Welcome to the Issue: Lucky Us

For 125 years and counting, we’re still loving Honolulu.

With this 126th Holiday Annual,we wrap up our 125th anniversary celebration. We kicked it off a year ago with an issue full of history—the November 2012 cover story transported readers back to Honolulu as it existed in 1888, the year the magazine was founded. Looking back is important—you can’t tell who you are till you know where you came from. But that’s only the first step, of course.

For this issue, we decided to take a look around the Honolulu of today.

We found people still speaking the Hawaiian language. Not as many as there were in 1888, sure, but, as writer Constance Hale discovered, the conversations taking place in 2013 are far more than token alohas and mahalos, thanks to the tireless efforts of people around the state, and it looks as though olelo Hawaii is only going to grow healthier.

We also found people making the city a better place, each in their own ways, working to save endangered historic buildings, and just plain enjoying themselves on the waters surrounding Oahu.

These stories made us realize how lucky we are to live in Honolulu, and inspired us to count the ways. These kinds of features are always fun; once we started brainstorming, it became hard to stop. You’ll notice that many of the pages throughout the issue are studded with numbered reasons—think of them as spillover from the main cover story.

If you’re inspired to post some of your own reasons for loving Honolulu, we’d love to hear about it—shoot us an email, or just hashtag us with #luckywelivehonolulu and #honolulumagazine.

As we close out the anniversary, there is one more present to unveil: a book containing some of the best covers from our magazine’s history. We’ve been working on it for a few months, so when the first copies of the book arrived in the office, as we were going to press, we all had to take a few minutes out of our busy production schedule to ooh and ahh over the final product. You can get a sneak peek at some of the covers featured in the book on page 71, and pick up a copy for yourself at honolulumagazine.com/125, or your favorite local bookstore.

Luckily yours,

Michael Keany
Managing Editor


Constance Hale was born in Waialua, attended Punahou, and then headed to the Mainland for college and grad school. A San Francisco-based journalist, she has written three books on language: Wired Style, Sin and Syntax and Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch. Her own knowledge of olelo Hawaii has deepened even while she’s lived in California, mostly because she writes often about Hawaiian music and dances with Na Lei Hulu i ka Wekiu, a San Francisco hālau. She wrote about bilingual-immersion schools for Wired in 1996, and was eager to take another snapshot of the state of the Hawaiian language today.


James Cave is editor of theoffsetter.com, a Honolulu arts and culture news website. This month, he wrote two very different pieces: one on absinthe cocktails, and a feature about the unsung heroes who improve the city for all of us. “Writing about absinthe was really a lot of fun, because of the wormwood,” he says about his tour of the best spots in Honolulu at which to get your fix. “But turning around and interviewing each of the people who win at life really made me wonder what I’m doing with myself!”


Adam Jung, formerly a professional freestyle bicycle rider, got into photography after getting his picture taken by Spike Jonze for BMX magazine’s Freestylin’ and Homeboy. He studied at Windward Community College under Mark Hamasaki and later graduated from UH with a degree in photography. Jung’s aesthetic was influenced by growing up in Kailua, as well as years of working as a model/photographer in Asia. He shot the portraits for the feature “Making a Difference,”  and often works with HONOLULU’s fashion team. “It’s always great shooting with the crew at HONOLULU,” he says. “I love it when I hear Brie Thalmann say, “Oh! Pretty!”