Tag Archives: toluca lake

Thanks for being flexible Southwest Airlines

Another thing to love about Southwest: their flexibility. Yesterday when I realized that my connecting flight from Vegas to LA was going to be delayed yet another hour due to mechanical problems with the plane back in Tucson, I decided it was time to act. I tried to get on an earlier LAX flight which was oversold but the airline said I could give it a shot…and not loose my seat on my scheduled flight. No extra cost. No hassles. What a delightful change from other airlines which are rarely so flexible and would charge extra to change my ticket. Even more amazing, as i was,rushing back across the airport to see if I could get,on the earlier LAX flight, I passed a gate where a flight to Burbank was boarding. I remembered that my brother lived even closer to Burbank than LAX so,I dashed over to the desk, asked,if there were any seats left and once again, was told it was oversold but worth a try. A few minutes later , my name was called and an hour later I was at the Burbank airport when I got a,text saying my original flight still had not left Vegas. Even though Burbank was more expensive, no one said a word about charging me more or not letting me on the flight. Talk about a good way to build brand loyalty! meanwhile here (see photo) is the reason why I am now staying in a sweet bungalow in Toluca Lake with my brother and his family. Beautiful,area by the way. We walked in some lovely residential areas, passing houses owned by movie stars like Steve Carrell and even sawmthe house that was used as the exterior for the brady bunch!



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Los Angeles’ Larchmont Boulevard….and awful traffic

I think I found this story below in Delta Sky Magazine – and since LA is back on my to-go map, thanks to my brother and his family moving there, I’m holding onto it. Also helps that the actress Judy Greer, whose recommendations the story features, is a fellow former Detroiter. Who knew?  Larchmont Blvd. is 8 miles south of Toluca Lake (where my brother  lives) which here in Des Moines would involve an 8 minute drive but apparently is a 20 minute drive in L.A., according to Mapquest. Which sounds about right since  L.A. just earned the dubious honor of the U.S. city with the worst traffic. (see story below). The average Los Angeles driver spent 59 hours sitting in traffic in 2012, or about 2 1/2 days. OMG.

On the bright side….Here is:

Judy Greer's Favorite Street

Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese, Vanessa Stump

Photo by Vanessa Stump

Outside Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese.


Long known as the quirky sidekick with impeccable comedic timing, actress Judy Greer has become a staple of TV (Arrested Development, Mad Love, Two and a Half Men) and movies (The Wedding Planner, 27 Dresses, Love and Other Drugs)—and her star is rising. She currently costars with George Clooney in Alexander Payne’s much-buzzed-about dramady The Descendants. Next up, Greer joins Ed Helms, Jason Segel and Susan Sarandon in Jeff Who Lives at Home and is part of a star-studded cast in Playing the Field, both out in early 2012.

The Detroit native moved to LA after college and says Larchmont Boulevard is her favorite street. “I love the mellow people,” Greer says. “It’s not super-Hollywood-y. There are still small, privately owned businesses, which adds to the neighborhood feel.”

“One time Steven Spielberg petted my dog when he was tied up outside of a coffee shop on Larchmont,” Greer says. “I didn’t actually see it, but someone told me when I came out with my coffee. And I believe that stranger, because I want to.”

Greer says that Larchmont is a must-stop when in LA, but remember to “pay the parking meter,” she says. “You will get a parking ticket. If you get lucky and find street parking on a nearby street, pay attention to the parking signs. You will get a parking ticket!”

For a great sandwich, Greer says that Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese can’t be beat. “The line gets really long, but it’s worth it,” Greer says. “While you’re there, pick up a bottle of the wine of the month. It’s always amazing.” 223 Larchmont Blvd. N.

Pickett Fences is the best store for all your basics, and then some,” Greer says. “It has almost every jean, T-shirt and underwear line, plus some shoes and jewelry. Also, it has the best customer service—never pushy, but always helpful.” 214 Larchmont Blvd. N.

Village Pizzeria is my favorite pizza place in Los Angeles,” she says. “People are very funny about pizza, but you need to try a slice here and see what you think. I think it’s amaze-balls. I like the Greek slice, but that’s just me. I like feta cheese.” 131 Larchmont Blvd. N.

Just south of Hollywood, Larchmont Boulevard serves as Windsor Square’s main street, with shops, restaurants and entertainment.

  • “Noni has really hip clothes and a great aquarium, too!” Greer says. 225 Larchmont Blvd. N.
  • “I always seem to start and finish my holiday shopping at Landis Gifts and Stationery,” she says. “The store also has Le Pen, my favorite pen, in many colors.” 138 Larchmont Blvd. N.
  • “Check out Larchmont Beauty Center, it has everything. Period,” Greer says. 208 Larchmont Blvd. N.
  • Greer also recommends a stop at Le Petit Greek restaurant. 127 Larchmont Blvd. N.
  • By Laura J. Nelson and Joseph Serna
  • April 24, 2013, 6:46 a.m.

    They say one of the best things about California is you can snowboard, surf, hike a mountain and walk in a desert all in one day.

    But on the other end of the spectrum, you can also sit idling in your car for an hour trying to accomplish all those things.

    In what will come as a surprise to virtually no Southern California commuter, Los Angeles has once again earned the dubious distinction of having the worst traffic in the United States, according to an annual congestion scorecard.

    The report, from data company Inrix, reaffirms what many Angelenos already believe: That L.A. has the worst traffic in the country, that its freeways are among the most crowded, and that the worst time of the week to drive home is Friday afternoon.

    The average Los Angeles driver spent 59 hours sitting in traffic in 2012, or about 2 1/2 days, the data showed.

    In Honolulu, the second-worst city and a previous traffic jam winner, drivers wasted about nine hours less.

    Two other California cities also ranked in the bad-congestion top 10: San Francisco was third, and San Jose was seventh.

    On Friday afternoons, the Inrix study revealed, it takes the average Los Angeles commuter more than an hour to get home.

    Los Angeles also is home to 35 of the 162 most-congested sections of highway in the country.

    And four freeways are in the country’s 10 most congested: The southbound 405, the eastbound 10, the northbound 405 and the southbound 5 Freeway.

    Analysts have long said the state of the economy is linked to how much traffic is on the road. When there are more jobs, it’s said, more people drive.

    Traffic got worse in 2012, Inrix said, because Los Angeles added about 90,000 jobs.

    Inrix is a data company that tracks and analyzes traffic data, and provides a popular smartphone application that allows drivers to see where and why routes are clogged.

    One bright spot in the report: A 13-mile segment of the northbound 405 between the 105 Freeway and Getty Center Drive dropped from the most-congested freeway in the country to the eighth most congested. The freeway now has carpool lanes.

    To top it all off, traffic isn’t likely to improve, the study says. In the first part of 2013, congestion increased 6% over the previous year. Nationally, traffic also increased after a two-year decline.

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Filed under DINING, Los Angeles

who’s who in Toluca Lake (LA)?

So I’d never heard of Toluca Lake, a neighborhood of Los Angeles until about a month ago when my brother and his family moved there. Now I’m noticing it more – along with all things L.A. – and according to the latest issue of People Mag – Miley Cyrus lives there. Golly. And fun fact: The oldest Bob’s Big Boy in America is just across the border in Burbank! (Wonder how it stacks up against the Big Boy of our youth in Royal Oak, Michigan?)

Decided to see what other celebs have lived there and here’s what the internet tells me – I’m pretty sure some of these people are no longer alive (Frank Sinatra, Lawrence Welk?):

Statue in front of Bob’s Big Boy restaurant in Burbank, California.

* Steve Abbott,actor
* Julie Andrews, actress and singer
* Jonathan Antin, hairstylist
* Drake Bell, actor and singer
* Jack Black, actor
* Brooke Burns, actress
* Ann Blyth, actress and singer
* Steve Carell, actor
* Peter Casey, television writer
* Bing Crosby, singer and actor
* Billy Ray Cyrus, actor and singer
* Doris Day, singer and actress; animal rights advocate
* Kat Dennings, actress
* Rick Dees, radio personality
* Roy E. Disney, director and producer
* Hilary Duff, actress and singer
* Kirsten Dunst, actress
* Amelia Earhart, aviatrix
* Zac Efron, actor
* W. C. Fields, actor
* Larry Fine, actor
* Redd Foxx, comedian and actor
* Andy García, actor
* Jenny Garth, actress
* Harold Greene, news anchorman
* Andy Griffith. actor
* Christopher J. Harrell, musician, philanthropist
* Brett R. Henry, photographer and writer
* Steve Hofstetter, comedian and radio personality
* Vanessa Hudgens, actess,singers
* Jennifer Love Hewitt, actress
* William Holden, actor
* Bob Hope, actor
* Moe Howard, actor
* Wayne Knight, actor
* George Lopez, actor, comedian
* Leonard Maltin, film critic
* Garry Marshall, director and producer
* Eric McCormack, actor
* Roger Miller, song writer and singer
* Jeffrey Dean Morgan, actor
* José Offerman, Major League baseball player
* Jonas Brothers, singers (Joe, Nick, and Kevin)
* Markie Post, actress
* Brenda Song, actress, singer, model
* Frank Sinatra, singer, actor
* Kelly Sweet, singer
* Alan Thicke, actor
* Ashley Tisdale, actress, singer
* Forrest Tucker, actor
* Jim Tully, author
* Denzel Washington, actor
* Scott Weiland, singer, lyricist
* Lawrence Welk, band leader
* Dawn Wells, actress
* Eric West, Cinematographer
* Henry Winkler, actor
* Cary Woodworth, actor, musician
* Joanne Worley, actress, comedian



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