Over the years I’ve lived in many different houses, apartments and one mobile home but most of them were in Southern California. I was born in Denver, left when I was 3, did a year in Salt Lake City, and then we packed up and moved to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. Since then, I’ve lived in San Diego, Orange County and then back to LA where I’ve been a resident since 1973 in so many places I can’t even count. Last week I survived yet another move, this time to Burbank a block away from charming Toluca Lake.
Toluca Lake is best known as the home of Bob Hope who lived there until he died in 2003 at the age of 100. One of its first residents was Amelia Earhart. Other Toluca Lake celebrity residents included Bing Crosby, Ozzie and Harriet, Frankie Avalon, Bette Davis, Donnie and Marie, Henry Winkler, Ron Howard, Jonathan Winters, and a bunch more. Recently, it’s been the home of Steve Carell, Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, and Kirsten Dunst.
We moved into an apartment complex that serves a large influx of students from the nearby New York Film Academy. There are so many young people living here that I feel like I could be their sorority/fraternity housemother. They come from all over the world and are often seen holding production meetings, shooting scenes, and partying. There was a distinct smell of pot coming out of our building on July 4th.
When I walk my dogs, young girls in sexy workout outfits and athletic looking guys pass by with their noses in their cell phones. I’m enjoying the view. LOL
Getting used to apartment life again after living in houses for so many years is challenging but I don’t mind the downsize. Moving forces you to get rid of things you don’t need to haul around anymore. I purged some pictures I didn’t want my kids to find in the event I suddenly kick the bucket. It was the 70’s and 2 of my girlfriends and I found a deserted beach. Let’s just say our bathing suits ended up on the sand.
Warner Brothers Pictures is down the road from where I live and Disney Studios is close by. Universal Studios is a 10-minute hop on the freeway with Hollywood right over the hill. No more 45-minute drives across the valley every time we go to a screening at the TV Academy. I’m loving it!
Toluca Lake Attractions
Bob’s Big Boy – The Toluca Lake location is the oldest remaining Bob’s built in 1949 and still features car hop service. It’s where the original Big Boy Hamburger came from and on Friday night they have vintage car shows. It was one of Bob Hope’s favorite places to go for a burger.
Priscilla’s Gourmet Coffee House – This neighborhood coffeehouse opened in the 70’s and is a fun place to hang out and schmooze.
Milt and Edie’s Dry Cleaners and Tailoring Center – You can’t miss this colorful establishment when you get off the freeway and they always have an inspirational quote posted. (see image below)
The Garry Marshall Theatre – Formerly the Falcon Theatre, this 130-seat performance space was built by director/writer/producer Garry Marshall and his daughter Kathleen. It’s productions feature performances by top actors and theater companies.
Patys Restaurant – Another neighborhood gathering place that has been in operation since 1960. It offers traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinners as well as gluten-free options with outdoor patio seating.
Umami Burger – Crafted gourmet burgers. It looks like a shack from the outside but is elegant on the inside and popular with the studio crowd.
Cinema Secrets – Everything you need for professional film and theater makeup founded by studio hair and makeup artist Maurice Stein in 1984.
Hotel Amarano – A charming boutique Hollywood style hotel that was recently nominated in the 2017 Conde Nast Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Hotel in Los Angeles.
Take the Starline Warner Brother’s Studio Tour – This VIP tour stars in nearby Hollywood and takes you to the backlot and sets of Warner Brother’s Studio located in Burbank. Visit sets of current TV and talk shows, memorabilia museum, production offices and more.
More Images of Toluca Lake – Please click on images to view full-size in a gallery. Hover over the image to share on Pinterest.
A block away from our apartment is a Starbucks and a shopping center so it’s easy to stroll over for a quick latte. It’s also an easy walk to Riverside Drive, which is strewn with restaurants, massage studios, boutiques, a TJ’s, Post Office, and other convenient amenities. I may never drive my car again!
The Challenges of Apartment Life
We found that we had to squeeze decades of junk that we’ve collected over the years into a tiny space. Doug, a bonified hoarder, had so much stuff we had to temporarily rent a storage unit so he can sort, and hopefully throw most of it away. I’m thinking he may need a 12-step program to accomplish this. Now I know why it was so much easier to move when I was younger. We live on the ground floor, which is a plus when you’re over 60.
Unfortunately, we have to walk down a flight of stairs to get to the parking garages. That isn’t so bad, but when you’re juggling the exit door key, car key, apartment keys, clicker, purse, and trying to haul up a bag of groceries or other paraphernalia it requires some flexibility. The other day I got down to the car and realized I had picked up the wrong keys leaving me stuck without a way to get back in. I tried calling out to Doug, but we have double paned windows because the freeway is almost right behind us. Finally, I walked around to the front entrance and waited for someone to let me in. The good thing is it keeps us mentally alert. Now, we make sure to use a checklist every time we walk out the door.
The move has made Doug into a Grumpy Puss. He doesn’t do change very well. I’m seriously thinking of sedating him for the rest of this month until I get things put away.
After a week of feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck from packing and shuffling around boxes, I’m finally almost normal again. Who knows how long we’ll stay here but for now we’re going to enjoy it. Maybe I’ll run into Spicy while I’m wandering around Toluca Lake.