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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Seventh Day of Christmas

 On the seventh day of Christmas, my tutu give to me, seven shrimps "wuz" swimming,

Happy New Year to You!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hawaiian 12 Days of Christmas

"On the first day of Christmas my tutu give to me, one mynah bird in one papaya tree"
Merry Christmas to one and all! Since it's Christmas day, I thought to do a series of images for my own rendition of the Hawaiian 12 Days of Christmas. Starting on December 25, the song describes gifts that one receives from their Hawaiian grandparents or "tutu". Reaching Epiphany or January 5th, the song ends on the 12th day after Christmas. As part of today's capture, this beautiful bird flew in front of my lens and began posing. All it took was a few shots and I had my photo and I took off before it did. It's not a mynah bird but since the song takes precedent over the photo, I included this handsome avian. Capturing a shot of a nearby papaya tree I merged the two images together to hold true to the first day of Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peace and Joy

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. Wishing all of you peace and joy during this holiday season.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Last Minute Shopping

As we close in on Christmas Day, families walk the mall to do some last minute shopping. The koi fish benefit from all the extra visitors.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Happy Thursday everyone! Not exactly the same but it reminded me of the Mystery Machine on Scooby Doo.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Where Hard Decisions are Made

This is the Federal building in Honolulu where decisions on difficult cases are made in Federal Court such as for, long line fisherman, entry into Kamehameha Schools, the Felix-Waihee consent decree, and Hawaii State Hospital's acquit and commit violating civil rights of the patients.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In American culture, it is revered to be young and thin and as a result, an entire generation in their fifties do things to disguise their real age through make up, surgery, medicine, dress, and behavior, maybe to fool others or maybe it's to fool themselves that they are still thirty. There are those in their forties who dress very provocatively, dye their hair, stretch their skin, and apply anti-wrinkle creams to keep up with the twenty-somethings. Those in their thirties are the new teenagers. It's not until age sixty that one becomes comfortable in their skin. This woman knows who she is and isn't afraid to show it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pick It and It Shall Rain

One folklore of the Ala Lehua flower is that if you pick it off the tree during a hike, it will begin to rain. As for this little beauty, no one had to own it and it still rained all weekend. It was the only one on this tree and at full blossom it lured me over with it's bright color.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Honolulu Academy of Arts - Anna Cooke

The Honolulu Academy of Arts was originally the home to the Rice missionaries on Oahu. The Rice family had three kids and as they prospered, they purchased works of art for their home on Beratania Street. Daughter Anna Rice married and became a part of another missionary family becoming Anna Cooke. She continued purchasing art and importing pieces from China until there was more art than their home could hold. She decided to have their Beratania home torn down in the 1920's to build a museum for their large collection. The Honolulu Academy of Arts was opened in 1927. The above photo is of the dragon fountain located in rear of the pond.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Their Only Defense is Poison

Following heavy rainfall, wild mushrooms sprout from spores earthed in areas where they spontaneously appeared before like these on the grounds of Iolani Palace. Unique in form, these delicate fungus would probably inspire artists and architects such as Frank Gehry and credit would never be given to them. Their only defense would be poison but only if they were the poisonous kind, and even then, I ask the question, "How would they extract venom from themselves to plot against those who have stolen their intellectual property?"
 Perhaps I'm just attributing human quality to these beautiful things that have lifespans of about two days before deteriorating into nothing; but isn't it only natural to humanize everything as a human being, including inanimate objects such as these mushrooms that couldn't care about their own credit?  Any doubt, just recall the dancing mushrooms on FantasiaClick here for another view of today's photo of the day.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Giant Clam Vongole

Two giant clams from New Zealand with meat so sweet that sauteing it with a simple vongole recipe less the pasta, was chosen for cutting some of it's ocean scent but also to preserve the natural flavors and juices. As a seafood lover, I melted in my seat with each bite. Removing them from the stove prematurely and allowing it to fully cook in it's own broth ensured that the meat would be as tender as top grade Kobe beef. Fresh parsley, hot peppers, and slivers of sliced garlic, heated in olive oil added to the overall richness of this dish.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Makiki Rain Forest Hike

Deep in the jungle of Makiki hiking trails are wild cherries and guava fruit. Every once in a while wild pigs are spotted eating the fruits. Although it was raining hard, we remained protected from the elements by the trees and the thick foliage. Click here to see a wide angle shot of this rain forest. The trail was muddy and slippery which made the hike a perilous one.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Horse and Carriage

Although nothing like the long rows of countless horse and carriages in New York City Central Park, Honolulu City Lights has two, and they circle around City Hall for Christmas entertainment. As you can see, there is no line to get on.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Soggy Day

The weather was rather soggy today with thunder showers and lightning. The rain ceased for a moment then it resumed then it ceased again and then it resumed again. A raindrop hit this puddle yielding this photo.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Passing Shower

Happy Monday! The sun went down and the city lit up. There was a passing shower this evening and the air is cool, perfect for deep sleep. Goodnight!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Handmade Holiday Market

There was a Handmade Holiday Market at Manoa Marketplace today where individual craftsmen lined up their booths and sold their handmade items. This one stood out in particular because of it's detail. The woman used wool to make these lifelike Christmas ornaments that looked simple but she described it as labor intensive. Click here to see more photos on Baby aWEARness' facebook page, the organizer of the Handmade Holiday.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Kunawai, a Natural Spring

Happy Friday everyone! It's been three months since Honolulu Photo of the Day posted it's first photo and your response has been overwhelmingly positive. All I have to do is log on to see some of your posts and I'm inspired to find another unique photo for the day. Thank you for following this blog because it makes it worthwhile to continue it knowing that you see it.

The photo of the day, today is of Kunawai Pond in the Liliha district. This pond is a natural spring that Hawaiian chiefs used to bathe in. The common person was not allowed to touch the water for it was believed to have healing powers. It is a natural spring that water flows from the mountains and down an underground stream, pass this spring and eventually it touches the ocean. I could only imagine that less than a century ago, the surroundings were probably overgrown with vegetation and it was probably a swampy area before it was cemented over without the rock wall. They found whitish gray clay in this spring and in this area that was used to make vessels.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Santa's Toy Shop

Every Christmas, it is tradition for Honolulu City Hall to deck it's halls with holiday cheer. There are Christmas trees lined up in the lobby with a life size gingerbread house in the center and Santa taking photos with the kids, a giant snow globe with moving polar bears, and lots of lights for that winter sparkle. Above is one of the displays. Click here to see a photo of the gingerbread house.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lion Coffee Started in the Mid-1800's

It takes eleven minutes to roast the beans for Lion Coffee with the above machine. There is a separate room filled with liquid flavor and another machine for flavoring. The original company was formed in the mid-1800's and it is the oldest trademarked coffee company in the United States that is still in operation. It was started in Illinois and brought to Oahu. The company is small in size but they roast, package, and distribute their coffee internationally. Their coffee is served exclusively with Hawaiian airlines, local hotels, and sold in many local markets. These facts and many others interesting ones were revealed to me though their daily tour. Click here to see more photos on facebook.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

These are Birthing Stones

Kukaniloko Birthing Stones
For many years now, I have wanted to pay a visit to these stones and today I was able to see them. They are not just any old rocks protruding from the ground but they are birthing stones that wives of ancient Hawaiian chiefs used to use as tools for birthing. There are a few dozens rocks that lay here and as a historical site, these stones are protected by the State of Hawaii. Some of these stones were curved in ways that could caress the bodies of the women allowing them different positions of comfort for ease of birthing. I also speculate that other rocks were used to lean on for standing birth. One stone was marked with a faint petroglyph carved on it. They were used for birthing for over 800 years. Click here to see other views of these stone on facebook.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Angry Korean Lady

Jars of Kim Chee on the Roof of Mu Ryang Sa
The Ah Lang Korean restaurant in downtown Kakaako district is owned by the "angry Korean lady" (click on the link to see more about Ah-Lang). She is known for having great Korean cuisine with reasonable prices and most of all being pissed off if you don't follow the rules of her shop. Before going there, we visited the Mu Ryang Sa Korean Buddhist Temple in Palolo to see the jars of pickled kim chee cabbage fermenting on building roof top to prepare ourselves for our excursion to Ah Lang. Because the angry Korean lady is a one woman show, she is the cook, the wait help, the bus person, the host, the cashier, the shopper, etc... She has rules in place that you must follow or be subjected to a tongue lashing and maybe refused. Here are some of those rules: You must seat yourself, you must write down your own order, you must choose how spicy your dishes are by using her number system of 0 to 8 (8 being the spiciest), food comes first then water, you must pay in cash if your order is under $50, if you bring alcohol then you must bring some for her or else there is a corkage fee, etc... The wait was long but the food was well worth the wait. We were her last customers of the day and so we conversed with her a bit about her kim chee cabbage before she ran out to buy ingredients for dinner and left us in the shop by ourselves. Apparently she purchases fresh ingredients for every meal and she ferments her own kim chee as she brought out half a head of cabbage to show us and for me to photograph. Click here to see the kim chee that the angry Korean lady brought out. I don't want to ruin her reputation but she turned out to be quite a character and a cool lady. The food is a ten out of ten and I would definitely go back but only with time to wait.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sample Them Uncooked

In Kahaluu near Kualoa Ranch, there is a macadamia nut farm tucked to the left headed north. With garden tours, jams, jellies, sauces, and of course macadamia nut products for sale at the gift shop, people stop in for a look-see. There are thousands of nuts still in their shell in a container where visitors may crack them upon a log with a rock to sample them uncooked. They have a hint of coconut flavor when eaten raw. Click here to see another image of all the mac nuts.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ilikai 7:45p.m.

Every Friday evening at 7:45p.m. for the past many years, the Ilikai hotel in Waikiki faithfully launches a firework show. In the summer, the beach is packed with families, children, tourists, and surfers who become mesmerized by the booms and the bangs of the rockets that illuminate the sky and  cityscape. The smell of bar-b-que linger and groups of beachgoers bond with food. Tonight, the crowd was sparse and the weather was cool. Perhaps most were indoors at the malls.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Saint Germaine Bakery

I called to reserve a pumpkin pie at a bakery in Liliha and when I got there, the people before me bought the last one. The cashier then said that the wait was an hour before I could have my reserved pie. So instead of waiting, I went to St. Germaine and bought an ogura cake instead thus, St. Germaine has it for the photo of the day. Check out what an ogura cake looks like by clicking here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Isolated Blizzard

The temperature dropped today and winter came a knocking. Followed by the chilly air was weird weather that came out from nowhere. Perhaps it's from the greenhouse effect or maybe it is global warming but whatever it was there we were in the middle of an isolated blizzard. I was just as surprised by it all as much as those who were around me. Everyone gazed at one another in disbelief and those of us who had cameras began snapping away to record the bubbly soap suds that fell from the roof of the mall.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

University of Hawaii Lo'i (taro farm)

Driving down Dole Street next to the University of Hawaii, a lo'i (kalo/taro farm) at the Center for Hawaiian Studies was tucked away and nestled on the right hand side heading eastbound. It is named Ka Papa Lo'i O Kanewai, and it is a learning center and also a sanctuary. I appreciated that they gave me permission to walk around, take a few photos, check out the lo'i, and was invited to a Hawaiian cultural gathering tomorrow from 10a.m. until 2p.m. to take more photos. Above are young taro plants that was planted in one of the revived irrigation ditches. Click here to see more photos of the Kanewai lo'i.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Waikiki Natatorium, "Keep Out!"

To the left of these kids is Kaimana Beach and to the right of it is the Waikiki Natatorium. The gate to the pool is locked and the "keep out" signs have been up for years. Built in the 1920's it is the only saltwater Olympic size pool in the U.S. Built in the 1920's it has undergone wear and tear from the natural elements and from use. Thousands of dollars have been dedicated to restore parts of the the natatorium although it is still unfinished and has not been deemed safe by the state. It has gone though many political battles and continues to be up for discussion of whether to tear it down completely or preserve it. It is also a war memorial for those who have died and served in World War I. Many famous Olympic swimmers have competed here in the past and Duke Kahanamoku, the founding father of surfing has competed here as well. Click here for other images on facebook of the Waikiki Natatorium.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Searching for Poi

Happy Black Friday! Since everyone was at the malls on this first day of Christmas shopping, I was hoping to get a Hawaiian plate with fresh poi at the Waiahole Poi Factory and avoid the mad rush. Unfortunately, the crew was probably at the malls too so I'll have to make another trip there the next Friday that I have off. We ended up at Ono's Hawaiian Foods on Kapahulu to satisfy my palate for some laulau, kalua pig, lomilomi salmon, chicken long rice, pipi kaula, and of course poi.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"No More Kings"

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thanksgiving is being thankful for so many things but over time it's been diluted by turkey dinners, and pumpkin pies. Click here to for a short three minute video by School House Rock on youtube to see the events that led up to the Thanksgiving national holiday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Braids of Ku

Passing this farm in Waianae Valley today, I noticed a statue of Ku that was standing at the front gates. Ku is famously known as the god of war and most attribute the energy of bloodshed with this Hawaiian god although there are many other peaceful attributes that Ku was also known for. The original statues were on display at the Bishop Museum for a short time and was lucky enough to see them. I was told that if the braids of Ku touches the ground the people would be prosperous since Ku was also compassionate. Click here to see a short video on Ku and notice that the middle statue has long braids that touches the earth.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hands, Feet, Mouth, Toes and Ears

An art student at the University of Hawaii sculpted hands, toes, feet, mouths, and ears in an entire set of rocks that are used as a walkway for as part of the project to get a MFA. They were interesting to find and more interesting to find out about.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Murphy's Bar and Grill

I wanted to be the first to wish everyone happy holidays. Today's photo of the day is the follow up for my November 17, 2011 post with the lucky clovers. As mentioned then, I was treated to lunch at Murphy's Bar and Grill on Merchant Street and I thought that for those who have read the post you may be wondering what it looks like. So, here it is.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

University of Hawaii Art Gallery

Happy Sunday everyone! I was at the University of Hawaii art gallery today and they are featuring a ceramic show called "East-West Ceramic Collaboration V"with artists from the Pacific Rim until December 9, 2011. The show is free to the public and there the artists are internationally known. One of my favorite pieces is the above cup for it's simpleness and because it is a functional piece. Other works are detailed sculptures and other vessels. One artist used a paintball gun to shoot the glaze on his plates for a splash finish. Influenced by Hawaii's shaved ice, the colors on these plates represent the rainbow of flavors. The holiday season is now in motion and the traffic in the U.H. gallery has been slow, thus if you live here, feel free to take a peek at no charge! Click here to see some of the other pieces on display on facebook. 

Click here for the map to get to the U.H. gallery

Saturday, November 19, 2011

UPW Mural- Jean Charlot

The tile murals on the wall of the United Public Workers (UPW) Union's building is a creation by Jean Charlot the famous french painter. Although at first glance, I once thought it was created by Mexican painter Diego Rivera. Located in Kalihi on School Street, it is another one of Honolulu's little treasures for all to freely enjoy. It worth seeking out since it is a block or two and walking distance from the Bishop Museum. The art depicts hard labor as it recognizes blue collar workers who are usually the unsung heroes of the community. A bunch of young volunteers were laboring in the area by picking up trash, and they walked in between the mural and my shutter for this picture.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bird on a Wire

 This mornings sky was painted by the breeze that moved clouds into swirls and bold streaks that was tinted by the sunrise. The silhouette of a bird on a wire captured the moment of darkness to light and the new beginning of a new day.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lucky Patch of Clovers!

It was an overcast and cool morning, and it would have been nice just to have slept in but work called and took over. Passing this patch of clovers on the way in, I imagined what it would be like to find a four leaf clover. Without really looking I took this quick shot. As the day progressed I counted my lucky charms and as it turned out I scored a free meal from a co-worker who took me to lunch at an Irish Pub called Murphy's Bar and Grill where I was treated to an Irish burger with blue cheese! What a lucky patch of clovers!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waianae McDonald's

The Waianae McDonald's was just renovated a few months ago. I always admired the mountain range in the backdrop and the vibrant colors of the American flag, Hawaiian flag, and the McDonald's waving proudly. There is also the word, "Aloha" right above the new entrance on the left that may be unique to this one shop.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Not a Nova

From a distance I thought that this car was a cracker box Nova then a Pontiac GTO. Moving in a bit, it was a Chevy Malibu in pristine condition. I just love the classic muscle cars. I think that the owner should polish it at least three times a week to keep the glass finish. Nice!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Buta Kaku-ni

There are so many variety of pork recipes somewhat like shrimps that I believe it can define an entire area by recipe and taste. We have pork chops for starters, pulled pork sandwiches, pork cutlet, smoked pork, Chinese kau yook, Filipino pork adobo, and don't forget the bacon, etc... The dish above is called Buta Kaku-ni in Japanese and it took three hours to stew on low heat. It went perfectly with the rice cake (mochi) and the blanched vegetables I bought from the farmer's market. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Happy Sunday! Tonight was a clear evening without a cloud in the sky. It was a perfectly cool and still evening during the sunset. The ducks, fish, and turtles were not quite ready to close their eyes yet although they were visibly slowing down.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Fun Saturday

A local fair with all kinds of good eats, rock climbing, games and prizes, art for sale, mini rides, face tattoos, a hair spray booth, and a horseback riding area made a Saturday afternoon a fun one. This horse had his way, feeding whenever he wanted making each ride just a bit longer for the kids. A bad habit for horse people but a great reward for this guy!