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Editor’s Page: Making Time

Celebrate the moments.


Photo: Adam jung

Summertime offers longer days and the seductive attraction of more time to jump in the ocean, read, tackle projects or just nap, preferably sprawled across some sand or a comfy chair. Midsummer gives us more time to contemplate the good things in life.


I’m pretty sure that’s how we came to celebrate the Best of Honolulu each year. We get to share our favorite foods and activities and include shout-outs to businesses that help us navigate life. Readers vote for their best selections each year, and we throw in a few of our staff favorites, too.


People often ask us for the newest, latest, coolest things we’ve found when we’re working on this kind of story. This year, we have 121 winners, which involves our entire staff reaching out to a lot of people to learn their winning formulas. 


And, while the shiny new discovery holds a certain appeal, we noticed the common thread running through many of our stories is not just passion but also commitment to doing the job right. Sure, most winners bring talent and dedication to the job, but the ones that stand out the most do so because they keep trying; they don’t settle for less. Take our winning salad dressing: Liliko‘i Balsamic from Kahuku Farms. When fourth-generation farmer Kylie Matsuda-Lum kept getting requests for bottled dressing at the farm café, she set out to find a way to make it shelf-stable. Her consultant recommended substituting cheaper ingredients to keep the cost down. But Matsuda-Lum resisted: “It’s not the same. It changes the flavor and we can’t do it. We went back to the original recipe and that’s what we’ve been making ever since.” 


Sometimes, changing the recipe works out. While we were putting together this year’s edition, we were also marking our anniversary of 50 years as HONOLULU Magazine. Sure, our official birthday goes back to the historic founding of our predecessor publication, Paradise of the Pacific, in 1888, when King David Kalākaua commissioned a magazine to be Hawai‘i’s ambassador to the world. But we appreciate the chance to mark our golden anniversary as HONOLULU, because that was the year we shifted our focus to being dedicated to our city, our Islands and our people. Clearly, a change worthy of celebration.


And we were also fortunate recently to be recognized for both national and regional awards for work we do here at the magazine. I got to travel to Denver for the annual conference of the City and Regional Magazine Association (where we won a first-place and three finalist awards this year). It was an inspiration to sit down with magazine teams from across the country. And it reminded us to celebrate all the good work year-round, not just at annual award ceremonies. Talking about the challenges that vex us and the work we’re proud of gave us an opportunity to pause to reflect, something we often forget to do. And meeting with others gave us the chance to think about those who’ve come before us in shaping our magazine. We’re fortunate that many talented people have come through our doors over the decades, and, even as we chart our course through a rapidly changing media landscape, we should celebrate.


So, in the spirit of celebrating the moments, I’d like to thank those who have shaped the magazine over the years. I thank all of those who work with us each day. And I’d like to thank those who still inspire us even though they don’t work in the same company with us, especially former editor/publisher David Pellegrin, who won a lifetime achievement award from the CRMA in 1990. Pellegrin kindly continues to offer me unofficial occasional insights as something of an Obi-Wan Kenobi of publishing. Hearing about the mark he’d made among national colleagues reinforced my appreciation for him and the others who built our history.


Here’s to another year of striving for the best while pausing to celebrate the moments—and the people—that make it all worthwhile.




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Honolulu Magazine May 2020
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