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An Open Letter to APEC Attendees


photo: thinkstock

Welcome, APEC attendees!

First of all, sorry about the mess. We had all these highway-improvement projects we meant to finish before you got here, but you know how it is. You dig up the asphalt, the utilities are never where anyone said they would be, one thing leads to another and you’re backed up and over budget. So traffic might get a little crazy, especially around what we like to call pau hana time. Philippines, you know what we’re talking about, right? It’s not gonna be Manila-crazy, but, still, keep your limo entourages off the road between 4 and 5:30 p.m. It would help us out. We’d like to get home in time for Five-0.

You have a lot of events at the Hawaii Convention Center, and we know that neighborhood well, so, some tips: Skip the boring seminars. Head across the street to Apartment3 in Century Center for some terrific cocktails. There are a lot of dark, stylish booths there, so if you have any secret, er, trade negotiations to negotiate, it’s just the place.

The same area boasts Femme Nu and Club Rock-Za on Kapiolani Boulevard. These strip clubs have staffed up in anticipation of your arrival. No doubt you all have strip joints at home—Thailand, come on, we know you know what we’re talking about!—but what happens at APEC stays at APEC, unless it gets snapped with a cell phone and Tweeted. Nothing we can do about that, that’s just the way it is these days.

We’d like to call your attention to the lack of homeless people in the vicinity. You’ll be glad to know that, to spare you discomfort, local government found a way to make them disappear. No, not like that. Look, China, we don’t care how you do things back home, but when we say disappear, we mean, “made them set up their tents somewhere else for a while before reclaiming our public parks at a later date." They’ll be fine, promise!

Speaking of disenfranchisement, you have got to see Gaye Chan’s exhibit while you’re in town. Chan is a professor of art history and the chair of the University of Hawaii Art Department and she unequivocally opposes APEC, the organization and its meetings. “I unequivocally oppose APEC, the organization and its meetings," says Chan. Her exhibit, Frass," at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, is one of those John Lennon-y “imagine no borders" type of things. Delegates, please do swing by, especially those lifting people out of poverty through free trade, because you just got served!

One more thing: We recommend getting out of Waikiki and seeing the rest of Oahu, or the Neighbor Islands. All of Hawaii is beautiful! Why else would the Tahitians, British, Russians and Americans come all this way to steal it from its original inhabitants? (In your face, British Commonwealth; U.S.A., U.S.A.! We got Hawaii and all you got was Jack on our state flag!)

But seriously, if you do go swimming or hiking, lock your rental cars and motorcades, because someone will totally steal stuff right out of your vehicles.

Enjoy your stay and A-looooooooooooo-ha!

-Your friends at HONOLULU


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Honolulu Magazine September 2018
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