WTechnically, we rang the New Years Eve early on Saturday morning. But for many of us, Monday is the start of 2022 that is collapsing, in the form of a return to work, school and everyday life. For me, 2021 was hazy in many ways, so it was a treat to spend a few minutes re-reading the past months for the HONOLULU team. Here are 10 of my favorite stories from the past year, and it’s up to you to find some quiet time to read and reflect.

Published in August 2021

Photo: James Nakamura

You usually feel the voice of our Creative Director, James Nakamura, through his visuals and design. But he is also an expressive writer. His tale of life on Magic Island in the summer of 2020 reveals a point in time where a backward walker, solo cellphone talkers, an elaborate tent dweller, and other characters tell the tale. of people coming back outside but still looking at the rest of the world from a distance.


Published in July 2021

Duke Kahanamoku 1924 Paris Hawaii Olympic Games Photo Outrigger Canoe Club

Duke Kahanamoku at the 1924 Paris Games Photo: Courtesy of the Outrigger Canoe Club

I am an Olympic Games fanatic. When the games begin, I will watch every moment I can, staying awake until the early hours of the morning to watch lesser-known sports or to go back and review arrival photos and outstanding performances. In a year where the summer and winter games are played just a few months apart (and with a Hawaiian woman winning surfing’s first gold medal), it was fun digging through our files to find out. learn more about Hawaii’s long relationship with the Olympics.


Published in September 2021

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Photo: Tommy Shih

One day, in a cabin nestled in the mountains above the Leeward Coast, our style and art team gathered for a photoshoot. Not only are the images from our fall fashion shoot stunning, the story behind the site – Vladimir Ossipoff’s personal retreat – is a hidden slice of architectural history. Our summer intern, Eve Huddleston, gives us some intriguing details, including an inscription in the metal door locks that recalls a specific post-WWII era.


Published in September 2021

After the fact, drinking at Waikiki's last bar feels like a homecoming and betrayal at the same time.

Photo: Katrina Valcourt

If you knew the effort it takes to write the seemingly effortless voice for editor Katrina Valcourt’s monthly column, Afterthoughts, you’d have a new appreciation for her take on life in Hawai’i. His piece from September 2021 is one of my favorites. The juxtaposition of Katrina’s pink childhood memories of a Waikīkī hotel and its hip redesign into a chic boutique and bar is a quintessential example of the enduring challenge of celebrating our island’s past and bringing it into the world. future.


Published in March 2021

Kaneohe Bakery Exterior Rainbow Robbie Dingeman

An early morning rainbow greeted guests once the sun rose. Photo: Robbie Dingeman

Just days before Kāne’ohe Bakery closed for the last time, editor Robbie Dingeman joined the long line of people vying for one last guava cake, stuffed donut and ‘ōkole bread. . Robbie transports us to that rainy Thursday morning, when repeat customers and friends have told the tales of all of life’s moments and memories intertwined with the comforting and familiar pastries of the bakery.


Published in June 2021

Essential Books Pidgin To The Max Cover

I have a confession; even though i grew up here i can’t speak pidgin. It’s a common joke at HONOLULU and Frolic Hawai’i when colleagues ask me to read sentences just to laugh at the results. Yet I have always been fascinated not only by the history of our local vernacular, but also by the evolving nature of this living language. Fortunately, the da Pidgin guerrilla himself, Lee Tonouchi, has agreed to tackle some of the discussions surrounding him in a four-part series that we call Pidgin 102 which covers the history of the Creole language, the debates over its standardization in writing, who should be allowed to speak it and a look at its future.


Published in December 2021

Carissa Moore with flag at the Tokyo Olympics Photo International Surfing Association Ben Reed Gold Medal

Carissa Moore shortly after winning the gold medal in the first Olympic women’s surf competition. Photo: Ben Reed, courtesy of the International Surfing Association

We don’t need to explain why Carissa Moore is on the cover of our last issue of the year. But editor-in-chief Don Wallace went above and beyond the gold medal for this insightful profile of the world and Olympic champion. Her decisions to step away from the professional circuit at a key point in her career until her choice of roommate tell us more about the inner strength and character of the surfer who grew up to be an icon.



Published in September 2021

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Danny Kaaialii and Jonny Vasquez. Photo: Oliver Koning

Our annual issue of Hale ‘Aina not only features dishes from our top restaurant winners, it allows us to introduce you to the people behind counters and inside kitchens. In 2021, our two main profiles gave us a glimpse of a few restaurateurs and chefs who you rarely see on camera, but whose work and reputation in the industry speaks much louder than their low-key figures. Food & Restaurant Editor-in-Chief Martha Cheng tells us how our restaurateurs of the year met at a bar and then created a heartwarming trio of rock stars while our digital editor and Guru Frolic Hawai’i Mari Taketa takes us from sunrise to long after. sunset on the way to the owner and chef of the best new restaurant (and new dad) Keaka Lee.



Published in February 2021

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Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino

It was almost impossible to select a single favorite story from the talented HONOLULU team in 2021. So I gave in and picked a personal favorite that I had the privilege of working on. The idea for this photo essay arose when staff photographer Aaron K. Yoshino and I spent an entire day working in a park, meeting and photographing children for the HONOLULU Family cover children search. In between our socially distant dates, we chatted and spent hours gazing at the trees around us, wondering where they came from and how many generations they were home to. This look at the history and stories of our city’s exceptional trees in our first issue of 2021 was the result. As part of the package, Martha Cheng stepped away from her food and catering responsibilities to cover the lost battle to save and plant more town trees and what you can still do. to help.