Our Picks for the Weekend
Academy's Family Sunday takes on 'green' theme
The Honolulu Academy of Arts goes "green" during this month's Family Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. With April marking the start of its Elements of Art themes, and in honor of Earth Day, the theme is "GREENhouse." Learn environmentally friendly ideas from the American Institute of Architects and Natural Resources Conservation Service, help build a functional greenhouse with milk cartons, create a take-home terrarium, and see how Mark Chai recycles junk into works of art.
There will also be a plant show, and music will be provided by the Honolulu Clarinet Quartet starting at noon, playing such selections as "Pupu a'o Ewa," Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera," Erroll Garner's "Misty," Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" and Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer."
Family Sunday commences on the third Sunday of every month at the academy with a different theme; regular highlights include art activities, performances, demonstrations, movies and a scavenger hunt for the entire family. Admission is free and open to the public with parking available at the Academy Art Center.
Intercultural Day offers parade and performances
Hawaii Pacific University celebrates its 24th Annual Intercultural Day on Friday at Fort Street Mall. The event spotlights the school's ethnic and cultural diversity through exhibits, a parade, and lively performances of traditional dance and music from around the world.
Over the years, HPU has become a melting pot by attracting students internationally. It's the state's largest private university, with more that 8,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.
Starting at 10 a.m., the downtown campus will be lined with cultural exhibits showcasing various countries, including Japan, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Taiwan, Brazil, Norway, Korea, Thailand, Latin America, China, Samoa, Denmark, the Philippines, Ireland, Saudi Arabia and more.
The parade starts at 11:30 a.m., and students will perform from 1 to 4 p.m. The event is free.
Later that day, at Central Union Church, the school will present its sixth annual spring concert, a celebration of Hawaiian and American music in China called "Cultural Crossroads." It features HPU's Chamber Orchestra, Chorale and Vocal Ensemble. The 7 p.m. event is also free. Call 544-1127 or 544-0887.
Youth Symphony presents final concert for spring
Last week, we mentioned that the Hawaii Youth Symphony will be presenting another concert in its spring series. The group will be doing its final concert at the Pearl City Cultural Center at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Both the 89-member Concert Orchestra and 128-member Spring Program will be featured. Their program includes the finale of Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony" and highlights from the Broadway musical "Wicked."
The Concert Orchestra performs under the direction of conductor Susan Ochi-Onishi and associate conductor Hannah Watanabe. The String Program consists of four orchestras conducted by Charlotte Fukumoto, Helen Nguyen and Chad Uyehara.
Tickets are $5 general and free for students 17 and younger. Call 941-9706 or go the center's box office from 3 p.m. Sunday. Visit hiyouthsymphony.org.
Share your passions at Hawaii Geek Meet
If you haven't heard, being a geek doesn't carry the stigma it once did. So fly your geek flag proudly by going to the Hawaii Geek Meet on Sunday at the Ala Moana Beach Park.
It's an all-inclusive potluck picnic for geeks of all stripes, including user groups, fan clubs, builders, designers, creators, teachers and more.
Network and talk story with ham radio operators, photographers, new media makers, geocachers, model rocketeers, programmers and others willing to share their special passions. Bring your family, friends and toys, too.
The meet starts at 10 a.m. at Picnic Area 40, near the Ala Wai Channel.
Go to hawaiigeek.com, or contact Ryan Ozawa at either 372-3372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miss Saigon Bistro
32 Hotel St./524-0222
Sometimes I feel so used. The contemporary food critic often serves the same function as food tasters in medieval times, but instead of serving a single noble or household at risk of ingesting poison, the modern food taster enters unknown territories to clear the way with a yea or nay for those who send us in for culinary reconnaissance. At least the downside today is only financial, not fatal.
So, I was dispatched to Miss Saigon Bistro, formerly Indochine Cafe, where the closed door amid all the open storefronts is somewhat off-putting. When people do venture in, the staff seems genuinely surprised. It's very lackadaisical here and the slight language barrier doesn't help matters. But if you're patient and don't mind being subjective to the most cloying, maudlin pop music on the planet, there are rewards.
I was able to order from the day and night menus in the evening, so if you prefer the simplicity of an all-encompassing plate lunch ($7.50 to $9.95) rather than a la carte dining, go ahead and ask. This may change if they pick up more business.
All the staples are here, from spring rolls ($6.95) to sandwiches on French bread ($5.95) and vermicelli noodles with all their accompaniments. Given a choice between another rice plate or a vermicelli plate, I prefer the noodles sprinkled with chopped mint and peanuts, served with your choice of spring rolls ($7.50), beef ($7.50), lemongrass shrimp ($8.50) or shredded pork ($6.50).
Jumbo shrimp prepared Chinese salt-and-pepper style with hot peppers and garlic is a must at $14.95, as is a generous helping of sirloin ($16.95), which arrives on a sizzling platter with mushrooms and onions. It's not entirely sliced up for your convenience, but some initial cuts are made to assist in the process.
The food is worth trying, and for now, you don't have to worry about not getting a table.
Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays. The cost for lunch is less than $10 per person, and dinner is about $30 for two.
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