As spring approaches with its aura of new beginnings, I can’t help but be filled with hope. While the past two years have taught us to be cautious in forecasting the future, I see plenty of reason for optimism in the way our community has endured these difficult times. After so many cherished neighborhood traditions had to be put on hold in 2020, Toluca Lake celebrated this past holiday season with the return of the Turkey Trot, the Holiday Open House and the Magical Holiday Parade. It was a joy to see the return of these familiar festivities, and all of us at Toluca Lake Magazine want to thank the organizers for their hard work and ingenuity in adapting to changing conditions to ensure we could gather safely while supporting our local businesses and charitable causes. Check out the Out & About section of this issue and our website for coverage of these events, as well as a profile of Angie Niemeyer, the dedicated force behind the preservation of the Caroling Truck and Holiday Parade, a favorite local institution for nearly 40 years.
Along with the resurgence of traditions, the beauty of our neighborhood is in bloom. This season of growth and renewal is the perfect time to check in with the Toluca Lake Garden Club, many of whose members are experts in cultivating the flowers and fresh foods that symbolize spring. In this issue, six of these local gardeners share a look at their edible gardens and how they savor the bounty of fruits, vegetables and herbs they grow. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to plant your own plot — or take a stroll to admire those of your neighbors, then stop by the farmers market for some local produce. And if you’re moved to venture farther into the great outdoors, do not miss our article on nearby camping destinations where you can commune with nature in our region’s great forests, beaches and deserts.
Another fresh start is happening in our civic life, as Toluca Lake transitions to L.A. City Council District 2 and gets a new representative in Councilmember Paul Krekorian. It may seem a big change, but this longtime local public servant is no stranger to the neighborhood. Get to know him better by reading our interview in this issue, where he describes his background, his accomplishments and how he’ll approach the job of advocating for Toluca Lake.
Seeing our community continue to rebound, evolve and flourish, I’m perpetually struck by the interdependence and resilience of our residents and businesses. At TLM, we are proud to do our part in showcasing everything that makes this community so vibrant and helping to connect those who live here with the entrepreneurs who work hard to bring us wonderful shops, restaurants and services. Together, let’s sustain this feeling of vitality and hope year-round.