Social Lite

Image: Christa Wittmier

Mikey Inouye, I think, is the reason I started using the expression “Awww look at that faaaaaace.” I mean, look at it. Aw. He’s also one of those people you meet once and never forget. The first time I met him sometime in 2007 I was nervous as hell. It was in a meeting with publishing superstar Julie Aragaki from Hawaii In Style TV. She wanted to bring my website [] to life and this cute smiley kid named Mikey (not Mike, Mikey) was going to be the one to do it. Local television was always something fun to watch but taking my heart and soul and packaging it into a segment that, gulp, I was going to host was not something that was in my vision. They were both so excited and after discussing it with them in detail I was pretty excited too. Why not, I figured. If anything, it will expose what I’m doing to an even broader audience. It was a time when there wasn’t anything or anywhere I wouldn’t show up to, but it was also a time when not as many people were really aware of what was happening in Chinatown. It was time to bring some of these events forward, and smiley Mikey was going to be the one to do it. He nailed it. To this day I will never forget how enthusiastic he was to lug all his equipment around with me and film places like Loft and Nextdoor and edit them into a watchable segments. Seeing him as a regular now in all of my favorite Chinatown spots and being in a position to throw him more gigs is truly a no-brainer. The kid’s got talent. It was also no surprise to me that he walked away with a win at the first Showdown in Chinatown event he ever entered. It was a terrific piece, inspired from a note that frontwoman Ara Laylo was handed after a Clones of the Queen performance at Broadcast recently. “Your music is the best way to cope with all the guys I lost over in Iraq,” it read. When she shared that note I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It definitely resonated with a lot of us, Mikey included. The dreamy guitar and signature sultry lyrics swooning about a little girl blazing the stars in Forest seemed to pair brilliantly with Mikey’s images of a lost soldier. You can see his winning video at the Hawaii International Film Festival music video showcase event, and his winning smile just about anywhere cool in Chinatown.

Speaking of cool in Chinatown, all the New York people that are lending their brilliant minds to the new Ian Schrager hotel, the Waikiki Edition, obviously knew where the cool kids were hanging out on Saturday night. A group of about 10 of them cruised on the lanai at Shake & Pop on Saturday night dressed to the nines and were already well acquainted with some of the more prolific people in our scene. They’ve been doing their homework, and the countdown is on for its opening week in October. From what I’ve seen so far it’s definitely going to be a place to escape from everything we already know. An invitation from my Hawaii Five-0 friend to preview Morimoto on Friday had me walking with my mouth open through parts of the property that weren’t curtained off. They were playing Passion Pit in the lobby, and the chic, large-yet-minimalist design of the bare wood common areas looked like a beautiful place to wait in line for Crazybox, the first nightclub Schrager has opened since Studio 54 that will also be a part of the Marriott’s hip sister hotel. Guess I better invest in a good pair of heels.

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