Your Guide to the Perfect Labor Day Weekend in Honolulu: September 2–8, 2020
Stream the Okinawan Festival and Disney’s “Mulan” from the comfort of your own home, order discounted meals from a local restaurant every week and celebrate National Beer Lovers’ Day by supporting local businesses. Oh, and bake rainbow bread like a boss.
JOIN the virtual Okinawan Festival
Friday, September 4–Sunday, September 6
It breaks my heart to write this—and I waited until the last possible moment for an update—but I will not be getting my yearly andadog fix this weekend. Instead, the 37th Okinawan Festival has jumped on the virtual festival bandwagon; attendees can join in on experiences such as bon dances, musical performances, a cooking demo with chef Roy Yamaguchi and the “120th Anniversary of Okinawan Immigration Webinar” at the opening ceremony. Check out the full lineup here. Organizers encourage everyone to order takeout from their favorite Okinawan-owned restaurants while they enjoy the festive weekend. So, where can I order andadogs from?
STREAM Disney’s Mulan
Released Friday, September 4 on Disney+
Not every Disney live-action remake is a winner (why you gotta do Aladdin like that?) but I have enjoyed the variety of genres and casting choices made to retell each of the animated classics. Now it’s time for one of my Top 4 (along with 1994’s The Lion King and Aladdin, and 1991’s Beauty and the Beast) to come out of the Disney vault—I’m as excited as Dorothy stepping out of black-and-white Kansas into Technicolor Oz. With director Niki Caro’s Mulan, audiences will be getting a movie much closer to the original ballad of the warrior, Hua Mulan, with epic visuals in the style of medieval wartime Chinese costume dramas like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the music (hello, Lea Salonga was Mulan), I love Mushu and I love that Fa Mulan (Disney used the Cantonese pronunciation as the original animated version drew inspiration from the Chinese-American memoir, The Woman Warrior, by Maxine Hong Kingston) didn’t need no man to drive her to greatness. But I didn’t think of that version as Chinese—it was a Westernized reenvisioning of the Chinese legend. Now, in the age of correcting the wrongs of cultural appropriation, the traditional warrior story of Hua Mulan (played by Yifei Liu) is finally getting major screen time, with some of the biggest and most loved Chinese actors bringing it to life: Donnie Yen (of the Ip Man film series and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Jet Li (Fearless, Warlords and Unleashed), ageless queen Li Gong (Raise the Red Lantern, Curse of the Golden Flower and Memoirs of a Geisha) and Hawaiian-Chinese actor Jason Scott Lee (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Lilo & Stitch and Hawai‘i Five-0). But let’s get down to business: what about the music? Christina Aguilera has us covered.
FUN FACT: And while you’re on Disney+, celebrate Beyoncé’s birthday (Sept. 4) by watching her new visual album, Black is King—a reimagining of The Lion King—made specifically for the new-ish streaming service.
Photo: STEVE CZERNIAK
ORDER Discounted Takeout Meals from Fête
Every Tuesday and Wednesday in the fall
We’re big fans of Fête here at HONOLULU Mag HQ (hey there neighbor!) with its seasonal menu and focus on using local ingredients. So when I spotted a new Tuesday Takeout and Wine Wednesday deal on Instagram I did my best impression of a meerkat and quickly inquired into what these “special discounts” would include. Ordering directly from the website on Tuesday, using the code, “TAKEOUT,” resulted in a lovely 20% discount on my entire order, which was a Kaua‘i Ranch steak frites and the sautéed kale and mushrooms. The Wednesday discount could be the same but definitely check as it seems that these could change every week.
2 N. Hotel St., (808) 369-1390, fetehawaii.com
DRINK local brews on National Beer Lover’s Day
Monday, September 7
Support local breweries—like the freshly brewed Olomana Brewery in Kailua and Broken Boundary in Kalihi—by stopping in for a growler or canned brew this weekend. Read more about O‘ahu’s local American barley wines here and blonde ales here. And then learn how to pair your takeout with your fresh stock of brews here.
Every Saturday, I bake two loaves of colorful bread for the family using an easy white bread recipe. To make a rainbow, I divide the dough into several parts, add color and knead it in with gloved hands. I roll out each part into a layer, stack them, then roll out the stack into a tight, chubby log. Proof it in loaf pans and then bake. Cool the bread completely before cutting. —Christine Labrador, art director
Make Ice Cream
Faced with a glut of summer fruit, in particular strawberry guava, I turned to ice cream making. Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, which you can order through Da Shop, is my go-to ice cream cookbook. Written by Honolulu resident Dabney Gough, it shares recipes from San Francisco’s beloved Bi-Rite Creamery, including the popular honey lavender ice cream and salted caramel flavor. I tweaked a cheesecake ice cream pie recipe to incorporate strawberry guava and swapped out vanilla beans for pandan in another for a tropical flavor. Next up: the vegan coconut chocolate ice cream. —Martha Cheng, dining editor
During the first lockdown I decided to spruce up my living space. I added more plants from Paiko and bought flowers every week at the farmers market, I redecorated with accent furniture from the new Valyou Furniture on Ala Moana Boulevard (and Wayfair during its Memorial Day sale), hung up art by local artists and created the perfect home office. The only thing I didn’t quite get to was the gallery wall I had been planning. As soon as Lockdown 2.0 began I hopped to: measuring, scrolling on Pinterest for inspiration and then heading over to Fisher Hawai‘i for affordable frames that I can easily mix and match (and repaint if I can’t find the color I’m after). —Katie Kenny, digital editorial specialist
After The Joy Luck Club and before Crazy Rich Asians, there was Alice Wu’s 2005 movie Saving Face. A quirky rom-com featuring Asian American actors speaking Mandarin Chinese much of the time, the movie inspired a generation of Asian Americans including Awkwafina and Ali Wong. It took 15 years for Wu to make another movie, The Half of It, which was released earlier this year on Netflix. A retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, it, like Saving Face, also features a Taiwanese American lead character. I watched both recently (find Saving Face on Amazon Prime), and while they& made me a little homesick for my family, they were also incredibly sweet and lightly funny movies that provided just the warmth and solace I needed. —MC
Was set for: September 8 & 9; 6:30 & 9 p.m. shows at Blue Note Hawai‘i
Postponed: New date will be announced when club reopens. Tickets will be automatically transferred.