CORRECTION [3:20pm, February 26, 2013]: Tadpole Studios worked in conjunction with woodworkers from New Weather Woodworks and Leahi Woodworks. The original article is below.
It’s hard to think about anything else at the moment, being so deep in Pow Wow Hawaii. This week is the only week I take off from my day job alllllll the way in Waipio to help pull it together, and I can’t tell you how refreshing it feels to be able to spend my days in Kakaako. I knew this was a bustling area but had no idea how much life is here during the regular workday! Grabbing tacos from Taste on a Zaretez Tuesday and walking through the neighborhood saying hellos to Bob McGee at Whole Ox, Amanda Corby at Under My Umbrella, Sarah Honda and Wei Fang at R/D and Casea Collins-Wright at CoExist Studio, I felt very lucky to be able to have my home base nearby at Lana Lane Studios for the week. This neighborhood truly resembles a community to me. There is an incredible synergy in those two blocks. I would die to be able to work there day in and day out.
Walking into the newly renovated R/D space is refreshing, to say the least. Not a whole lot was done structurally besides opening up the ceiling, taking out the cork floor and busting a hole in the wall to connect it with ii gallery, but man it feels like an entirely new space: bright, open, lofty and impeccably situated. The design inside matches the perfectly curated books. Architect Kirk Malanchuk of Tadpole Studios, an R/D regular, became friends with the space’s co-founders and eventually played a part in designing the simple, yet rich, space with partner and Tadpole founder Bundit Kanisthakhon. The architecture is so clean; I love being inside there. “The renovation was more of a creative collaboration,” R/D Co-Founder Honda told me over the best cup of coffee I’d had since I couldn’t remember when (sorry, Waipio). “So it felt more like one of our projects. It made it feel more special.” Together, they worked with the woodworkers from Re-use Hawaii to create the custom tables, screens and coffee counter awning. I love it. ii gallery is organized by Fang and Maile Meyer. At R/D’s big reveal/fundraiser a few weeks ago, my attention was caught up by the photo slideshow of all the past events. Pop up cocktails, book talks, monthly documentary screenings … so many fantastic, well-attended events. They’ll kick off the refreshed space with a documentary screening of Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry on Friday, in conjunction with Hawaii Cocktail Week.
I’m kind of psyching about Abstract Rude’s return to Honolulu.Justin Bone Kaneshiro from the Got Rice show isn’t slowing down his massive contribution to Hawaii’s hip-hop, and has Aceyalone’s Project Blowed co-producer back to perform in Honolulu on Saturday night at Nextdoor. It looks like yet another awesome Saturday in Chinatown, too, as thirtyninehotel’s Space Truckin’ brings Bonobo (see Hot Pick, page 8). Space Truckin’ isn’t just great music, but great people and a great vibe, too.