We’ve lived in Toluca Lake since 2010. We love the small community and seeing familiar faces around town when we shop, dine and go for walks. Everyone knows this is one of the most unique and desirable areas of L.A. to live in, and we’re thankful to be a part of the community. We love that we can have a date night all within walking distance, from seeing a show at the Garry Marshall Theatre to grabbing cocktails at Forman’s or wine at Spin the Bottle and dinner at Prosecco or Yuzu, to name a few. What’s not to love about Toluca Lake? Halloween would certainly be a favorite holiday of ours to celebrate in Toluca Lake — it’s just a fun time all around, and we get a little carried away with it.
During this time, we’ve been battling the effects of banana bread by doing training at home twice a week via FaceTime, as well as stretch and yoga classes the same socially distanced way. Irina was one of the lucky ones to rent a spin bike from Sycle, and she takes their classes daily. (That means she gets to eat more banana bread.) We thought it was a great idea Sycle had by renting all of their bikes, delivered to your home, and offering online classes. We were happy to support them.
Working from home has been our regular lifestyle, so this hasn’t been too much of a change in routine. I own and run a boutique branding and design agency, Meat and Potatoes, Inc., from a studio behind our home. Work has been especially busy these past few weeks as we help several of our clients pivot to community support campaigns during COVID-19. We’re the design agency for the Garry Marshall Theatre and have been using this time in preparation for the return of their family musical, The Root Beer Bandits, as soon as life returns to “normal” in Toluca Lake. Irina is keeping herself busy with sled-taping auditions and writing new standup comedy material. She will be appearing soon on Quibi’s Reno 911! and UrbanFlix’s Laugh Tonight With Damon Williams. Of course we miss our friends, and the members of our community. We make a point to reach out to family, friends and neighbors to check in. We both love to cook, and we make extras to provide meals for our friends who are solo, or those who just need someone else to cook a homemade meal for them as a change of routine.
It’s tough to say we’ve “seen” the community much lately, but we hope there’s support for our local restaurants and essential businesses because most are still open. On our walks, we see neighbors sharing fresh fruit in baskets along the sidewalks. This is a wonderful community gesture. And a shout-out to Trader Joe’s for their great organization and focus on serving seniors in their first hours of each day. We’ve made a point to maintain the same amount of weekly “dining-out” meals by ordering to go. We believe this neighborhood’s character is generous and resilient, and when we slowly open things back up, we’re hopeful that our community comes out stronger than before.
Let’s rally as a community on the other side of the “stay at home” orders to support each and every business in our community, and adjoining communities, as much as possible. Buy tickets to a show this summer at the Garry Marshall Theatre (or donate), shop at all the boutiques and markets, and dine out often (even if you get it to go). We’ve got this. For now, stay home and stay healthy. We’ll see ya around town soon!
Return to The State of the Village.