What the Heck?
Artists adorn fence along Kapiolani
You might be puzzled by that construction fence along Kapiolani Boulevard between Piikoi and Pensacola streets. It features seven mysterious silhouettes and the slogan, "Imagine 01.07."
The site will be home for the new 80,000-square-foot Honolulu Design Center, a home and office furnishings complex with a restaurant, wine bar and amphitheater -- scheduled to open January '07.
Those silhouettes are all from photos of local artists, originally shot by photographer Guy Sibilla for Inspirations. From the Piikoi side, they are, in order, clothing designer Anne Namba, dancer Peter Rockford Espiritu, taiko drummer Kenny Endo, singer Raiatea Helm, ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro, jazz vocalist Lisa-Maria Priester and drummer extraordinaire Noel Okimoto.
You may not want to hold up traffic figuring out which is which.
Chinatown Rising: The old Havana Cabana space on Nuuanu Avenue is slated to become Restaurant Epic in early fall. Chef/partner of the "elegantly casual" eatery will be Anthony Vierra, lately sous chef at Kevin Haney's celebrated 12th Avenue Grill.
Partners include Kenneth and Jennifer Chan, Dennis and David Chang, who own Little Village a few blocks away. Restaurant Epic will not compete with Little Village. The menu will be New American. But since Vierra and wife Nicole Santiago-Vierra just returned from a "research tour" of Amsterdam, Florence, Rome and Paris, expect some European goodies as well.
Dogs and Babies:
Booked to sing at the May 20 Dog Chapman-Beth Smith wedding is Amy Hanaialii Gilliom. Beth Smith saw in-flight video about Gilliom and her grandmother and added her to the nuptial celebrations, to be broadcast on A&E. The network expects a ratings spike.
Gilliom's been busy. Daughter Madeline Uale'a O Ka Mahina Tikehu Austin was born April 8 and was in the wings this weekend when Gilliom appeared with the Symphony Pops.
Remembering Fasi: At the Hawaii Book & Music Festival last weekend, I ran into author Jerry Hopkins. Hopkins, who left Honolulu for Thailand a decade ago, flew in to help promote Tom Moffatt's "Showman of the Pacific," which he co-authored.
He also met with Don Ho, who hoped Hopkins' pen might do for his autobiography what it did for Moffatt's.
Among Hopkins' 30 books are "No One Here Gets Out Alive," which became the Oliver Stone movie, "The Doors." Strolling around the grounds of Honolulu Hale reminded Hopkins of his Hawaii years, including the year and a half he spent as Frank Fasi's speech writer. After Hopkins' speeches got Fasi re-elected in 1988, the mayor summarily fired him.
Movin' on Up: Robin Markle is in charge of sales at the new luxury condo, The Watermark, going up at 1551 Ala Wai Blvd. Two-bedroom units, all with an ocean view, start at $800,000. Markle likes the building so much, she bought a unit herself. For buyers and prospective buyers, she's writing a newsletter about the attractions of the surrounding neighborhood. The title? "Robin's Hood."
No Surprise: For the last 28 years, the Cazimero Brothers' May Day Show has had a "surprise" guest, a star like Eddie Kamae or Willie K. For tomorrow's May Day Show at the Shell, however, there is no surprise.
Robert Cazimero went on the air with Lanai and Augie last Wednesday morning, and blurted out that this year's surprise guest was Brother Noland.
"Yeah, I wasn't thinking," says Robert. "Morning radio is awfully early for me."
Space Wanted: This weekend, the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame held its annual concert. It now has 43 honorees, their contribution to the art immortalized on koa panel displays.
What the Hall of Fame doesn't have is a home. The group's president, lawyer and musician James "Kimo" Stone, hopes that one day it will have its own theater, like the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. But he points out: "We're not making progress toward that goal. In fact, since real estate prices have doubled and tripled, we're slipping farther behind."
The Hall of Fame is looking for partners who have space for a permanent display. If you've got a shopping center or hotel with room to spare, give him a call.
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