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For four years, photographer Paul Chesley has documented the Honolulu neighborhood of Liliha for calendars published by state Rep. Corinne Ching. Her district includes Liliha, where she makes her home, and the calendars are a labor of love for the freelance National Geographic Society photographer and the representative, who produces them without state funds as as gifts and promotional tools. These photographs, taken between 2005 and 2008, capture a historic neighborhood in all its complexity.
Plantation Home, Kunawai Lane “Corinne and I drove by this house, and I said, ‘we need to stop so I can shoot this,’” says Chesley. “I’ve spent a lot of time on outer islands so I’m used to seeing plantation-style homes with their beautiful shapes, but you don’t see them a lot in Honolulu. Sadly enough, they’ve been torn down.” The man on the porch is the nephew of the person who built the home, adds Ching.
Royal Mausoleum, Nuuanu Avenue Known as Mauna Ala (fragrant hills) in Hawaiian, the Royal Hawaiian Mausoleum has a curator, Bill Maioho, who lives on the grounds. His position is an inherited one, stemming from tradition in the alii class. His mother held the position for 28 years, his grandfather, for 10. Chief Hoolulu was his sixth great-grandfather.
Young’s Noodle Factory, Liliha Street Flour lightly coats the concrete floor like a sheet of fresh snow. Sounds of clanging pans can be heard in the distance. The tempting smell of fried noodles escapes onto bustling Liliha Street. When restaurants or nearby residents need noodles—of any kind, from yee mein to saimin—they go to Young’s Noodle Factory. In the back sit archaic-looking metal machines and, on a recent morning, dozens of 5-inch deep trays held a mess of chow mein.