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50 Reasons to Love This City

Not to break out that tired phrase again, but we Honolulu residents really are lucky. It’s easy to take for granted how cool, how eclectic, how just plain great this city is, so we thought we’d take a few pages to list just a few of the reasons, both big and little, that we love this place.


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Funky statehood-era architecture

We ❤ it! 

It’s a historical accident that Hawaii’s statehood era coincided with the distinctive style of mid-century modernism. The buildings from that era stand out like no others, recalling a time when Hawaii joined not just a nation, but an international scene. Some favorites:

Photo: Michael Keany

24. First United Methodist Church

Alfred Preiss Concrete can be beautiful, and dignified. And when the concrete is laced with lava rocks, you know you’re in Hawaii. 1028 S. Beretania. (1955)

Photo: Michael Keany

25. The Pacific Club

Vladimir Ossipoff
The ultimate in postwar casual Island elegance, a kind of country retreat just steps away from the Bishop Street pressure cooker. 1451 Queen Emma Street. (1961)

Photo: Courtesy University of Hawaii

26. Jefferson Hall and Kennedy Theatre

I.M. Pei These noble buildings are monuments to the notion that the world needs Hawaii as the place where East and West can come together. East-West Center. (1962 and 1963)


Photo: Courtesy of The Kahala

27. Kahala Hilton Hotel

Edward Killingsworth
Straight lines never looked so sexy. And concrete—the Kahala shows it doesn’t have to be massive to be strong. 5000 Kahala Avenue. (1964)


Photo: Lora Lamm

28.  Preserving the Past

by keeping old neighborhoods old, like Waialae, Liliha and Merchant, and revitalizing the junk ones—can’t say we miss walking on that seedy stretch of Hotel Street when the only lights came from neon signs for strip bars and swing clubs.

Photo: Michael Keany

29. Waimanalo Beach

Stretching for six miles, it’s the longest beach in Hawaii; the sand is the finest, the water is translucent, and it’s not yet overrun by tourists. It’s like the real life version of a movie version of a real Hawaii beach. The name “Waimanalo” means “potable water.”


Photo: Olivier Koning

30.  Mihana Souza 

If there’s a harder working ambassador of aloha around town, we can’t think of one. Singer Mihana Souza and her group, Puamana, perform weekly gigs at Duc’s Bistro and the Oahu Country Club, as well as at parties and events all over town, making her seem almost ubiquitous. “I don’t think I’ve had a free weekend in the past 30 years,” she says. Souza’s musical talents are being passed on to the next generation—daughter Mahina is now performing with Puamana.





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Honolulu Magazine February 2018
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