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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog - Arts & Local Culture

Total Number of Entries - 157
  • Why I Write Travel Stories. With an Emphasis on Story.

    There's a reason travel stories have been around for generations. No, make that, centuries. Before Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. Before Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. There was Twain's The Innocents Abroad. And before that the Journals of Lewis & Clark. Across the pond, the list includes Robinson Crusoe, Around the World in 80 Days and continues back in time to The Travels of Marco Polo, written in the 13th century. Travel narratives persist, because stories are encoded in our culture, in our DNA. We will always tell stories, whether it be in a printed book, in 140 characters on Twitter, or as a blog post.

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  • Mothers of Nature

    Destination: Kauai

    monk seal pup and mom touch nosesWhen I arrived at the beach today, the two-week-old monk seal pup was wiggling around its mother's snoozing head at the waterline. Within minutes, it, too, settled in for a nap, as the incoming tide cooled the lower halves of their bodies.

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  • April in Photos

    surfers at waimea bay on a big dayMake vs. take. When I first got into photography with a Kodak Pocket Instamatic 110-format camera--about the size and shape of a TV remote--I was most definitely taking pictures. Apart from choosing when to turn on the flash, all I did was point and shoot.

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  • Chinatown: More than Just Chicken Feet

    Destination: Oahu

    brick facade in chinatown in downtown honoluluMost people come to Chinatown looking for dim sum, noodle houses, flowers, fruit, bootleg trinkets and your more unusual ingredients for Asian recipes. Chicken feet anyone? On the first Friday of every month, there’s also Art Night—with street food, performance artists, Taiko drumming, and art gallery showings. But I found myself in Chinatown on an architectural tour.

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  • Keepers of the Light, Land and Life: A Look at Kilauea Point over 100 Years

    Destination: Kauai

    cover of keepers of the light, land and life, written by kim steutermann rogersAs a volunteer at Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on the north shore of Kauai for many years, my interest and body of knowledge tended toward the wildlife—that is, the science of biology and living things, like monitoring Laysan albatrosses, banding red-tailed tropicbirds and studying visiting humpback whales. I noticed and appreciated the big, white tower in the middle of Kīlauea Point with its priceless “crown jewel” sitting on top, but I left the intricate details of the second-order Fresnel lens and its mysterious inner workings to people more interested in engineering and that kind of science. Then, I was asked to write a book in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Kīlauea Lighthouse this May 1, 2013, and in doing so, I learned a whole host of cool, new facts.

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  • Talk Story with Maui Author Toby Neal

    maui author toby nealWhen feisty Detective Leilani Texeira--with unruly hair; a runner’s, lean body; and a penchant for going rogue--winds up in a cave that requires a stretch of underwater swimming to access, I suspected author Toby Neal had lived on The Garden Island at one time. She knew the hidden folds and nuances of Kauai just a little too well.

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  • The Trail to Kaniakapupu Palace

    Destination: Oahu

    kaniakapupu-palaceLike Kaniakapupu, the summer palace of King Kamehameha III and his wife Queen Kalama, in Nuuanu. It was built in 1845. According to the plaque in front of the crumbling rock wall ruins, the palace—a term to be taken loosely—was a place for parties. The biggest of which took place in 1847 to celebrate Hawaiian Restoration Day.

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  • March in Photos

    Destination: Kauai

    My first foray into a trend I’ve just discovered that’s called “urban exploration” unwittingly took place in March when my friend Pam and I photographed Ahukini Pier. That is, the remains of Ahukini Pier, which is now called Ahukini State Recreational Pier. This was once the hub of Kauai’s inter-island shipping commerce--where much of Kauai’s sugar harvest left the island and where passengers came and went. Then, after World War II, Nawiliwili Harbor was constructed and that was pretty much the end of Ahukini Landing.

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  • The Inspiration of a Master Canoe Shaper

    Destination: Oahu

    kaukahi canoe on display at outrigger waikiki on the beachI spent an afternoon last week in an industrial area a few miles from Honolulu International Airport, past a sand and gravel supplier, a drywall contractor and a cabinet re-facing company, in a setting that made me wonder whether Hawaii Five-0 had filmed here. The place was hot, reeked of migraine-inducing paint fumes, and everything was coated in layers of dust that you could measure in quarter inches, and for Tay Perry, this is his office away from the office. Amidst the sounds of power sanders and paint guns, this is where a lifetime of passion and sweat go into creating Tay’s legacy—shaping canoes.

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  • The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Destination: Kauai

    rooster with tail

    Today, returning home from the Anahola Post Office, where I learned that after a couple dozen years with the USPS, my buddy Brian retired without telling a soul, I pulled into our driveway and no fewer than six “yard” chickens ran up to greet me. Let’s see, there was Hoppy leading the charge. Blackie. Little Blackie YL. Blondie. Green Legs. And Ham. Did you know chickens can run at speeds of up to nine miles an hour?

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