Canyon News
Is Living In The Hills An Expression Of Creativity
By Joann Deutch
Mar 17, 2013 - 11:36:46 AM

Right and left brain functions.
—How do we face the world? How do we cope and adjust? And just what makes me think about these things anyway?


It grew out of an interview with a neighbor whom I thought I knew, and whom I had mentally gauged and cataloged as a quiet pleasant guy. I first became acquainted with Todd as he wandered the neighborhood with his happy and obedience threesome of dogs. Obedient dogs are an anathema to me. I was green with envy.


Then once when chatting he mentioned that he needed to hustle home, he was making a dresser for his girlfriend. Anyone who can turn wood has my admiration. I silently wish I could.


Most recently I bumped into Todd, but this time in a new setting. Surprise - He was catering an event for a neighbor. He runs Laurel Canyon Catering. I thought he was a showbiz guy, you know, a behind the scenes kinda guy. So I asked to catch up with him later.


He invited me to talk with him at his home. I stepped into his house and was sucked into the view, and that cherry wood. Smooth warm lines contrasted with right angels tempered with soft colors. I thought, hmm .. This is a guy who’s firing on all pistons. I blinked back in time and remembered that his food was artfully displayed. Where does it come from - the ability to create that kind of visual balance?


I’ve been wrestling with the observation that many of our neighbors share some common denominators; an artistic bent, juggling and melding the creative and practical. No one seems to do just one thing. Our neighbor’s stories often include a sharp right turn from their original career path. Does choosing to live in the hills correlate somehow with this pattern?


Todd ditched Los Angeles for New England and was off to Dartmouth College. From college he segued to Wall Street as a Private Wealth Management advisor. When his firm offered to transfer him to Los Angeles he jumped at the chance. How did he wind up living in the hills? He and two buddies rented the house he now owns. Three guys just having a great time. His friends eventually peeled away from the house, leaving Todd to carry on.


How did he jump from Wall Street to running a successful catering business? Just as importantly what gave him the nerve and confidence to make the jump? His two grandmothers had shared their passion for cooking with him. He blended their cuisines to create his southern/SoCal flair for fresh, healthy food. From his Wall Street connections he knew show biz people who lived in Malibu and entertained lavishly. Therein lays the basis for some of his confidence to jump ship.


Can being a student of personality types help solve this conundrum? Who’s a risk taker? Who’s a creative person? One trainer describes the necessary personality as one who, stuck in traffic in an unfamiliar place, will choose to take the side roads for the adventure, with the confidence that he will get to his destination.


The choice to live in the hills may just be the side road to our adventure.


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