Living in Waikiki

Waikiki Residents Association president Robert Kessler loves his neighborhood's bustling streets.

Photo by Karin Kovalsky

Robert Kessler used to wonder why anyone would live in Waikiki. So crowded, so noisy. But now, 14 years after he and his wife moved into a condo on Nahua Street, he can’t imagine living anywhere else.

“Everything is within walking distance, and it’s such an interesting mix of urban center and tourist destination,” Kessler says. “You see a real colorful cross section of humanity.” That colorful mix of people comes with its own set of problems (the Honolulu Police Department’s most recent statistics show 144 aggravated assaults, 479 burglaries and almost 2,800 acts of larceny in Waikiki in 2006), and as president of the Waikiki Residents Association, Kessler devotes a lot of time to balancing the concerns of the residents against those of the tourist industry. “We like to think that if something keeps us residents happy, it will probably make the Hawaii experience more pleasant for our visitors.”