What the Heck?
Curtains for the men's room
Five hundred women -- and perhaps a dozen men -- turned out for last Saturday's Junior League of Honolulu fundraiser. To accommodate the party, the Hilton Hawaiian Village turned the men's room outside the Tapa Ballroom into a second women's room. A sign directed the few men in attendance to go find a restroom downstairs.
"That was so nice," says one of the women. "They even curtained off the urinals, so we didn't have to look at those yucky things."
Save the Date:
It's been widely reported that the Wave Waikiki will close in early June. Not so. Its last night will be May 20. Mark your calendar.
Missing Dave, Oriental Love Ring and Sonya Mendez are already booked to play. Expect a party long remembered, as the classic nightclub makes way for yet another condominium.
"Almost everyone in town has Wave stories, about things they did there, even if some details are a little fuzzy," says owner Jack Law. "This is a chance for one last Wave story."
Law's personal 25-year-long Wave story will come to an end, too. "It's time for me to hang up my rock 'n' roll shoes."
Curiouser and Curiouser: This afternoon, the Hawaii Theatre for Youth throws a festive fundraiser at the Hawaii Prince. It's called "A Mad Hatter's Tea Party," and adding to the "Alice in Wonderland" ambiance will be a real Alice -- or at least an experienced one.
Dusty Behner, who graduated last May from UH Manoa, interned during college at Walt Disney World. There she often found herself playing Alice in a blue dress and apron. The hardest part of the gig: You had to disappear down a rabbit hole to get to the break room.
Home From the War:If you missed the Cazimero Brothers' May Day last Monday, you missed one of the best in 29 years. Toward the end, the entire cast came on stage to pay tribute to one of the Cazimero dancers. He was James Barros, who'd returned after a year in Iraq with the National Guard. Nothing schmaltzy. In fact, it involved parodies of 50s pop songs, complete with an audience sing-along.
Then Barros got a chance to sing, unleashing a full-throated rendition of "Pua Lilia" that brought the Shell audience to its feet.
Best in the World:Last Wednesday amid the shiny display kitchens of the SubZero/Wolf showroom on Piikoi, Joan Namkoong debuted her new book, "A Food Lover's Guide to Honolulu." All the serious foodies in town showed up.
Namkoong has munched foie gras in Paris and prosciutto in Tuscany. So what did she serve at the launch party? Poke from Tamashiro Market, sandwiches from Ba-Le, manapua from Royal Kitchen and Korean sushi from Palama Market.
"That's the point I was trying to make in the book," she said. "Food doesn't have to be expensive to taste good, and local food is some of the best in the world."
Wings of Inspiration:Last Tuesday the state Senate confirmed three new trustees for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts -- Mary Begier, Lori Thomas and Peter Rosegg, who is senior communication consultant for Hawaiian Electric.
At his confirmation hearings, Rosegg was eloquent in defense of the arts. His testimony began: "I cannot draw, or paint, or sculpt. I cannot sing or dance. My writing is confined to press releases, not a great art form. But like a wingless bird, I am in awe of those who fly."
Telling the Tale: "In Hawaii," says New York author and editor Robert Asahina, "everybody, of every race, knows the story of the 442nd and the 100th Battalion."
On the mainland, he says, "Nobody does. Not even Japanese-Americans like me."
Asahina stumbled upon an item in the New York Times about Japanese medal of honor winners, and began to research. New York's Gotham Books has just published his powerful new book, "Just Americans: How Japanese Americans Won a War at Home and Abroad."
Asahina's book recounts the incredible valor shown by Japanese-American soldiers, and shows how that heroism led to freedom for the 120,000 West Coast Japanese-Americans who had been forced into relocation camps.
Asahina made two trips to the islands to research his book. "I'm a lifelong New Yorker," he says. "I'm not sure you appreciate what you have out there -- the easy mixing of the races. It's the first place I've ever been in the United States where I felt I didn't stick out."
He returns in a few weeks, for book signings at Bookends in Kailua May 27 and Bestsellers downtown May 30.
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