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Astounding Honolulu

Weird, strange and intriguing things you didn't know about our Islands.


(page 3 of 7)

Photo: David Croxford



What is the ugliest building in Honolulu? 

I asked Honolulu Star-Bulletin readers in 2005 to decide and they voted the Pacific Guardian Tower (at left) on Kapiolani Ave. as the ugliest building in the city. The dark marble-covered neo-gothic structure is referred to as the “Darth Vader Building” and “the Bat Cave.” Second ugliest was the pimply-sided Queen Emma Building across from St. Andrew’s Priory.





Photo: Courtesy Hawaii Fishing News




Biggest Fish that Didn't Get Away?

The largest fish ever caught in Hawaii was a Blue Marlin weighing 1,805 pounds. It was caught by Gail Choy-Kaleiki off Waianae in June, 1970.







Are those tall hopping rats or short kangaroos?

Illustration: Istock

Kalihi Valley residents want to know. Actually the curious creatures sighted from time to time in the valley are a colony of  rock wallabies, a type of small kangaroo. Wallabies were first brought to Honolulu in 1916 from Australia to a private zoo on Alewa Heights. Some of the marsupial inmates escaped, went forth and multiplied. It’s believed there are now some 40 to 250 wild wallabies on Oahu.


Robert's Bunny Gets the Last Laugh:

 You’ve probably seen the waving rabbit on the side of Robert’s Hawaii’s tour buses. Seems cute but there’s a darker side. See, Roberts originally had been in competition with Greyhound Tours, which sported a greyhound dog on its buses. Eventually Greyhound went under, leaving the bulk of the tour business to Roberts. The rabbit on the Robert’s buses is somewhat smugly waving “Aloha” to the departed Greyhound dog.


Honolulu has federal “interstate” road signs even though none of our “interstate” highways lead to another state. At least not yet. In the future, the H-12 Freeway will connect Makapuu with San Diego. And it will still cost less than the H-3 Freeway!


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Honolulu Magazine July 2020
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9 Greatest Honolulu Homes

Great Homes

Stunning, historic, extraordinary.


Can the Mainland Do Poke Right? Do We Want Them To?​


Martha Cheng, author of The Poke Cookbook and former line cook, talks about how a New York City publisher decided Hawai‘i’s favorite pūpū was for everybody.


50 Essential Hawai‘i Books You Should Read in Your Lifetime


The most iconic, trenchant and irresistible island books, as voted by a panel of literary community luminaries.


Everything You Need to Know About Local Fruit in Hawai‘i


Fruits are part of our history and culture, a way for us to feel connected to our community.


A Local’s Guide to Buying Reef-Safe Sunscreen


Five Hawai‘i brands have created reef-safe sunscreens that are safe for your ʻohana and the ocean. 

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