In last summer’s magazine, we reported on how our neighbors were coping with staying home and weathering the pandemic shutdowns. I’m thankful that this season is shaping up to be different, as our state gradually reopens and public health statistics appear to be trending in the right direction. It’s too soon to declare a state of normalcy, and the aftereffects of this unprecedented global event will be felt for years to come, but many of us are cautiously emerging from our isolation and looking for ways to reconnect with the world. While Toluca Lake retains its strong community bonds through thick and thin, we hope this summer can be a joyful time with increasing opportunities to revel in our neighborhood and gather together once again.
Our homes have served as sanctuaries during these turbulent times, and it’s not surprising that real estate and home improvement are booming as people recognize how important it is to have a living (and working, and schooling) space that meets their needs. In this issue, two local families share their stories of creating and enjoying the homes of their dreams, with advice on how their neighbors can do the same. And our wonderful cover star, Annie Potts, describes herself as a born renovator who believes what makes a house a home is a balance between beauty and function. During the pandemic, she used her time at home to bring that same aesthetic to her project of sewing face masks to protect loved ones, public figures and society’s most vulnerable members alike, in addition to raising thousands of dollars for charity. In our interview, she describes what she loves about living on the lake and the ways she’s giving from her heart to help others.
The concept of home is also a powerful one for Councilmember Nithya Raman, who started on her path to public service by searching for solutions to homelessness in her own neighborhood, became the first woman and first South Asian American elected in our district, and is now working to tackle the housing crisis citywide. These are some of the most urgent, challenging and hotly contested issues in all of L.A. right now, and there are no instant solutions. Our profile gives you the chance to get to know our new local representative and hear what she has to say to her constituents about her plans to make our area a better place for all to live and work.
Home should be a place of safety and comfort, but not simply a hideaway. We have the great privilege to be grounded in a close-knit community full of lovely houses and welcoming businesses. Now, as we explore how to safely re-engage with the wider world, let’s do our best to keep our local roots strong and take good care of ourselves and one another. I hope you’ll continue to support our advertisers and all of our neighborhood businesses as they work to recover from the difficulties of the past year. As always, thank you for your readership, and I look forward to being able to see you in person soon.