Best of Honolulu 2004 - Shopping


Carol Kim of Cindy’s Lei & Flower Shoppe.

Photo: rae huo

Best Lei Stand

“It’s Cindy’s Lei & Flower Shoppe!” exclaimed a friend of ours, who praised the store’s customer service. “One worker even rigged a system for me to carry a vase of roses on my motorcycle for Boss’s Day.” Cindy’s (1034 Maunakea St., 536-6538) also has a great lei selection. We like their yellow and white orchid lei and green orchid Christina, each around $25. The store also has sale bins, piled with $1, $2 and $5 lei. There are other notable shops on Maunakea, including Lin’s Lei Shop (1017A Maunakea, 537-4112). The store “can do small and bulk orders without blinking an eye,” says busy event planner Anne Smoke.

Best Place for Used Musical Instruments

The swap meet held by Easy Music Centers has become the place to pick up used instruments and music gear on the cheap. Vendors set up outside the store on a first-come-first-serve basis for a single day to sell amplifiers, drum kits, basses, guitars, keyboards—everything you need to start your own band. The event used to happen once a year, but popular demand has stepped up the schedule. Arlene Feliciano says the store gets calls all the time asking when the next one is, why they don’t have one every Sunday. "But three or four times a year is enough," she says, "for now." The next one is on April 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 1108 Keeaumoku St., 591-0999.

Cheapest Cigs

Not that we’re encouraging this behavior, but if you happen to smoke, you’ve probably noticed the ever-rising prices of cigarettes. Pop into a Long’s Drug Store and a pack of Marlboro Lights will run you $4.29. A pack of Benson & Hedges Ultra Lights: $5.60. Here are two stores that offer lower prices for your vices:

Cigarette 4 Less, 808 Sheridan St. 943-6440: $3.90 for Marlboro Lights, $4.70 for Benson & Hedges Ultra Lights.

Cigarettes Cheaper dba Cheap Ass Cigarettes, 1327 Nuuanu Ave., 550-2679: $4 Marlboro Lights, $4.60 for Benson & Hedges Ultra Lights.

Not that we’re encouraging this either, but if you’re hardcore, consider buying in bulk. Costco offers cartons of Marlboro Lights for $35.68 each and Benson & Hedges Ultra Lights for $42.18. One carton contains 10 packs—do the math.

Best Place for Used Video Games

Video gaming can be an expensive hobby, with new games often costing $60 or more. Toys n’ Joys stocks hundreds of used games for the PS2, Xbox, GameCube and older systems such as the NES and SNES. But you may not save any money after all, because the store also has an amazing assortment of toys and collectibles you didn’t know you needed until you walked into the place—mech robot kits, too-sexy-for-children animal figurines and other impossibly cool stuff from Japan. 3620 Waialae Ave., 735-4546.

Best Lamp Store

You can buy fabulous furniture and appliances, but without the proper lighting, they won’t look their best. You’ll find a huge lighting selection from more than 100 manufacturers at Lighting Elegance—everything from low-priced lamps to $15,000 crystal chandeliers. Haven’t got a clue what kind of lighting belongs in your home? Don’t sweat it. “We often go through plans with contractors, designers, homeowners, and we can tell them what will work best,” says manager Scott Dumas. “We’re very knowledgeable. Lighting affects the feel of a house and really adds to the overall look.” 3057 Waialae Ave. 735-3567.

Best Light Bulb Store

Now that you’ve got that one-of-a-kind lamp, you’ll need to find the one-of-a-kind light bulb that fits it. If you’ve ever stared forlornly at some weird little burned-out bulb, sure that you’ll never see its like in any store, you need to visit The Light Bulb Source Hawaii. This specialty shop carries more than 2,000 bulbs. Among its offerings are longer-lasting and energy efficient bulbs, bulbs for desk lamps and appliances, decorative bathroom vanity bulbs shaped like flowers, adapters to turn incandescent fixtures into more miserly fluorescents and adapters that some foreign-made lamps need to accept American standard bulbs. 535 Ward Ave., Room 105. 596-2214.


Best of Honolulu 2004