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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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Photo: Michael Keany

41. The view of downtown Honolulu from the Dole Cannery parking garage

We went to see a movie and found the real spectacle by the car. From here, downtown looks like a dense, tall, coherent, shiny mini-metropolis. It’s our town’s equivalent of John Barrymore’s famous profile.


Photo: iStock

42. Mangos from the neighbors

If you’re not lucky enough to have a mango tree in your backyard, no worries, auntie’s got fruit to spare. And your co-worker has Meyer lemons, your pastor has lychee and your neighbor has breadfruit. Turns out you’re lucky after all.

Web Exclusive:  Mango Chutney Recipe

If you’ve got too many mangos to eat fresh, try making your own batch of Punahou School renowned Mango Chutney:
10 pounds of mangoes (green or half-ripe), peeled, sliced and cut in chunks
    3/4 cups salt
    5 pounds sugar
    6 or 7 cups cider vinegar, depending on acidity of mangoes
    1 1/2 pounds almonds, blanched and cut in thin strips
    1 pound finely sliced candied lemon peel
    1 pound finely sliced candied orange peel
    2 large onions, chopped fine
    2 pounds seedless raisins
    1 pound finely sliced candied citron
    2/3 cup green ginger, cooked and chopped fine
    1 cup finely chopped preserved ginger
    2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
    8 small Hawaiian chilis, with seeds removed, chopped fine
Sprinkle mangoes with salt and allow to stand overnight.
Boil the sugar and vinegar for 5 minutes, add the mixture to the drained mango, and then cook until tender. Add the other ingredients and cook slowly to desired consistency, about 30 minutes to an hour. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal immediately. Makes 15 pints.


Photo: Wes Funai

43. Drinking Tea

“Today Just Sip Some Tea” is the saying on the scroll that hangs in Urasenke Foundation of Hawaii’s tearoom. When downtown’s daily grind starts to wear on you, slip away—without having to go too far—and sip matcha in this traditional Japanese tea room. Chado public demonstrations at the Urasenke Foundation of Hawaii are held Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m., for more information call 923-3059.

44. Rivalries

Rivalries are one of the cornerstones of localness. It might sound like arguing to the untrained ear, but it’s really just enthusiasm. And the unshakeable conviction that your favorite shave ice is vastly superior to your friend’s favorite. I mean, c’mon, Waiola vs. Matsumoto? Other long-standing foes: Punahou vs. Iolani, Goma Tei vs. Goma Ichi, Leonards vs. Champion, Legends vs. Mei Sum.

Photo: Rae Huo

45. University of Hawaii Scientists

We ❤ it!

How cool is it that so much world-class scientific research is coming out of our very backyard, from glow-in-the dark mice to cutting-edge astronomy? We love science superstars like David Karl, who has been doing groundbreaking work in microbial oceanography, and recently received a $3.79 million grant to continue his research. What’s he working on these days? Oh, just quantifying solar energy capture and transduction, and studying bioelemental cycles and sequestration of atmospheric carbon in the ocean ecosystem. Rock on, U.H. scientists!



Nainoa Thompson navigates the Hokulea towards Micronesia in 2007.

Photo: Monte Costa

46.  Adventurers

 Hawaii’s first settlers were intrepid Polynesian sea-goers, and, hundreds of years later, Islanders are still finding new ways to travel without hopping on a plane. This July, for example, a group of kiteboarders surfed all the way from Hookipa Beach on Maui to Kailua Beach on Oahu, more than 100 miles in all. We’re also rediscovering the old ways—the PolynesianVoyaging Society has been traveling the open seas on double-hulled canoes since 1975, guided only by the stars; in 2007 the Hokulea visited Micronesia and Japan.


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Honolulu Magazine May 2018
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