What the Heck?
Kailua home reportedly sold to Diaz and Timberlake
ACCORDING to the Web site Popsugar.com, the undisclosed buyers of the Kailua beachfront estate, which sold last week for a record $24 million, are none other than Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake. It's possible, as Diaz and Timberlake were in town, staying at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. But the buyer's agent, Coldwell Banker's Joan Graham, says she is bound by a confidentiality agreement and can't comment.
Lum gone: If you were a fan of chef Doug Lum's food at Mariposa, you've, alas, had your last of his meals. After 8 1/2 years at Neiman Marcus, Lum's last day was Friday. He, wife Kelli, daughter Taylor and son Sean are off to Portland, Ore., where they have family. And no immediate plans. "Maybe I'll do something out of the kitchen," says Lum. Portland, if you're listening, that would be a waste of talent.
New at Arts:
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Erik Takeshita, who grew up in Minneapolis, started his job as director of The Arts at Marks Garage on Tuesday.
The Arts at Marks Garage, a pivotal force in the transformation of Chinatown, has found a new director, Erik Takeshita. Among other posts in Minneapolis, Takeshita was senior aide to the mayor for the arts and community development. That in a town that has in the past few years built $500 million worth of stunning new art centers.
Takeshita then was awarded a mid-career fellowship to get his masters at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Although he grew up in Minneapolis, he does have roots and family here. His parents left the islands in 1961, part of five-year plan to see the country. "They always meant to come back," says Takeshita. "They just never got around to it. I guess I'm doing it for them."
Last Tuesday was his first day on the job. Over coffee, Takeshita talked about his plans. "I'd better do a lot of listening for a while," he says. "Nobody needs a kotonk from Harvard telling them what to do."
Dr. Lee's mojito: Last Tuesday at the Halekulani, King of Cocktails Dale DeGroff held a contest for the students who'd taken his cocktail-making seminars. Most of the contestants were simply trying to replicate DeGroff's recipes. But to the celebrity bartender's delight, the winners actually improved his drink.
Emergency room physician Sid Lee and his wife Sue, an algebra teacher, whipped a double-strained mojito martini, garnished with a showy spiral of lime peel. "I'm glad Sid won," Sue said. "He's been working on this drink all week. I got kinda tired of, 'Here, try it this way.'"
Stays in Vegas: Speaking of the Halekulani, Joyce Matsumoto, who handled the hotel's public relations for 16 years, is now living in Las Vegas, where she's selling real estate. After all those dinners in La Mer and Orchids, she's cooking every night from her Hongwanji cookbook. Says she, "It's terrible that a small tub of frozen kalua pig here costs $7."
At first, she denied missing the islands. Then five minutes later, she called back. "I was trying to be brave. I do miss Hawaii, but I'm not going to admit it, because if I do admit it, I'll be even more homesick."
Strummer time: When I arrived at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand last Sunday, the Ukulele Festival was already in full swing. Manoa DNA was singing "White Birds." Behind them, a 150-piece ukulele orchestra strummed along.
Yet another 200 ukulele players ringed the stairs of the bandstand, including 70 members of the Sekiguchi Ukulele Studio from Tokyo. Festival founder Roy Sakuma, in shorts and T-shirt, conducted the Japanese contingent himself, a look of near bliss on his face.
When the song approached its finale, all 350 ukulele players stopped, at once, while the band hit a little flourish. Then, with Sakuma rising up on his toes, his arms in the air, all the ukuleles all around the stage hit the last two chords, bah bom, in perfect unison.
The Starbucks Ukulele Festival is somewhere between an international music convocation and Hawaii's biggest school recital. In addition to stars like Ohta-San and Canadian ukulele whiz James Hill, it features 800 students from the four Roy Sakuma Ukulele Studios on Oahu, ranging in age from preschoolers to senior citizens. They can't fit on stage all at once.
While one group plays, other group of children, 100 or so at a time, all in yellow T-shirts, are marshaled by teenage volunteers into lines. There's a lot of drilling about where to stand when they reach the stage. And a lot of "Don't look so scared. Smile."
When they reach the stage with their ukuleles intact, without tripping over each other, the kids all launch into a tune like "Pineapple Mango," sounding remarkably like they know what they're doing. Parental cameras flash. "Beautiful," says Sakuma. The look of bliss never leaves his face.
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