Best of Honolulu 2015: Services
The 41 editorial and readers’ pick for the most helpful services from our Best of Honolulu 2015 issue.
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Best of Services Editor’s Pick
Best One-Stop Shop for Film Photography
Photo: David Croxford
Whether you’re a novice looking to get started or a seasoned pro, Treehouse has the best selection of film, analog cameras and darkroom supplies on O‘ahu, plus helpful workshops, film swap meets, walkabouts and exhibitions of local talent. If you’re a film enthusiast, this is the place to be. You can also drop off your undeveloped film at Treehouse, which sends the rolls out to one of three local photo labs (including Rainbow Photo Video) or The FIND Lab, a Utah company that specializes in film, founded by local photographer Jonathan Canlas. Owner Bobby Asato says Treehouse even supplies schools to “keep the art alive” through education, as more and more people turn to digital. But, as Treehouse proves, film is certainly not dead.
250 Ward Ave ., Suite 233, 597-8733, treehouse-shop.com
Best place to get your film developed
As Longs Drugs phases out its photo film-development services, it’s time to look for a local alternative that won’t ship your precious rolls to the Mainland. At Rainbow Photo Video’s photo lab, you can develop regular 35mm as well as 120 and 220 medium-format color film, plus 135mm and 120 black-and-white film, all within one day (or one hour, if needed). Manager Eric Phillips says they use a chemical process—not dry, as many labs do—to develop film because the prints last longer that way. He also says Rainbow is the only photo lab on the island that does E-6 processing for color reversal film such as Fujichrome. Plus, prices start at $5 to process a roll, 24 cents a print. It pays to shop local.
661 Ke‘eaumoku St., Suite 101A, 943-0276, rainbowphotovideo.com
Best chinese herb shop
Chinatown can be an intimidating and confusing place to navigate if you’re not sure what you want, but Gary and Nancy Lin make you feel right at home in their shop, Hou Ren Tong. Glass cases filled with prepackaged medicines and supplements make up the counter, behind which are dozens of drawers filled with loose herbs ready to be weighed out and combined in personalized treatments. The Lins are both licensed acupuncturists, as well, so go for the full traditional Chinese medicine experience.
183 N. King St., 521-7623
Best Watch Repair
Stopped watches run in our family, so thank goodness we happened to pass by the fourth-floor counter at Macy’s at Ala Moana to find loyal customers from back when it was located at Sears. Four repairs later—two sports, two treasures inherited—we’re hooked. Doesn’t matter if it’s crowded, manager Jason Billand (who was manager at Sears) and associate Mason McWayne are never less than charming. Not running, soaked in the bath, new band or battery—Billand will whisk Grandma’s sparkler into the back room and work
magic. “People come from Maui and (other) Neighbor Islands now,” says McWayne. “Nobody else can do what Jason does with repairs.” Plus, they don’t even try to upsell you a Rolex, as happens everywhere else.
On the fourth floor, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., 955-1059, macys.com
Best Tattoo Artist
Photo: David Croxford
Tattoo art is subjective—so how to find the best local artist? We posed a single question to more than a dozen local tattoo shops and artists: “Who, on O‘ahu, excluding yourself (or anyone in your shop), would you want to tattoo you?” Billy Whitney rose to the top. A founder of 808 Tattoo Studio, Okinawan-born Whitney came to Hawai‘i when he was 15, graduated from Mililani High, apprenticed with Jesse Perrin and, in 2000, started working at Gunpoint in Kailua. From quiet beginnings, he pushed himself artistically, going back to Okinawa to study Asian art and tattoos. He opened 808 Tattoo with Brian Takishita on his return; today, the studio has nine artists. “I do Japanese-style tattooing, but more traditional Japanese than you see now—I borrow lots from the 1930s and 1940s,” he says. “The old style was meant to last a lifetime; nowadays you see a lot of crazy detail, but it goes bad in four or five years, especially with the sun here in Hawai‘i.” With a wait time for appointments running three to four months, a Whitney tattoo isn’t an impulse decision. But, since tattoos are for life, there’s no need to rush.
46-018 Kamehameha Highway, #211, Kāne‘ohe, 234-1501, 808tattoo.com
Best old-house whisperer
For an older house, a handyman like Jeff Jersets is a craftsman who time travels. Making old things work in the present—like those beautiful but tricky 1930-era sash windows—he isn’t stymied by hardware selections and screen sizes City Mill and Home Depot have never heard of. His immaculate mobile workshop, an ark of ingenuity, is one reason his praises are sung by clients, including regular hosannas in Japanese on KZOO. Another secret to his success? “I always return phone calls.” (Just not when he’s on the job.)
Professional Home Repairs, 396-1697