This is our love letter to the community that’s been our communications company’s home base for more than 25 years. Having built up decades of experience in producing award-winning publications, websites, marketing campaigns and events for our clients, I wanted to let our talented team loose on a new passion project. We noticed how many enthusiastic conversations around our office centered on the unique features in our own backyard — new and departing businesses, the tastiest lunch and happy hour offerings, the latest home and garden renovations (and the cutest dogs) spotted on our midday strolls, the stories behind local landmarks, and the interesting people we meet around town. We decided to embark on a mission to celebrate all the things that make this area extraordinary, and Toluca Lake Magazine was born.
Four times a year in print, and regularly on our website and social media, we’ll showcase the lifestyle, events and personalities of Toluca Lake and its surrounding areas, including dining, shopping, home and garden, history, entertainment and much more. This is a special place, a luxuriant pocket of iconic scenery in the middle of the big city. It truly is my home away from home, with a real sense of community and a small-town vibe that feels wonderfully comfortable and secure. But we also believe the Toluca Lake state of mind extends beyond its exact geographic borders, an attitude of creative innovation underscored by a respect for history and tradition.
That spirit radiates throughout this issue — from our overview of Toluca Lake’s legendary past and how it remains present in the local landscape, to our interview with Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman about how he brought his culinary revolution to the area while honoring the memory of a beloved bygone favorite. With Halloween on the horizon, we’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look at Cinema Secrets, the neighborhood’s one-stop shop for special-effects makeup, costumes and displays as well as year-round Hollywood sparkle. In addition, we’ve dug into the story of the Toluca Lake Garden Club, which is celebrating an incredible 70 years of beautifying this community.
And we’re just getting started! Toluca Lake has a wealth of tales to be told, and we can’t wait for you to see what we’ve got in store in future issues. We’re looking forward to continuing to learn about hidden treasures as we meet more of our neighbors and hear about the topics that matter to you. Our goal is to serve as a community resource, capturing Toluca Lake’s one-of-a-kind character with accuracy, integrity, sincerity and joy. Please email email@example.com to let us know how we’re doing. We genuinely love Toluca Lake, and we hope that shines through on every page.
P.S. This isn’t my first time to the (neighborhood) dance … Here’s the cover of a 1983 issue of Burbank Business Today, the magazine I published for the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, which featured Bob Hope posing with the previous issue — and the cover of that issue featured Johnny Carson. Johnny even mentioned us on The Tonight Show. They both autographed the magazines for me, and those copies hang on my office wall to this day. Thanks for the memories, gents, and we all miss you!