Chicago, Interisland Terminal / So I’m in Chicago right now. There are billboards and public transportation and those plastic barriers in the taxi cabs. The cars have license plates from all these other states and I just saw a sign for the Irish Heritage Center. There are fire escapes and radiators and rooftop bars and a nightlife that is overwhelming me, and its only Monday.
I’m here for work and trying to enjoy a new city but if you know me, you know I hate leaving Honolulu. Even my “vacations” are never more than a few days if they’re off-island. I got this though. Only a few more days and it’s home, home, home.
Meanwhile back on Oahu, there are great things happening in the Kakaako area with the genius brains behind Interisland Terminal. Demolition began this past weekend for their new space and it’s looking good for the forward movement of Honolulu’s creative community. They are calling it R&D and it will be a space where the public is welcome to come and research and develop their own projects and also see what the non-profit arts organization is up to, all while drinking a yummy espresso. I can’t wait. Like many other artists who have been successful with this method in the past, they are seeking funding in part with an online campaign. These things are great to allow everyone to be a part of something, but it’s only a drop in the bucket even when they are 100 percent funded. I know this too well with the Pow Wow Hawaii Kickstarter. Try raising only $10,000 of over $35,000 needed to make the event successful.
For Interisland Terminal’s R&D space, they are seeking only $5,000 of the $25,000 needed and with over 60 investors already since they kicked off the campaign, it’s fair to say they have the support of the community. With projects like these, Kakaako is on the right path to becoming the progressive arts district so many would like to see. Imagine driving through Queen Street and seeing all the buildings painted as gawk-worthy murals by artists that make you want to park your car (in the new Whole Foods/Nordstrom Rack structure) and walk slowly through to take it all in, only to then spend time in a cafe slash research and development center slash gallery slash hot spot for the city’s fast paced movers and shakers, all while feeling proud to be supporting all things local.
I know Fresh Cafe shares this vision and with the dedication of all involved with developing that area, it’s going to happen. I’ve never been more excited to skip ahead five years. I’m sitting here wanting to skip ahead five days just to come home. Five years? Eh, that’s nothing.
This weekend, the hard work and dedication leading up to Matt Bruening’s fashion show Friday at Nextdoor is where I’m headed straight from the airport. There’s just something about that kid. I like the crowd he pulls. All young and creative and open to whatever drinks I throw in their faces. I hope Jess Shedlock is working because she is becoming more and more like the destination bartender in Chinatown. You go to Chinatown just to see her. Try it. Go to Nextdoor, ask for Jess, then ask her to make you something. Base what you want to drink on a feeling (I need to feel pumped up) or a flavor profile (peach!) and watch her do her magic. It’s just beautiful.