Social Lite

Jimmy DiCarlo and Lan Thai at the Refinery Project up country
Image: Christa Wittmier

Well, it’s now officially December, which makes ten years that I have lived in Honolulu. Ten years. That’s like two and a half high schools. Young adult life is so weird. You spend most of it working towards this big day when everything is supposed to fall into place, and your job, family, housing situation and social life are on this fictional pedestal. It took ten years of me doing whatever I could to make a life here–no real strategies for a career path or goals for a family, but I really understand that life is a journey, all the way through. There is no final day when it suddenly makes sense. You are learning and adjusting and re-inventing every day, until all of a sudden, it’s been ten years. I’m not going to spend this whole column getting nostalgic here, but I am very cognizant of how lucky I am to have been able to make a life here. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

After rushing my Pow Wow family to get up north this weekend before sunset (to no avail) we only got to see the new Refinery Project after dark, but it didn’t make it any less magical. Tiki torches, string lights and a bon fire lit up the preview gala to the crowd of eager art lovers, surfers and beautiful, healthy north shore people. A huge project shaping up at the Old Wailua Sugar Mill, it’s a creative hub like no other. Studio spaces made out of recycled pallets, a living bar, Jimmy DiCarlo’s Each One Teach One farming project, indoor and outdoor galleries and a viewing area for film screenings are ready–but that’s just a small example of the many plans for this 11,000-square foot space. Story Standards’s bikini preview was a sexy-as-hell finale as the models found a way to incorporate real vegetables. As we head in to the best month of the year I am so excited about First Friday. It’s the Christmas one! There will be all kinds of holiday hustle and bustle, including Soho Mixed Media Bar for the 3rd annual Hurley Anti-Canvas. This is one of my favorite unique and practical events done for charity. Who doesn’t want a one-of-a-kind pair of trunks to turn their lower body in to a walking art gallery? With over 30 participating local and international artists, there will truly be something for everyone as their original artwork is transferred to a pair of Hurley Phantom board shorts and auctioned off for charity. Of the local artists, artwork of Crooks & Castles graphic designer Alex Wong’s stood out the most: a memorial for Crooks & Castles Marketing Director Christopher “Lewds” Natalio, who passed away suddenly this year. Natalio was my age and a very significant fixture in the streetwear community.

But back it up a night and check out Los Angeles photographer Ja Tecson, the special guest at the Makuro Makuro pop-up shop at ii Gallery in Kakaako on Thursday. The show, My Life Through a Lens, is a mix of jounralism, portraiture, love, sex, street and surf. This is in addition to one of the greatest shopping opportunities since Art & Flea, with great finds for the holidays or yourself. Agh, there’s so much this month. Seriously the best month ever.

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