One year ago, we published the inaugural issue of Toluca Lake Magazine and launched our website, embarking on a mission to showcase everything that makes this neighborhood extraordinary. Since then, we’ve met so many wonderful people and discovered an endless stream of amazing local stories. And what better way to mark this milestone in our own history than to celebrate the legendary past that still resonates throughout our community today?
Toluca Lake tends to fly under the radar of the official historical record. It doesn’t even get its own index entry in the biographies of its most renowned residents, and archive photos of the neighborhood are too often labeled “North Hollywood” or just “Los Angeles.” But the stories are here in multitudes if you’re willing to dig for them. Almost everyone we’ve talked to has an anecdote about Bob Hope, Bing Crosby or another of the many luminaries who’ve made their homes here over the years. We’re constantly impressed with the way longtime residents can detail decades’ worth of past inhabitants of seemingly every house and business around them, both famous and not. That oral tradition, passed on by the people who live and work here, is what this issue is really about. In addition to looking back at beloved bygone businesses and celebrity residents including Bing Crosby, Richard Arlen, the Three Stooges, and (in honor of Halloween) Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, we trace how local residents and businesspeople experience, respond to and uphold this historical legacy — from living in historic homes and preserving antique artifacts to reinterpreting vintage glamour for the modern era.
I want to thank everyone who has helped us on our journey over the past year. We’re grateful to all who contributed articles, participated in stories, shared information and feedback, suggested ideas and cheered us on. And we certainly couldn’t do any of this without our loyal advertisers! We deeply appreciate every store, restaurant, company and organization that has supported the community resource we’re providing. I urge all our readers to support them in turn by choosing to give them your business whenever possible — and please let them know you saw them in Toluca Lake Magazine!
It’s no secret that publishing is a difficult industry, although it’s also more critically important than ever. We’ve poured our hearts and resources into creating a magazine Toluca Lake can be proud of, but we need your help to continue bringing you this exclusive neighborhood coverage. Because so many have asked, we’re now offering subscription service for those who live outside our regular delivery area or want to gift a taste of Toluca Lake to nonresidents — or perhaps get an extra copy of each issue to prevent squabbles over who gets to read it first when it arrives (it happens, we’ve heard). To sign up, go to TolucaLake.com/subscribe. In addition, please consider advertising with us, either through your business or through our new service that allows you to announce and commemorate major life events with your community.
We’ve received such a warm welcome in our first year, and with your support, we will have many more anniversaries ahead. As always, thank you for your readership.