I want to Talk about being a Tolucan, and the generational charm of the merchants and attendants at the renowned Toluca Lake Holiday Open House. Having lived in Toluca Lake over 30 years, it doesn’t matter where I am, where I live, I’m always a Tolucan. Attending last Friday’s Open House was like being in a time-jumping adventure: old and new, past and present. Seeing neighbors from then, seeing their grown children (and their children) from now … and seeing Hair Stylist George Caroll, who transcends time.
NEW: The first shop we peeked into was Zookies. I asked Lora Jakobsen, the lovely owner, how long this happy store has been there. “An hour,” she calmly replied. I recommend a visit, for a smile and maybe a perfect gift. Its charming, child oriented offerings, are practical and imaginative. I’d like to decorate a Princess Crown for myself, to suit my private fancy, and seriously, the lively bibs and art smocks would be a boon for adults who are tired of spraying pasta sauce or salad dressing on whatever we are wearing. (I have been crusading for Adult Bibs and lovely Lora said she might create some, yea!) May Zookies, on Forman just north of Riverside, enhance our hood for many more delightful hours.
FAMILIES CONTINUE: There is something about continuity that that warms the heart. Two of Toluca Lake’s legendary shops have been there for me for my lifetime. Neighbors on Riverside Drive, just east of Forman, both Generales & Generales and Pergolina are owned and run by the children of the previous shop owners. They have done honor to their history. At the Open House, it was déjà vous seeing the mothers, the originals, attending the happy events and looking so timelessly beautiful.
Helen Ohanion shined and, speaking of constancy, made her famous baklava. The elegant wife of the late Van Ohanion must be so proud of her daughter Sylvia and son-in-law Peter Generales. Generales & Generales maintains the high-end and hip jewelry and services that can create treasure to your design, or repair our old watches. They have a lovely Internet site, so check the possibilities for you and yours. And see their window with a tiny train toting shining jewels around the glittery and choice offerings.
Rose Chimo is the mother of vivacious Paulanna Cuccinello, who is the magically inspired owner of the “one-of-a-kind home, gift, and garden boutique,” Pergolina. It’s the same venue where Anthony and Rose Chimo ran the famed Flowers by Anthony Rose shop for 45 years. I asked Paulanna where to find Rose and she said, “She’s the glamorous blond greeting the crowd.” Rose is really a dish, and claims that her Pilates, at Align and Define, are keeping her strong. To define Pergolina’s energy and beauty, take a look at the women involved. The shop’s European items are whimsical and gorgeous. The Pierrot-ish clowns, bearing banners of “Good Cheer” are the décor that dreams are made of. You can bank on finding originality and beauty; their website will prove me right. And remember the grand gift-wrapping, from wherever you get your gift. It’s a fine family tradition!
Toluca Lake is a majestic neighborhood full of loving people, and it’s a wondrous place to shop, eat, wander, wonder, and do business in general. Thanks to all the merchants for their goods and the goodies, for Santa and Fritz, the wine, cider, cookies, Irish Stew, pizza, popcorn, ham, and tuna tartare(!). To the Pipers and the Drums, the trolley and to all The Tolucan Times readers who said sweet things about this (intentionally) sweet column, Cheer,
PS: As the Seabees song requires, “And we promise to remember, the 7th of December….”