I’ve lived in the Toluca Lake area for about seven years now. I love the sense of community Toluca Lake has, that we are in Los Angeles but it doesn’t feel like we’re living in this big city. I love that small businesses are a large part of this community and I run into my neighbors at these places. I see familiar, friendly faces (sometimes of the furry variety) while standing in line at Trader Joe’s or just walking down Riverside to the post office. Toluca Lake has truly maintained that small community vibe that says, “I got your back, neighbor.”
I’m fortunate to still be working from home during this madness and to have everything I need at the moment, so work occupies a large portion of my time. I’m definitely becoming more creative in the kitchen, but when I’m not cooking, I’m ordering takeout or delivery from the amazing restaurants that make up Toluca Lake. The owner at Hungry Crowd has been one of those incredibly friendly faces for years, and I want to see him and all the other small business owners make it through this trying time. If I can contribute in some small part to that, then that makes me happy.
I recently donated to a GoFundMe project started by Los Angeles Bucket Listers, where they are sending meals to Los Angeles hospitals for all of our health-care workers on the front lines of fighting this virus. These people are heroes, and it’s a win-win: Small-business restaurants continue to cook and our heroes get fed.
As far as entertainment, I started creating and sharing short wine-tasting videos for my Instagram account. I’m a wine enthusiast and, next to toilet paper, that’s one thing I strive to keep in stock. I also find that video chatting with my loved ones brings a great sense of comfort and normalcy during such uncertainty. A glass of wine is usually involved in said video chat.
I have definitely seen the neighborhood come together. The restaurants are working together using incentives and promoting one another on their Instagram accounts. I know Hungry Crowd was offering 15% off the bill if you brought over your Coffee Bean receipt. So many other places are doing the same. Just today, my neighbor left me a lovely letter letting me know that if I needed anything (supplies or in general) I could reach out to her. Another neighbor of mine down the street offered to print something out for me so that I didn’t have to go to a public printing place. I had to make a return and it had to be done that day or it would be forfeited. When I take walks, which, at this point, is rare, people are respectful of the necessary space.
My message to my neighbors would be, as cliché as it sounds, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s another side to this and we’ll get there. Nothing worth getting to was ever easy.
Return to The State of the Village.