My husband, Mike, and I moved to L.A. from the Midwest, and landing our first apartment in Toluca Lake five years ago made us feel like we found a true neighborhood in the middle of the big city. It’s so nice to be able to walk “the strip” of Riverside Drive to have dinner, shop or grab a drink. Every year we look forward to the epic Halloween celebration, the Holiday Open House, Taste of Toluca/Earth Day — but most often, we just enjoy regular strolls or jogs through our picturesque neighborhood.
We are fortunate to both still be working full-time from home. Mike already had a home office for his animation work, but I needed to create a more permanent workspace solution (so we could have our kitchen table back)! We do our best to keep normal work hours to give some separation between the days and weekends. The forced time inside has also prompted us to make progress on some home projects that we hadn’t quite gotten around to yet. After a year in our condo, we finally have some pictures on the walls! We are both healthy and trying to stay focused and grateful for how fortunate we are.
I think just the underlying fear and anxiety of the situation — worrying about getting the virus or inadvertently exposing someone else to it, wanting to help and support the community but also follow directives and be safe, and just not knowing when it will be over — all of these constant fears, combined with feeling a bit trapped, are probably the most challenging parts. I didn’t realize how much I would miss running errands! I’ve been making a point of going outside every day, even if it’s only on our balcony. And doing daily yoga helps me stay centered.
We have been visiting the farmers market every Sunday and are so grateful that it has remained open with fresh produce! It’s a small but mighty market, and I hope this unique situation prompts more people to go every week, even after all this is over. We’ve also been ordering takeout from some of our favorite local businesses — Sweetsalt, Hungry Crowd and Hank’s Bagels, to name a few. And we go on walks — it seems like the sidewalks have never been busier! Since most of our communication with friends and family has been virtual through Facetime or Zoom, it is great to have the occasional “real-life” conversation with friends and neighbors from across a fence, or even just a friendly wave at a safe distance.
Stay safe and healthy, neighbors! We’re looking forward to Toluca Lake “opening up” again soon!
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