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See Hawaii. See HawaiiMagazine.com's slideshows.


see_Hawaii_Magazine_slideshowsOne of the best things about having HawaiiMagazine .com as a complement to our print publication HAWAII Magazine has been the ability to bring you even more of the Islands.

Travel news and tips. Kilauea volcano news as it happens. Videos. Photos from readers like you. More culture, activities and food. And starting this weekend, an expanded Web version of HAWAII Magazine’s Best Calendar.

Still, one of HawaiiMagazine.com’s extras we’ve been happiest to see grow in popularity has been our expanding collection of photo slideshows.

We’re longtime island residents here at HAWAII. But we still love doing the same thing visitors do when they travel the Islands: Take photos. Lots of photos. More photos than we could ever run in HAWAII Magazine.

The only logical thing to do? Share them, of course.

We posted our first photo gallery—a collection of shots taken at this year’s Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony on Oahu (see below)—on our Picasa Web Albums site in May. Ten more galleries have gone up since—taking viewers with us on trips to five of the Hawaiian Islands.

Photographer David Croxford and editor John Heckathorn brought back photos and tales from travels to the Hana coast of Maui, Hawi and Kapaau on Hawaii’s Big Island and the road to Waimea Canyon on Kauai. Croxford and writer Chris Bailey contributed a visit to the Pacific Aviation Museum on Oahu. With photographer Dawn Sakamoto, I’ve posted galleries of the popular Saturday Farmers Market at Kapiolani Community College on Oahu and a journey to the little-traveled island of Lanai.

Click here for all of HawaiiMagazine.com's slideshows. Keep checking back with us for more in the months to come. And be sure to bring your camera wherever you go in Hawaii.

We promise to do the same.

 

Honolulu's Chef Mavro makes Gayot best restaurant list


Honolulu_Chef_Mavro_Gayot_best_restaurantGayot’s just-released 2008 list of the Top 40 Restaurants in the United States has just one Hawaii restaurant on it: Chef Mavro.

The Honolulu restaurant, owned and masterminded by Chef George Mavrothalassitis, drew kudos from Gayot for its “commitment to Hawaiian regional cuisine, unwavering devotion to island ingredients and a stalwart belief in his dedicated team, helmed by chef de cuisine Kevin Chong.”

Best known for its rated reviews of restaurants worldwide, Gayot has compiled the annual list of the nation’s best eateries since 1991. This year’s honor marks Chef Mavro’s third appearance on Gayot’s list. The restaurant, which opened in 1998, also made the Top 40 in 2004 and 2007.

“As a chef, a Gayot rating is huge because food is their focus,” said Mavrothalassitis. “And I’m always proud for the state of Hawaii when my restaurant earns national recognition.”

Mavothalassitis’s other accolades include a James Beard Award—the country’s top culinary honor, often dubbed “the Oscars of food”—and heaps of critical praise from restaurant critics worldwide. He is also one of the pioneering chefs of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement.

Honolulu_Chef_Mavro_Gayot_best_restaurantChef Mavro—yes, it's also the clipped moniker foodies in Hawaii have always called him—reinvents the restaurant's menu each season. You’ll find his new fall menu here and a link to the restaurant’s Web site here.

One of our favorite Honolulu spots for Hawaiian food made Gayot’s inaugural list of the nation’s Top 40 Cheap Eats. Longtime resident favorite Ono Hawaiian Foods drew Gayot's praise for its “combination plates—kalua pig, pipi kaula (a Hawaiian beef jerky), lau lau (pork and taro tops steamed inside ti leaves) and lomi lomi salmon (with tomatoes and green onion). We suggest rice instead of poi for the uninitiated.” All of it for $15.50.

Gourmands that we are at HawaiiMagazine.com, we suggest rice AND poi … even for Hawaiian food amateurs. Lomi lomi salmon is simply not the same without it.

More lowdown on Ono Hawaiian Foods is here. You’ll find Gayot’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list here.

Photos: Adriana Torres Chong. Bottom photo: Chef Mavro's fall menu Keahole lobster a la coque, cream of kahuku corn, chorizo puff, crustacean essence  
  

Hawaii Superferry postpones Big Island service


Hawaii_Superferry_postpones_Big_Island_serviceFolks looking to holoholo by Superferry to and from the Big Island will have to wait a bit longer. At least 365 days longer, to be exact.

Hawaii Superferry is postponing the introduction of its second vessel for one year. The new ferry had been set to begin service from Honolulu to Kawaihae Harbor on the Big Island of Hawaii's  South Kohala coast in May 2009.

Hawaii Superferry will continue operating its current Oahu to Maui service on its first 350-foot-long catamaran-style vessel, the Alakai. No changes to the current schedule are planned.

The company cited large start-up costs and a shaky economic climate as main factors for the postponement. Hawaii Superferry President and CEO Tom Fargo said that deferring a second Superferry will save the company around $10 million. 

Fargo said Hawaii Superferry would continue to grow its current Honolulu to Kahului service while anticipating an economic climate better suited to starting the new Oahu to Big Island route.

The still-unamed second ferry is expected to leave its Mobile, Alabama-based shipyard as scheduled, arriving in the Islands in late February 2009. Short-term opportunities for use of the ship will be considered while the Hawaii Superferry waits to begin the new route.

Hawaii Superferry began inter-island travel in December with service from Oahu to Maui. Originally slated for an additional Oahu to Kauai route, protests on Kauai have halted plans for service to the island.

For more information on the Hawaii Superferry, click here, or call (877) 443-3779.
  
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Web site promotes "green" travel on Hawaii's Big Island


Web_site_plan_green_travel_Hawaii_Big_IslandVacationing “green” on Hawaii’s Big Island just got easier.

A brand new Big Island Visitors Bureau Web site is helping visitors research and plan environmentally-conscious vacations on the island.

Want to know which resorts, bed and breakfasts and restaurants have adopted sustainable practices such as recycling, composting and water conservation?

The BIVB’s “Sustainable Travel on the Island of Hawaii” microsite pretty much does everything but make your reservations. Clicking through, we found it an impressive home base to begin putting together a thoroughly eco-friendly visit to the Big Island.

We liked its growing list of earth-responsible Big Island businesses—from all manner of lodging options to restaurants, tour operators and activities purveyors—complete with details of their sustainable practices. We also appreciated the tip sheets on everything from caring for the ocean and the land during your visit to how to volunteer for conservation activities—a great resource even for Hawaii residents.

What's missing? Add a list of rental car companies that stock hybrid vehicles and we'd be set.

Click here to get to the new sustainable travel site. And while you’re there, check out the Big Island Visitors Bureau’s main Web site here for other lodging, dining and activities suggestions.
 
Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority/Kirk Lee Aeder
 

Shipping Maui onions to the Mainland


You ask. We answer.

HAWAII Magazine reader J. Denomme asks: Is it possible to order Maui onions and have them shipped to the Mainland?

Bust out those Maui onion recipes you’ve been craving, J! There are indeed a few options for having the famously sweet, non-pungent onions sent fresh to you.

After some thorough searching, we found a pair of Web sites that ship authentic Maui-grown onions to the Mainland U.S.

Lahaina-based Take Home Maui sells the prized bulb online along with a selection of other Hawaii-grown produce—Maui Gold pineapples, papayas from the Big Island of Hawaii, etc.

The onions are sold in cases from 5 lbs. to 40 lbs., shippable anywhere in the U.S. To ensure the onions stay fresh, they’re packed and shipped early in the week, and arrive in two to three days.

For more information, click here, or call (800) 545-MAUI.

A related site, Maui-info.com, also sells and ships the onions nationwide along with an array of Maui onion products. Everything from Maui onion-flavored macadamia nuts to mustards. If you have a green thumb and want to start your own Maui onion garden, you’ll also find the seeds to start with.

Click here for more information, or call (808) 661-1457.

Since Maui onions are out of season right now prices are slightly higher. The onions—grown exclusively in Maui's upcountry Kula district on the cooler slopes of Mount Haleakala— are more plentiful and less expensive from May to August.

If you're a serious fan of Maui onions, you might also want to plan a pilgrimage to the Maui Onion Festival, held annually at Whalers Village in Kaanapali Resort.

Anyone out there know of other vendors that ship Maui onions? Help J. out with a comment below.
  
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Hidden Hawaii: Along the Hana coast


For this month’s Hidden Hawaii slideshow, we take you to the picturesque Hana coast on the island of Maui.

Once again, photographer David Croxford and HAWAII Magazine editor John Heckathorn took roads less traveled in search of hidden treasures in familiar places. They took a single road this time—the notoriously narrow and winding Hana Highway from Keanae to Kipahulu, which hugs Maui’s rustic, gloriously tropical northeast coast.

From Kahului, they negotiated Hana Highway’s 52 miles, 59 bridges and 600 curves to get to the sleepy coastal town of Hana. Once there, they did something only a surprising few who visit the area do: stick around. For three days.

That gave them a good chunk of  time to really explore the Hana coast’s fascinating sights and meet the people who call it home.

As on previous Hidden Hawaii sojourns to Hawi and Kapaau on the Big Island and the road to Waimea Canyon on Kauai, Croxford brought back hundreds of photos. You’ll find a couple dozen of them and Heckathorn’s stories from the road in the November/December 2008 issue of HAWAII Magazine.

Here’s the best of the rest—the photos that made us jealous we didn’t come along for the ride. Click on the slideshow screen for larger photos.
 
 

VIDEO: Honu hatchlings crawl from turf to surf


green_sea_turtle_hatchlings_sea_surfWe found a great video in our e-mail this morning of just-hatched Hawaii hawksbill sea turtles making their way to the ocean.

The video was shot on the Kau coastline of Hawaii's Big Island near Punaluu and posted by Big Island videonews.com.

The honu—Hawaiian for “turtle”—were watched over by residents of the area for weeks before hatching to protect the eggs from predators. One resident in the video even slept nights next to a protective enclosure set up to keep the eggs safe while they incubated.

You’ll notice in the video that no one ever handles the turtles, and that once hatched they were given space to climb from their nest over the rocks and black sand into the surf.

Pacific green sea turtles (above pic) and hawksbill turtles (or honu'ea) are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act as well as Hawaii state law. As with other endangered Hawaii animals like monk seals, people are required to keep their distance or face potential charges.

Click here to enjoy the video.
 

HIFF closes with a bang bang


The curtain was finally lowered on this year’s Hawaii International Film Festival last weekend at Dole Cannery. We’ve been following the HIFF over the last few weeks. And though the HIFF has passed, we’re glad to report it went out with guns blazing.

Without a doubt, the biggest event was closing night film, The Good, The Bad, The Weird.  The western played to a packed house in not one, but two theaters on Saturday evening.

The film’s star Woo-sung Jung (pictured below, he's the one with the cowboy hat and rifle) and director Ji-Woon Kim were on hand to receive HIFF honors for achievement in acting and the Maverick award, respectively. Woo-sung’s English was limited, but he did get one point across: “I played the Good.”  Thanks, Woo-sung.

And the film? It’s up there on my list of all-time Korean westerns—an action-packed romp with just the right amount of campiness. By no means a kid’s movie, it’s marked with the kind of stylized violence reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah’s classic shoot ‘em up, The Wild Bunch.

My only criticism of the film is how the action translated to the screen; at times the camera work was relentless and visually disorienting.

Other highlights from my weekend:

    The Killing of a Chinese Cookie: The weird little  documentary about the real history behind the fortune cookie (They’re not really Chinese!) and its effect on American pop culture.

    Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawaii: An emotionally loaded film which explores the dispossession and displacement of the Hawaiian population. It won the HIFF’s Golden Orchid Award for best documentary.

Along with Noho Hewa, films honored include Taiwanese film Cape No. 7, the Golden Orchid Award winner for best narrative, and the Viewers Choice Award winner, The Hollow. For a complete list of winners, click here.

Or for more information on the HIFF or any of the films featured, click here, or call (808) 528-3456. 

The Good, The Bad, The Weird poster: Wiki/Commons
 

What's the story behind Hawaii's flag?


is_that_the_flagYou ask. We answer.

Pat Duffus of Clearwater, Florida writes: What is the story behind the Hawaiian flag? When I see it I am reminded more of Britain than Hawaii. Is there a Hawaiian flag that precedes it?

Pat’s right about the British connection. King Kamehameha I flew a British flag throughout his kingdom in the late 18th century, given to him as a token of friendship from fellow ruler King George III.

However, during the War of 1812, an American flag was raised over Kamehameha’s home to placate American interests. It was soon removed after British officers in Kamehameha’s court opposed to it.  

Instead, Kamehameha commissioned a new flag—one that incorporated elements of both nations.

The result is the flag we are familiar with today: the Union Jack of the British Empire sits in the top left corner, while the body reflects the stripes of America’s Old Glory. The Hawaii flag’s eight stripes represent the major Islands. Historians credit its design to an officer of the Royal Navy, who based it on a British naval flag.

While the ensign has become the official state flag of Hawaii, there are some that argue it is not the original flag of the Hawaiian kingdom.  

The Kanaka Maoli—or "native Hawaiian"—flag (right) is said to have been Kamehameha’s personal flag long before the modern Hawaiian flag. British navy Captain Lord George Paulet destroyed it when he took control of Hawaii for five months in 1843.
is_that_the_flag
At the flag’s center is a green shield bearing a coat of arms, which include a kahili, the original Hawaiian royal standard, and two paddles, meant to represent the voyaging tradition of the Native Hawaiians.

The flag’s color scheme is red, yellow and green, meant to represent different groups within Hawaiian society. The yellow is symbolic of the alii, the powerful royal class. Red represents the konohiki, the landed caste that served the alii. Green signifies the makaainana, or commoners.

You may have noticed the Kanaka Maoli flag on recent trips to the Islands. It has become popular in the community in recent years and can be found on everything from t-shirts to bumper stickers.

Hawaiian flag photo: Hawaiipictures.com
 

Obama returning to Hawaii to see ailing grandmother


Obama_returning_Hawaii_grandmotherHawaii-born-and-raised Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will return to Oahu later this week to visit his ailing grandmother.

Obama’s spokesman Robert Gibbs said today that all campaign events scheduled for Thursday and Friday were being canceled.

Madelyn Payne Dunham, Obama’s 85-year-old grandmother who lives in Honolulu, was released from a hospital stay last week.

“In the last few weeks, her health has deteriorated to the point where her situation is very serious,” said Gibbs. “It is for that reason that Senator Obama has decided to change his schedule so that he can see her and spend some time with her.”

Gibbs added that Dunham, “has always been one of the most important people in his life. Along with his mother and his grandfather, she raised him in Hawaii from the time he was born until the moment he left for college. As he said at the Democratic Convention, she poured everything she had into him."

Gibbs did not discuss the nature of Dunham’s illness. Obama is expected to resume campaigning on Saturday

Obama has said in ads that his grandmother ''taught me values straight from the Kansas heartland — accountability and self-reliance. Love of country. Working hard without making excuses. Treating your neighbor as you'd like to be treated.''

Obama was last in Hawaii in August for a week of vacation prior to accepting his presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention. On that trip, the senator made several visits to the Honolulu apartment building where his grandmother still lives and where he was raised while going to school here.

Photo: Barack Obama with maternal grandparents Stanley and Madelyn Dunham in the early 1980s, courtesy of Obama for America.
  
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