realized I cut out most of my background and I felt at that time I really felt like I was at home.

It's home for me.

Tell us your own story, too.