Archive for March, 2007

2007 First Hawaiian Auto Show

2007 First Hawaiian Auto Show

Everyone loves new cars. The sights, the smells, the power… the prices… well not everything. This weekend thousands of people flocked to the annual First Hawaiian Bank Auto Show held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. I attended the auto show and took a lot of photos, not to mention sat in a few of the display cars and checked out their features and prices. The annual display of motor vehicles presents the public with an opportunity to look, touch and sit in brand new cars without all of the hassle associated with going to a new car dealership.

Photo: Chevrolet Corvette.

More photos: Mel’s Auto Show Page | BuzzNet | Flickr

Today’s Kakaako Sunset

It was a beautiful afternoon in Hawaii Nei after a few days of cloudy skies and some rain. Caught this sunset shot at one of my favorite places for sunset shots, Kakaako Waterfront Park. This is taken from one of the artificially built hills overlooking the palm trees, a pavilion and the Pacific Ocean. The park is built over the site of a former landfill near Honolulu Harbor.

ABC Store in Ala Moana Center

They seem to be everywhere in Waikiki. And also in the Ala Moana Shopping Center. The ubiquitous ABC Stores, an operation that is aimed squarely at tourists and probably a very profitable business in the islands. Recently ABC Stores opened what I think is their largest store in Hawaii at the site of the former Honolulu Book Shop/Walden’s/Border’s Book Express location near Center Stage on the street level of Ala Moana Center.

I just happened to be by, camera in hand when I snapped this quick shot of the place lit up for the evening. I never shop at ABC since most of the items are geared towards tourists – sundries, disposable cameras, little batteries, film, cheap t-shirts, some tacky Aloha wear, gifts, sunscreen, sarongs, beach towels and stuff. Prices are generally higher than say, Long’s Drug where similar items and more are also sold, but usually at a better price. The tacky design t-shirts at ABC are cheap, sometimes 2 or 3 for $20. Maybe more.

Tourists like the stores because they are convenient and placed near or in the major resort hotels in Waikiki and elsewhere. There seems to be an ABC Store on every block of Waikiki. I think there is only one in Ala Moana Center and you’re looking at it (haven’t checked to see if the smaller location in the same center is still in operation)….

Tax Burden Still High in Hawaii

Let Honolulu’s Paul Smith reports this week that Hawaii continues to have one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. Smith says, “the Bureau of the Census reports that, on a per capita basis, Hawaii, in 2005, was the number 1 state for collections of general sales tax, and in 2006, had the fifth highest percentage (11.7 percent) of state and local tax burden as a percentage of state income.”

The report does not take into account the new tax increase that started on January 1 to fund Honolulu’s $6.4 billion rail transit project. That will surely push our tax burden higher the next time another report is filed.

Keep an eye on the State Legislature. You can’t trust many of the politicians who work in that building. They may be pushing more legislation to increase our tax burden. More fees, charges, cost, taxes. When will it all end?

Tax hell is alive and well in the 50th State.

Tasty Fish Taco’s and what a view

After hiking the Diamond Head Trail, which is steep but well worth the hike, we needed to find some lunch. I had passed a small smoothie shop but after parking the car my friends spotted a little Mexican place across the street.
Mi Casa Taqueria

It was my friend, Jason, who turned me on to the fish taco. But, fish taco’s are not easy to find in Pittsburgh. So since they were on the menu I had to order a fish taco – it was delicious.

From my table I could look out over the strip mall (they have a lot of strip malls in Hawaii) and see the mountains. It kind of reminds me of being in Colorado.

Turtle 2.0

One of the best places we stopped was the beach with the sea turtles. I think it was Laniakea beach on the North Shore.
These turtles are huge. Much bigger than I have ever expected.


What is portuguese sausage?

I still don’t know but it taste good. We had breakfast at Koa Pancake house. It is amazing. We were told to try the portuguese sausage. Does anyone know what the difference between regular sausage and Portuguese sausage is?

Koa Pancake house is amazing. We don’t have anything like this back in Pittsburgh.

Not only are the pancakes delicious, but the hot chocolate comes with sprinkles too.

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