Editor’s Note 10-7-2009
Welcome to our annual Bar Guide. It’s more of a bar issue, really–there’s no way to list all of the dozens of amazing and worthwhile watering holes Honolulu has to offer, so this year we didn’t bother to try. We decided to get drunk instead, and in the process kicked off the first-ever Honolulu Weekly Bar Crawl. After what we went through this year, well–we’ll see. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed researching and writing it. Only more so, because you’ll be less nauseated when it’s over. Although I guess we’ll see about that, too.
Ours is a bit of a drunken spree, it’s true, but the fact is, the Weekly unabashedly believes in bars, and we’ve been glad to see a few more opening around here in recent years. The good old-fashioned bar was, not long ago, a relative rarity in this town. Surprising, given our somewhat forgotten history as a port city, but for a long while, your drinking options were largely limited to clubs, hostess bars and family-style restaurants, with the odd bar and grill thrown in here and there. Teetotaling morality trips aside, pubs derive their names from the phrase “public house,” and people have gotten together over drinks to discuss the most important issues in their lives and their communities since long before the dawn of recorded history. And that’s worth remembering as old favorites–Compadres, Anna Bannana’s, apparently just about half of the bars in Kailua–face the wrecking ball known as “progress.”
Speaking of civic action–and pivoting quickly away from drinking–the Hawaii State Legislature and the United Nations Association-Hawaii are sponsoring an event called World Café Tuesday evening. Youth aged 15–25 are encouraged to participate in what looks like an opportunity for community-minded young people to network and share ideas for civic engagement. The event is also a planning session for World Youth Congress 2010, to be held in Turkey. The first WYC, in 1999, was held here in Honolulu–the Diamond Head Millenium Peace Garden is just one part of that event’s legacy–and organizers have kept the event’s profile active here. They say they’re looking for youth who are “passionate about youth advocacy and engagement in addressing the UN Millennium Development Goals,” but we’re pretty sure they’d be happy to hear from you whether or not you know much about any of that.
The Hawaii International Film Festival kicks off next week–look for coverage in our Oct. 14 issue–but it’s none too soon to get your tickets. Barbarian Princess, the feature film starring Q’orianka Kilcher (of The New World) and based on the life of Princess Kaiulani, is expected to sell out even at the cavernous Hawaii Theatre, and there are many other worthwhile films screening at smaller venues.
Mahalo a nui to Leslie Wilcox, president and CEO of PBS Hawaii, for her decision to slap a “return to sender” notice on an episode of an unnamed national PBS special. The show’s error? A butchering of ka ‘olelo Hawaii. Wilcox reported in her original blog post on the subject that several Hawaiian place names on the Big Island were not just inartfully but woefully mispronounced, and that PBS Hawaii had forwarded its concerns to the show’s producers with a request to redo those parts of the narration.
Several days later, Wilcox revealed that the producers had balked. “Subtleties and variations in pronunciation are bound to happen with such an old and regionalized language,” she quotes a representative as saying via email. “We understand there are varying opinions and outlooks such as yours…”
Wilcox calls this “nonsense” and is sticking to her guns. “If we in Hawaii don’t value our Hawaiian place-names,” she wonders, “why should anyone else? PBS Hawaii’s way of standing up for the language and the land is to continue to ask that the narration be repaired before a national broadcast.”
GirlFest Hawaii has just released a schedule for its sixth-annual event next month. The festival/movement/party, which aims to prevent violence against women and girls through art and education, has grown fast, expanding in 2007 to the San Francisco Bay Area. But its roots are here in Honolulu. This year’s highlights include a conference devoted to ending human trafficking–organizers point out that Hawaii is one of only eight states without a law against the practice–workshops, art and music events, a performance by Amber Tamblyn (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and the premier of the film Call and Response.