As is the case is most metropolitan areas, Honolulu is trying to figure out what to do with its homeless people. Part of the dilemma has resulted in major improvements to beautiful, 500-acre Kapiolani Park, which is located between Diamond Head and Waikiki.
Kapiolani Park was created by King Kalakaua in the 1870′s. A lot of its exceptional trees date back more than 100 years. It encompasses the 42-acre Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Shell, Sunday Art Shows, a tennis complex, soccer fields, an archery range, and a three-mile jogger’s course that includes a portion of the Honolulu Marathon course.
Local families as well as visitors enjoy the shady picnic sites and open grassy areas. The Royal Hawaiian Band provides free concerts every Sunday afternoon on the park’s bandstand.
Honolulu officials have launched a new effort to clean up the park, which will have the ancillary effect of evicting the homeless people who have relocated there following their having been pretty successfully removed from the beaches, Downtown Honolulu, Chinatown and the rest of Waikiki.
The four-stage park renovation is in response to a rising “level of anxiety” among both visitors and residents who have been worried about safety, sanitation and security due to the presence of homeless people.
Beach pavilions will be closed from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. for daily cleaning. For the next month, the ocean-front grass area in Kapiolani Park between the Waikiki Aquarium and Kapiolani Beach Center will be closed and refurbished.
Upcoming renovations will include the grass areas around the Queen’s Surf beach, the Waikiki War Memorial and the Kapiolani Bandstand.
And, beginning March 30, there will be temporary closures for the painting and repair of comfort stations and pavilions along the Beach and in Kapiolani Park. Each closure should last about one week.
Beginning April 20 and lasting indefinitely, areas of the park mauka (toward the mountains) of Kalakaua Avenue will be closed from midnight until 5:00 a.m., including the tennis courts; and areas makai (toward the ocean) of Kalakaua Avenue will be closed from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
The police are enforcing the new program by ticketing people who do not abide by the closures and arresting them if necessary, and night sleeping in the park has been banned.
What’s happening, of course, is that the city is sweeping its homeless problem to some other location, not solving it.
But while you’re vacationing on Oahu and thinking of spending some pleasant time in a lovely park, Kapiolani Park will be at its very best for your visit.
Posted by Jim Winpenny
Hawaii’s Top Ten Attractions
Look beyond the Arizona Memorial on your Hawaii Vacation
Diamondhead Full of Diamonds?
Visit Honolulu’s Art District
Follow us on twitter
See our latest videos
Book your Hawaii vacations here
March 26th, 2009
If you’re planning to be on Oahu during your Hawaii vacation, check to see what might be going on at the Waikiki Shell.
The Shell sits in beautiful and spacious Kapiolani Park with Diamond Head as a backdrop and Waikiki Beach at the opposite end. The attractive (It looks a lot like the Hollywood Bowl), tropical outdoor amphitheater has been Hawaii’s place to see the stars, under the stars, since 1952.
The Waikiki Shell is a venue for outdoor concerts and other large gatherings in Waikiki. It seats 2,400 persons, but the lawn area has capacity for an additional 6,000 persons. Local residents seem to prefer the lawn. There are no seats, but we pack picnics, take the kids along and often just lie back and chill, gaze at the amazing sky above and listen to whatever might be going on up on the stage. It’s a terrific venue for concerts, and political rallies and corporate functions are held there. Virtually all of the top local entertainers have performed in the Shell, and world-class comedians, singers, rock groups and other performers appear regularly.
It doesn’t really matter what the attraction might be while you’re in Waikiki. Going to an event at the Shell is a great way to spend an evening in a place where Hawaii’s wondrous weather is shown off to its very best advantage.
Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-843-8771. We’ll advise you of the Shell schedule of events that will be taking place during your visit.
Posted by Jim Winpenny
Your Blogger’s Side Bar
It was back in the 70s. My boss Carlos Rivas had invited me and my wife Mary to be his guests at the Waikiki Shell for a performance by Cat Stevens, a British pop star who had sold over 60 million albums around the world since the late 1960s.
Mary and I had not yet been to the Shell and accepted eagerly. (Mary was a Cat Stevens fan.) Carlos said that he would take care of the food, I should take care of the booze, and he would meet us at the gate. We would not be in seats, but sitting on the lawn, so we should also bring a blanket. I bought a gallon of red wine. As it happened, I drove past the gate on my quest for a parking space and could see that security guards were frisking people as they entered, unrolling their blankets and examining their bags. Obviously, outside alcohol was not permitted.
Thinking quickly, I drove to a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken and bought a large bucket. I disposed of most of the breasts, legs and wings and replaced them with the jug of wine inside the bucket. The top stuck out from the remaining pieces a little too far so I covered it with a roll.
When we met Carlos at the gate, he was empty-handed. “What’s that?” he asked me. I explained. “Actually,” he said, “I was going to buy the food inside and you could have bought the drinks there. They have a full bar.”
I lugged the bucket in anyhow, once I cleared inspection, which was halfhearted at best. I still was a little wary, not wanting to get us busted, and was as surreptitious as possible when I poured the wine for us into the cups Mary had brought.
As the lights dimmed and the warm-up act readied, I became aware of a slightly familiar, distinctive aroma. Everybody around us was smoking pot!
It was a concert well-appreciated by all of us.
December 1st, 2008
The sport began as “baggataway” in Canada in the mid-19th century. The Native American Cherokees called it "the little brother of war" because it was considered excellent military training. A team consisted of hundreds, even thousands, of players, often an entire village or tribe, carrying sticks with little baskets on the end. The goals were often miles apart, and a game might last as long as three days. French explorers who thought the stick resembled a bishop’s crozier — la crosse, in French – gave it its modern name. The Montreal Lacrosse Club, founded in 1856, developed the first written rules.
Players in Upstate New York began to play lacrosse about 1868, and seven colleges formed the first Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association three years later.
Now, the NCAA lacrosse finals draw crowds of 50,000 and the sport has received national attention as a viable, watchable, truly exciting sport.
There are large areas of the country where lacrosse is virtually unknown, but it has become popular in many other areas, Hawaii included, where it began to take hold at the end of the 1980s. Hawaii Lacrosse now is the official governing body for the sport in Hawaii. They are the Hawaii chapter of U.S. Lacrosse, the official governing body in the United States. The sport has definitely caught on in Hawaii, with some of the high schools currently fielding teams.
There are at least three lacrosse clubs active in the islands, comprised of both men and women, and the Hawaii Lacrosse Invitational tournament was founded in 1991.
This year’s tournament – now the 18th Annual – was held in late October at Kapiolani Park, welcoming men and women lacrosse players from across the globe as well as local players for a weekend of world-class lacrosse, live entertainment, free clinics and a big party at the end. Some 40 teams — 1,000 people — from the U.S. Mainland, Japan, Canada and Hawaii, were on hand for what is now considered to be the nation’s premier fall lacrosse tournament.
If you’re into the sport and presumed you would have to go without a fix while you vacation here, be advised that you can probably find a game if you check with one of the local clubs. Pick an agent from our Web site at HAWAII-ALOHA.COM , or call 1-800-843-8771. We’ll put you in touch.
Posted by Jim Winpenny
November 10th, 2008