From Our Files
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.
In discussing notable books about the Pacific, Paradise of the Pacific mentions Richard Henry Dana’s personal narrative Two Years Before the Mast. The book—published in 1840—sheds light on the experiences and often inhumane conditions of being a common sailor aboard ships. The caption to this photo reads: “Punishment aboard the early sailing ships: dragging a seaman by ropes under the keel of a vessel.” Local history buffs might find Dana’s book of interest—he describes small groups of “kanakas” who had settled in California in the 1830s.
HONOLULU checks out the new disco in the Sheraton Waikiki. The Infinity Club’s claim to fame is that “its hostesses resemble those of the well-known Playboy and Penthouse clubs which have not yet touched our shores.” Known as the Infinity Dolls, the cocktail waitresses wear chunky heels and what resemble one-piece swimsuits, “showing off a lot of flesh.” They also can’t bend over, but instead do a “bunny dip,” and perch themselves on the bar to chat with guests. Owner Al Phillips invested $600,000 in the club ($2.9 million in 2009 dollars). Today, people can enjoy the Sheraton’s current club, Rumfire, dolls not included.
“American tastes are turning Japanese,” says HONOLULU Magazine. “East now meets West in the U.S. marketplace.” Honolulu looks into one aspect of this phenomenon by covering the Honolulu Sake Brewery. Master brewer Takao Nihei started his business in what was once a Pauoa Valley taro patch in 1908. For most of its 80-year history the brewery “claimed the double distinction of being the first sake brewery set up outside Japan and of being the last one left.” Nihei describes sake as a “cup of solace.” The brewery closed in 1988 to make way for housing in the valley.
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