Night Life

Night Life
Image: Christa Wittmier

Christa’s Guide to Travel

Night Life / “What is this synth wave, new wave, dark wave, wavey-wave music?! I’m dying! It’s so good! It’s killing me! I’m dead!”

Of course, that’s not how it really happened. It was probably slightly less dramatic. But I was definitely on the freakier side of freaking out in San Francisco this past weekend. The disaster unfolding on the other side of the globe had me feeling jumpy.

But the music freak-out? That happened after local boy Moses Aipa said his boss at Incase was playing a synth and drum machine with The Soft Moon at The Cat Club. After a few drinks at Harry’s in Japantown with director Chuck Mitsui to celebrate his sold-out San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival screening of One Kine Day and a quick rendezvous at The Beauty Bar to collect artists Aaron De La Cruz and Kamea Hadar, we found ourselves in the huge but narrow brick club listening to music so loud and mesmerizing it had us stopped (and me drooling) in our tracks.

All I could think, besides the obvious, “GET OUT OF MY BRAIN!” was how lucky we were to know people in this city. We had our own customized city guide that just happened to know (guess?) how much I loved The Cure in seventh grade.

It got me thinking about how long it’s been since I was new to a city. Before Honolulu, I was packing up and starting over again somewhere else every two to three years. It wasn’t just new cities, but new jobs, new countries, a new life. I never wished for my own city guide then because it was fun to discover everything on my own. This is how I approached Honolulu as well. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years, in case anyone reading this is new to Honolulu or planning to be in a new city sometime soon.

1. Research. Find one person with similar interests and see what that person is up to. Thank god for the Internet. Before that it was more of a face to face sort of exchange. These days we have newspapers and blogs and names all over the Web. It’s pretty easy to stalk/research people and find where you will fit right in.

This past weekend in San Francisco for me was so close to the Hawaii Pow Wow event. I knew if I went anywhere the artists were, the similar interests would bloom. Hence, the Joy Division/Depeche Mode-era reunion.

2. Repetition. When I first moved to Hawai’i, I brought my bright orange 1974 VW camper bus with me, and I parked it at Sandy’s every single weekend. Curiosity finally got the better of the regulars there, and they eventually talked to me, and we eventually became friends.

When people start to see your face all the time its a natural progression. This works faster/easier when a person can be comfortable enough to go out alone.

3. That’s all really. Research and repetition. Stay true to what interests you, find those interests, learn how to go out alone for a while and you will definitely find your scene here (or anywhere).

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