Amazingly, the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council has once again topped itself with the eighth annual town favorite trifecta, the Farmers Market, Earth Day and Taste of Toluca Lake celebration — no easy task in the opinion of many who attended last year’s event. Toluca Lake Magazine was honored to be a sponsor of the festivities and partner with Sattdown Jamaican Grill to share a taste of the Caribbean with attendees. (Those who stopped by for a sample had a chance to meet Sattdown’s chef/owner, Tony Hyde, whose talent, tenacity and positive outlook have helped him overcome adversity to build a booming business. For his inspiring story, check out “Sattdown Jamaican Grill Spices up the Neighborhood.”) We all enjoyed perfect weather, gourmet eats, interesting exhibits, affable neighbors, pets of Toluca galore and superb entertainment. As one of my friends visiting for the first time quipped, so much to do, see and taste … and the admission price was right! Would it be too much to ask the GTLNC to make it a monthly affair? No phone calls from the committee, please; I was just kidding.
Indeed, much like the Holiday Open House in December, this springtime neighborhood party has become a community institution. Our small town certainly loves its traditions, from breakfast at Patys to the Friday night car show at Bob’s Big Boy and, of course, our honorary mayor for the last 25 years, Fritz Coleman, perhaps the most beloved weathercaster in the Los Angeles area. We were delighted when Fritz offered to author a story for our magazine, and let me tell you: We have one talented mayor here in Toluca Lake. Mayor Coleman not only can forecast our meteorological conditions, but also does standup comedy, emcees charity events like nobody’s business and is a regular Hemingway when it comes to writing a Toluca Lake Magazine article. What do you say about writing for us on a regular basis, Fritz? No phone calls, please, Fritz — I was just kidding, again. But seriously, folks, it was a joy to work with this local icon, and we thank him for bringing his wisdom, wit and warmth to our little corner of the world.
While Fritz eloquently attests to the fact that you don’t have to live in Toluca Lake to feel at home here, there’s no denying that the neighborhood’s chief charms are its idyllic streets lined with splendid houses and verdant gardens. We’re offering you a peek at a few of these local gems in this issue, with one article showcasing some of the sights featured on the Garden Club’s May home tour, and another spotlighting a little-known architectural treasure, the early 1930s Streamline Moderne house built for Woody Woodpecker creator Walter Lantz. We feel fortunate to be able to continue chronicling Toluca Lake’s fascinating but largely unwritten history through stories like these, and we’re grateful to the residents who welcome us to their homes to capture a glimpse of their beauty and character.
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