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From Our Files

February archives


In 1888, King Kalakaua issued a royal charter, commissioning a magazine. Then titled Paradise of the Pacific, this publication became HONOLULU Magazine, making it the oldest magazine west of the Mississippi.



“Every new ship that comes into Hawaii means more sailors visiting this port, men who are in a sense guests of our city and who need entertainment and often advice and assistance,” notes Paradise of the Pacific. That’s where the Seaman’s Institute of Honolulu comes in, located on what is now the Kakaako waterfront. The Institute provides everything from living quarters, entertainment and meals (including holiday feasts), to a place where sailors could write letters to families on the Mainland. “Over and over the writers mention Honolulu as the one port that stands out in their memory for real hospitality.”



Waikiki Aquarium—originally named the Honolulu Aquarium and established in 1904—is the third oldest in the United States, and is, “on the basis of attendance, the city’s outstanding ‘tourist attraction,’” observes Paradise of the Pacific. The aquarium attracted “10 times more visitors” when it abolished the 25 cent admission fee in 1941. Despite its popularity, the University of Hawaii-owned facilities were inadequate. It wasn’t until 1955 (and again in 1992) that large renovations were made. UH still owns the aquarium, and it was most recently renovated in 2004 for its centennial celebration. 



HONOLULU Magazine examines the operations of the Oahu Community Correctional Center, three years after a much-needed 1981 shakedown, “a massive attempt on the part of authorities to confiscate weapons and generally restore order.” The shakedown even involved Halawa High Security guards, HPD and the National Guard, who rid the prison of drugs, booze and weapons. OCCC was still overcrowded, even after Gov. George Ariyoshi’s $615,000 appropriation ($1.3 million in 2008 dollars), to build an additional 250-room dormitory. In 2008, the state proposed building a $9 million facility on Maui to deal with overcrowding.


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Honolulu Magazine May 2018
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Colin Nishida, Beloved Chef and Restaurateur, Leaves a Culinary Legacy

Colin Nishida

An entire community remembers the owner of Side Street Inn.


Closing of Popular Lanikai Pillbox Hike Delayed Until Further Notice

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

The state asks for public input as it works to repair the old concrete observation stations on the trail, commonly known as “pillboxes.”


First Look: Panda Dimsum in Kalihi

Panda Dim Sum

Frogs, hedgehogs and bees, oh my! This spot dishes up cute, Instagrammable dumplings.


Kaimukī Gets da Shop, a New Kind of Bookstore and Event Space

Da Shop

It takes guts to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the days of instant online gratification, but in da Shop, local publisher Bess Press has found a way to allow fickle/loyal readers to have their cake and eat it, too.


20 Great O‘ahu Hikes

Explore 20 great adventures that offer beautiful vistas, waterfalls and more.



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