Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bestest Neighborhood Ever


I'm really going to miss this neighborhoood.

Living "in the shadow" of Leahi, the Hawaiian name for Waikiki's world famous landmark most people know as Diamond Head Crater, has been so much fun...  

Each morning I am greeted by the many moods of Leahi through my bedroom window; this time of year the rains awakens the slopes into lush shades of green.  Hiking the inside of the crater 3 mornings/week was a great workout while I had the habit...then breakfast down the road at Boggarts cafe, voted "Honolulu's Best Breakfast Sandwich" by Honolulu Weekly readers [also home to the cutest waitresses this side of Waikiki]....

Technically, this neighborhood is called Kaimuki [pronounced kai-moo-kee], though it is bordered by the affluent neighborhoods of Kahala, Diamond Head, and Waikiki's Gold Coast...which is just fine by the property owners becuase it means we enjoy living in an affluent neighborhhod - without the affluent property taxes [shhhh nobody tell the City & County....].

The charm of the area lies in the vibe of the people who live here - a combination of college students, adventurous travellers, old local families, affluent Honolulu executives, wealthy trophy-home owners, and the international jet-set.  On my block live 3 generations of a hawaiian family [right next door]; a retired local-Japanese man, his wife, and their tenants [hospitality workers in Waikiki who shower at 2am like clockwork]; "Crazy Ivan" the German software engineer, his Japanese girlfriend, and their college student roomates;  the bright yin-yang, dog-loving couple who live in a cute & cozy two-bedroom cottage [he teaches at the community college one block away, she's an up & coming lawyer at one of Honolulu's leading firms] and their furry family: Daisy, Noodles, and their lazy fat cat Snowball; and another young couple who own the Le Guginol, the best french food in Honolulu [he's a local boy trained in France].

My more disciplined neighbors can be seen jogging around the crater and community college campus in the mornings and evenings like I got some exercise and walked 2 blocks to Rueger Market for a $6 pork laulau plate lunch [ono-licious!!].  This little store is a local secret, and has been making killer hawaiian food [especially the ahi pok'e] from this neighborhood corner store for over two generations!

On Saturday I slept in and missed the famer's market, which has fresh organic produce, delicious kona coffee [from the farmer himself], grilled Kahuku corn-on-the cob from the North Shore, fried green tomaotes, fresh pizza, free range beef.....sooooo many goodies; I'll have to dedicate a post soley to it.

Last night my brother and I slurped up delicious Tenkaipen Ramen on Kapahulu Ave.  The owner has his own TV show called Ultimate Japan, which took us on tours of "behind-the-scenes" Japan as we dined.  The chicken broth I ordered has been simmering for 48 hours....thick, creamy, full of flavor.....OISHSI!!

I'm really going to miss this neighborhoood!


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