Liliuokalani Gardens is a lovely spot on Banyan Drive, on the way to Coconut Island. There are grassy areas with rocks and many fish ponds connected by a variety of bridges and decorated with stone lanterns. The shinto arches complete the Japanese feel of the gardens.
There are no actual “gardens” in terms of banks of flowers. It is really a park, but a very artfully designed one.
The bay has a breaker way out, which keeps the surf down at the shore. The black sand can be very silty and can get hot when the Sun is bright, although that has seldom been a problem for me. The trees tend to give enough shade in the latter half of the day. The focus of the beach is on canoeing and lots of clubs have their boats and take them out when the weather is nice. Around 5:30,a half hour before sunset, is when you’ll see lots of canoe-ers and longboarders paddling back in to shore. The beach is pretty unkempt, but that’s part of the charm. You have to look for restrooms and washing stations but they’re there.
We finally went to Kay LC for lunch on a rainy Christmas Eve. It’s close by and we’ve walked past it many times without going in. The menu is what would be considered traditional Hawaiian food, a cross between American diner and east Asian fast food. So you can get pancakes and veggie omelet, or Chinese 5-spice pork belly and fried ahi, or tonkatsu bento box and sushi. It’s greasy, and that’s part of the point. It’s “hangover food” as T-bone says, although you don’t have to be hungover to enjoy it. Three of us ate there (and were full for many hours after) for $23
One of my (minor) complaints about life here is that there don’t seem to be any decent delis, or even any crummy ones. The culture of the northeast, of crusty bread and big sandwiches, doesn’t exist here. Maybe it’s the Asian cultural influence of eating food with rice instead of bread, or maybe wheat has never thrived here as a crop, or maybe it’s because the introduction of bread to Hawaii was through the Portuguese, who left a tradition of very soft, sweet, cake-like bread – bread that is tasty but not suitable for sandwiches.
So it was a pleasant surprise to get paninis at Short & Sweet. They were the kind of sandwiches I miss from Philadelphia. They also make bagels and breads and croissants … Read the rest
Coconut Island is a very pleasant island in Hilo Bay, about a 10-15-minute walk from our place. It’s near the Castle Hilo Hawaiian hotel, which has the same architecture as our building. The grass is trimmed short, unlike some of the other parks in the area, so it’s a good space for keiki to run without tripping. It’s surrounded by rocky beach with some sand, and the water is pretty fresh, being close to the ocean, so it’s a good spot to swim or wade. Whenever I’m there I see many men fishing, and they catch good-size (20″ or more) fish just with rod and reel.
Our local Ace hardware store in Hilo (333 Kilauea) hosts a “Hardware Science” activity every week, demonstrating a science principle in a fun way. They have a book written by “Wizard IV”, the purported intellectual descendant of Wizard I (Michael Faraday) and Wizard III (Don Herbert, aka Mr. Wizard).
Intrigued, I searched and found the site whelmers.com a site with some of the 20,000 science activities collected over the past 200 years, designed to not overwhelm the audience/students, but merely “whelm” them.
This is probably our main guilty pleasures here. When we just don’t feel like cooking, we can walk over to B.I.P. (we can actually see it from the lanai) and order a pie. It’s not the cheapest pizza around but it’s better than the alternatives of Domino’s and Pizza Hut. (There’s also a traveling pizza hot truck with a portable wood oven that makes excellent, inexpensive pizza, but it’s in town only on Tuesdays)
He explains a concept that has occurred to me before only in a very rough way, that culture is in some part determined by the qualities of the language of that culture. If a language does not include, for example, the subjunctive mood (woulda coulda shoulda) then that culture is unable to express ‘what might have been’, and thus actually experiences less self-doubt and regret.… Read the rest