Friday, March 12, 2010

art@town - Series 7 "Endless Possibilities"

art@town's "Endless Possibilities" exhibit will be up until the end of March, featuring artists Mark Chai and Naomi Olsen.

Try to catch it before we take it down.

This is the first time an artist took the shadowboxes as "one" installation, instead of a stage for several pieces.  Mark Chai's "Discovering the Aina" is unbelievable, I can sit and stare at it for hours.

The new sculpture “Discovering the ‘Āina” has been installed at town restaurant in Kaimuki for February and March. It pays homage to the Polynesian voyagers who first arrived in Hawai‘i as well as the modern day adventurers who make their own journeys of discovery. The installation transforms the 5 x 5 grid of foot-square boxes in the entrance of the popular eatery. Each perimeter box is filled with a blue plastic sheet, melted and manipulated with ocean currents and celestial constellations, reference points for the early navigators. The eight constellations represented are Makali‘i (the Pleiades), Heiheionākeiki (Orion), Hōkūle‘a (Arcturus), Hōkūpa‘a (Polaris), Nāmāhoe (Gemini), ‘Iwakeli‘i (Cassiopeia), Hānaiakamalama (the Southern Cross), and Nāhiku (the Big Dipper). Floating in this sea of ocean and sky are the islands. Carved stumps of wood culled from a fallen tree were cut in a way to mimic aerial views of shorelines as well as to show interesting patterns of the grain. Peer into the holes bored through the wood to find concealed places. Wood blocks from a salvaged beam were sculpted as surrealistic landscapes holding sacred pōhaku (rocks). These remind us of our own memories of discovery as we hike through the forests or along the coast and come upon remarkable geologic formations. Whether it be a lava tube, cave, crater or tide pool, these finds give us a sense of the hidden beauty and wonder of our island ‘āina (land).

Thanks Mark and Naomi!

underground restaurants in Honolulu - shhhhhhh - it's a secret!

What is an underground restaurant?

Wikipedia's definition -
An underground restaurant, also known as a supper club, is an eating establishment operated out of someone's home, generally (though not invariably) bypassing local zoning and health-code regulations. They are, in effect, paying dinner parties. They are usually advertised by word of mouth or guerilla advertising, often on Facebook,[1] and may require references to make a reservation.
Underground restaurants are popular in Latin America, where they're known as either a paladar or a restaurante de puertas cerradas (locked door restaurant). While technically illegal, they're built into the culture, and often have higher standards than many licensed establishments.[2] They are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S.[3]
The attraction of the underground restaurant for the customer is to sample new food at low cost outside the traditional restaurant experience, which can be expensive and disappointing—underground restaurants have been described as "anti-restaurants." For the host, the benefit is to make some money and experiment with cooking without being required to invest in a restaurant proper. "It's literally like playing restaurant," one host told the San Francisco Chronicle, "You can create the event, and then it's over."[4]
In the UK Underground Restaurants and Supper Clubs have started to blossom, with reviews in leading newspapers such and The Times and The Guardian. They range across the UK but are mainly concentrated in London. These are advertised by word of mouth and on social media networks such as Facebook and MySpace. They have grown so much in popularity that you can now find social networks dedicated solely to underground dining. supperclub fan group.

I've been fortunate enough, to be on an exclusive list of invitees, of one of Honolulu's best underground restaurants.

The chefs in this restaurant are from popular restaurants around town.  In this venue, they are given the freedom to cook, what they want to cook, and use local products they want to work with.

Assorted Appetizers:

Attendees enjoying the pupus:

First course:
Second course:

Third course:

Fourth course:

 Dessert course:

Main course - the opportunity to eat in homes you've always wondered about:
 What a view, from Ewa to Hawaii Kai......

To Own or Not To Own?

The question of owning your own business or not.  Lately, I've been thinking about this.  Working for someone else or working for oneself?

It's been 12 years since we closed my family business, "Caffe Aczione".  A little bistro like restaurant, in a turn of the century building on Kalakaua Avenue (mauka of Kapiolani Boulevard).

I always felt that we were a little ahead of our time.  Imagine the cafe being open now?

An extensive espresso menu; delicious dessert menu from different local vendors (selected on their specialties; pizzas, pastas and sandwiches from a menu that was strategically designed for minimal waste.

An ambiance of an eclectic art gallery, antique shop and someone's living room.

I miss it and what it brought to the neighborhood.  On a side note, I miss my brother - his talents, his art and his eye for style.

To own or no to own?  We all work so hard in our jobs, but imagine putting all of that passion and work to something you own.  Yes, I am so seriously thinking about this.  What stops me is MONEY, that paycheck, benefits and security.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Little Granddaughter

I had a wonderful chance to spend the tsunami watch with my 2 month old granddaughter.  Two months old and she is able to know when someone is giving her their undivided attention.  She is able to respond to smiles and laughs, by mirroring what you are projecting.  Thoroughly amazing.

With the technology of iphones and their cameras and internet, I am able to journal her daily growth and beauty.  This photo was just sent to me a couple hours ago.

Kalena in her first Uggs - so cute:

Let's Really Start Focusing on Sustaining Hawaii

During the twelve hours of waiting for the tsunami to hit our shores, I had alot of time to think about the importance of the "Sustainability of Hawaii".  Can you imagine if the tsunami really did hit the islands - we only have 3 days of the food supply for the entire state!  That statement alone should make us really think about how we can increase our food supply first in our own household, for our immediate community, then our island and finally the entire state.

What can you do for your own household?  Starting tomorrow, I will start my little garden of a variety of vegetables and fruits.

For our community, I will start with my neighbors, my immediate community.  Talking about ways we can work together on how we can start a neighborhood sustainability plan.

This is my first small step in making a bigger picture attainable.