Fall 2018 Food and Drink Events in NYC

With the weather consistently around 50 – 60 degrees and the sun setting around 6:00 pm, it seems that fall is in full force in New York City. Plenty of us are looking for ways to get out and enjoy this nearly-perfect season before it begins to get too cold to leave our apartments. Luckily, NYC offers a lot of food and drink events this time of year. From festivals to bar crawls to markets, here are the ones you should take advantage of this season.

Food Loves Tech
Friday, November 2nd-Saturday, November 3rd, 10am-4pm
274 6th St, Brooklyn
Located in Industry City, Brooklyn, this two-day event offers a taste of the future. Now in its third year, the expo aims to educate attendees on how technology shapes the way we eat and the things we eat. With almost 100 vendors lined up, you’ll get a chance to try new ingredients, taste sustainably grown foods, and devour simply created confections. An up-and-comer in the food scene, this is one expo you won’t want to miss!

New York Cider Week
Friday, November 2nd-Sunday, November 11th
Various Locations
Begun in 2010, New York Cider Week started as an opportunity to connect Hudson Valley growers with NYC restaurants, bars and vendors. Today, it’s a week-long affair with events all around the city. Some of the tastings are free, others are pay as you go, and some have a set price tag that allows you all the cider you can drink. One of the biggest events of the week is the Lower East Cider Fest on November 8th, but you can see an entire list of tastings, parties and trivia nights here.

Eat Up Tokyo 2018
Thursday, November 8th, 6-9pm
NYC Event Spaces, 4 W 43rd St, New York
A rare opportunity to experience the best cuisine of Tokyo in the heart of New York City, Eat up Tokyo is an exclusive fall food opportunity. Open to only 250 attendees, the event is free to attend. Anyone looking to try handmade sushi, dishes inspired by Tokyo landmarks or delicious sake pairings needs to RSVP by October 31st. However, RSVP-ing doesn’t guarantee entry. Those who have won the golden tickets will be notified in the following days, the rest of us can follow the fun on Instagram and hope for better luck next year.

New York City Whiskey Fest
Saturday, November 10th, 2-5pm or 6:30-9:30pm
The Tunnel, 269 11th Avenue, New York
Featuring over 100 styles of Whiskey (and other spirits) this is the ultimate festival for those who love a good pour. From hard-to-find Japanese whiskeys to the best home-grown Kentucky bourbons, there’s sure to be at least one type of liquor that tickles your fancy. General admission tickets start at $60, but there’s an all you can drink limit.

Brooklyn Crush: Fall Edition
Saturday, November 10th, 2-5pm or 7-10pm
The Landing (220 36th St, Industry City, Brooklyn)
If wine is more your speed, there’s another great event happening on November 10th. Thrillist has called it “one of the things you have to do in NYC,” and the wine and artisanal food festival shouldn’t be missed. Wines come from both NY state wineries and leading wineries all over the world. There will also be dozens of food vendors, and all attendees will go home with their own keepsake tasting glasses.

18th Century Tavern Night
Friday, November 16th-Saturday, November 17th, 8-11pm
Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, Floral Park
If you’ve ever wondered what dining was like during the 18th century, add this event to your calendar. Attendees will partake in an authentic 18th-century meal, prepared over an open hearth, using traditional recipes and served on period tableware. Seating is limited, so reservations are required. History buffs welcome!

The Brooklyn Chocolate Fest
Sunday, November 18th, 10am-5pm
Aviator Sports & Event Center, 3159 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn
The ultimate food fest for those with a sweet tooth, the Brooklyn Chocolate Fest features every kind of chocolate under the sun. Attendees can sample everything from chocolate covered bacon to vegan desserts to the “best brownies in Brooklyn.” Family friendly, the festival also features the Hot Chocolate Dancers, a chocolate fountain, and an eating contest. There’s a whole host of vendors lined up, and it’s happening just in time to stock up on original holiday gifts.

Brooklyn Chili Takedown 2018
Sunday, November 18th, 5:30-7:30
Murmrr Ballroom, 17 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
The first takedown was in the winter of 2003, in a little Brooklyn apartment. Today, the franchise has grown immensely and there are dozens of takedowns a year. This year’s chili takedown is happening in mid-November in the heart of Brooklyn. Amateur, self-taught chefs bring their best recipes and compete for prize money and glory. Attendees get to sample the offerings and cast their own votes. New takedowns spring up all the time, so if you love this kind of event be sure to keep an eye on their website!

Union Square Holiday Market
Thursday, November 15-Monday, December 24th, 11am-8pm
Union Square Park
Holiday markets are some of the most anticipated fall and winter events in the city. While they aren’t solely food and drink, these unique shopping experiences offer dozens of locally made original food and drink options. Bring the whole family, try some tasty new treats and get a little holiday shopping done all at the same time.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Friday, November 28th-Monday, December 24th, 10am-8pm
Columbus Circle
Much like the one at Union Square, this holiday market brings together some of the best and most original dining options in the city. With 15 food vendors lined up, those who stop by can find everything from chicken and waffles, to bao, to churros. If you’re looking for a warm drink in the cooler weather, there are hot chocolate, apple cider, and hot toddy options galore.

The 10th Annual Latke Festival
Monday, December 3rd, 6-8:30pm
The Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
Located on the stunning plazas surrounding the Brooklyn Museum, the 10th Annual Latke Festival celebrates the best and most creative potato pancakes in the city. Tickets to the event get you unlimited latke tastings, as well as beer, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. Last year 19 vendors brought dozens of latke variations, and while the official list of 2018 vendors has yet to be released, we’re sure it will be incredible.

Bar Car Nights
Various dates in November & December, 7-10:30pm
New York Botanical Gardens, Holiday Train Show, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx
On almost a dozen nights over November and December, city residents can trek up to the Bronx for a magical drink experience. Exclusively for those 21 and up, revelers can buy a drink from one of the seasonal themed bars and then set out to explore the gardens. There are fire pits to warm up next to, ice sculpting demonstrations, plenty of live music, and much smaller crowds than normal operating hours. Parts of the event are outside, so be sure to dress warm!

 

Header image by Eaters Collective on Unsplash.

Eco-Friendly Holiday Shopping in New York City

NYC is a haven for innovators, and artisans inspired by climate change have stitched together more than one way to make fashion and home products eco-friendly. This sustainable shopping safari will guide you from the Upper West Side all the way down to Brooklyn. If you get hungry, stop by your closest Sweetgreen, a NYC salad chain that uses compostable serverware and local veggie sources.

Alternative Apparel
281 Lafayette St, New York NY 10012
Using organic and recycled materials, Alternative Apparel makes everything from t-shirts to coats for men, women, and children. And duffle bags. And boxer briefs. And skirt shorts. With fun names for their clothing like “Keeper” and “Boss,” they’re open about their favorite bestsellers and the brands they trust for going green.

Fjall Raven
262 Mott St, New York NY 10012
Fjall Raven uses sustainably sourced wool/down materials in its outdoor clothing line, ensuring both you and the planet are ready for whatever’s coming next. Clothing here is for the adventurer, with trekking tights designed for rough terrain and damp ground. Right now their fall line is in, and that means some seriously soft flannel could be coming home for Christmas.

Boody
163 1st Avenue, New York NY 10003
Boody Wear is a pioneer in a durable, sustainable, bamboo-based fabric called bamboo viscose. With it they produce soft undergarments including bras, leggings, socks, and boxers. Know a new mom or dad? Boody makes luxury onesies, and has a baby beanie/bootie set in pink, blue, and white. They also offer free delivery.

Magpie
488 Amsterdam Ave, New York NY 10024
If you’re hunting for eco-friendly gifts for your family (or yourself), Magpie in the Upper West Side has everything from Alpaca blankets to a vintage bark cloth clutch (try saying that three times fast). They also stock stationery, jewelry, and organic soaps. The store has such a sharp eye for design you will find it surprisingly difficult to choose between the handwoven cotton napkins for anyone with a dining table, and the notebook necklace for the writer in your life.

Baggu
242 Wythe Ave., No. 4, Brooklyn NY 11249
What’s an eco-tour of NYC without a dip into Williamsburg, the headquarters of all things new, hip, and green? The now famous Baggu started as a mother-daughter shop, crafting purses and totes from canvas, nylon, and washed denim. They sell everything from reusable bags to eco-friendly wallets, but if you’re going shopping be sure to start with their signature shaped totes in dark denim.

Cap Beauty
238 W. Tenth St., New York NY 10014
If shopping for a woman, check out the 100% natural products at Cap Beauty. Bath salts, make up, and body scrubbers are here, in addition to hair strengtheners, stylers, and shimmers made of eucalyptus and lavender. This is one location you won’t have to work hard to find – just follow your nose.

Green
432 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn NY 11205
Maybe you don’t want to buy someone eco-friendly clothes and souvenirs, but rather get them household goods that are good for the planet. Green in Brooklyn has you covered. They stock household essentials that don’t drain the planet. Everything from kids products to cleaning supplies, blankets to laundry detergents, this shop stocks items that are organic, biodegradable, and fair trade.

Header photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels.

A Brief History Of New York City Subway Performers

Performers and musicians are as fundamental to the character of the New York City subway as train delays. And yet, the issue of subway and even street performances has been highly contested in the city for decades. In fact, in the 1930s, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia referred to these musicians as “beggars” and banned all street performance. But, according to Susie Tanenbaum of the The Street Performers Advocacy Project and City Lore, from as far back as the 1940s, rebels like folk singer Woody Guthrie would defiantly buck the rules and play music on city streets and subway tracks.

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Photo by Florian Schneider on Unsplash

After 1970, street performance was legalized but subway performances remained illegal. As a result, several musicians who broke that law were summoned to court for supposedly posing a safety threat to riders. These musicians defended their performances as a first amendment right. In a critical decisions in 1985, the courts ruled that performers’ first amendment rights outweigh any “safety interest.” The issue heated up again in 1989, when the Transit Authority proposed a ban on music on subway platforms. Performers, lawyers and politicians all flocked to public hearings to oppose the ban. As a result, the Transit Authority banned amplified music on platforms, but allowed acoustic music. By 1990, a court declared the subway platform a place for “musical expression” and since then, the city’s train tracks have been a place where you can hear any kind of music, any time of day.

And if you’ve ever stopped in amazement at how wonderful a subway performer is, then you probably have experienced the joy spread by the MTA’s Music Under New York (MTA MUSIC, also known as MUNY) program. Beginning as a pilot program in 1985, MUNY, managed by the MTA’s Arts & Design unit, has managed offering more than 7,500 performances every year by over 350 soloists and groups at 30 prime locations in the transit system.

To join the elite ranks of MUNY, musicians must make it through a cutthroat competition process, impressing both a group of professional judges and everyday commuters to qualify. For instance, this past year, 309 applicants competed for just 25 spots. The resulting repertoire of underground subway musicians is incredibly varied from Cajun cellists to Latin guitarists to opera singers to Classical violinists. Many are professionally trained.

The system goes like this: MUNY musicians request certain performance locations. Every two weeks, they receive a schedule, or “permit” which offers them priority positions at some of the more popular train stops. (Areas like the Grand Central Terminal’s lower level and Penn Station’s Long Island Rail Road waiting area are reserved exclusively for MUNY performers.) MUNY members are allowed to sell CDS in commuter railroad terminals, but only there.

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Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

What if you’re not selected to enter the ranks of the MUNY musicians? You can still legally perform on the subway. Acoustic music can be played on platforms, while acoustic or amplified music can be played on mezzanines. There are also a number of highly-specific requirements: musicians are not allowed to play during public service announcements and must be positioned at least 25 feet from a token booth. But beyond that, the sky’s the limit, and subway street performers continue to surprise and delight New Yorkers on their morning commutes.

Header photo by Hans Vivek on Unsplash.

 

 

5 Hiking Spots on O’ahu

One of the great things about being on O‛ahu is that, despite the crowds in downtown Honolulu and the traffic snarls daily, just 5 or 10 minutes outside of town you’ll feel like you’re in a remote area far away from civilization. And there’s nothing quite like standing on a mountaintop or hill and looking out over a view of O‛ahu that few people ever experience. There are so many hiking trails on O‛ahu that it’s impossible to list them all, so here are 5 of the easiest hikes you can try that will take you to diverse corners of the island.

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Photo: State of Hawai’i Dept of Land & Natural Resources

Kaena Point
Length: 4-5 miles
Time: Varies
This coastal hike takes you to the westernmost tip of O‛ahu. You’ll hike along the coast where you can explore tidepools even though the terrain is a little desolate. It’s hot and windy, and you sometimes feel as if there isn’t another person on earth. You can approach Kaena Point from the south or the north, but be sure you have enough daylight to finish the hike before you start, because it gets pitch black after the sun sets.


 

Koko-Crater-Arch-Oahu-Hawaii
Photo: OnlyInHawaii.org 

Koko Crater Arch
Length: 1-2 miles
Time: 0-1 hr
This short ridge hike will take you to a natural arch on the side of Koko Crater. The trail isn’t always well-defined on the way to the arch, but you’ll know where you’re heading. The hike is steep in areas, and if you choose to walk up the arch you’ll definitely need hiking shoes with good grip. You’re likely to get amazing photos and the view is unforgettable.


kuliouou3
Photo: Hawaiian Scribe

Kuliouou Ridge Trail
Length: 5 miles round trip from trailhead in Hawai‛i Kai
Time: 3-4 hrs
The thought of the awe-inspiring views you’ll get at the peak should keep you pushing forward on this ridge hike. You’ll trudge over several layers of scene-changing forests amid tall grasses, but there are many plateau areas where you can rest a bit and catch your breath. After traveling over a series of switchbacks on the hillside, it’s a straight climb to the top and that unforgettable view of East O‛ahu.

view from Lanikai Pillboxes
Photo courtesy of Shaka Guide

Lanikai Pillboxes
Length: 2-3 miles
Time: 1-2 hrs
This ridge hike is one of the most popular with locals, and not too strenuous. Within a few minutes of starting the hike, you can look back and get a view of the Kailua area and the Mokulua Islands, those two small islets offshore. The two pillboxes that you’re climbing towards are remnants from World War II. One of the best things about this hike is that it’s short enough for you to stay on the ridge until the skies start turning orange at sunset, and still get back down before dark.

Waimano Falls group swimming

Photo courtesy of David Chatsuthiphan, Unreal Hawai’i 

Waimano Falls and Pools
Length: 1-2 miles
Time: 1-2 hrs
This waterfall hike is best after Honolulu’s gotten a good rain. You start at the Manana Trail, and then it’s about an hour to get to the Falls. First you hike up through shaded forests, then you hike down to get to Waimano Falls. This is often a fun group hike, because if the Falls are gushing, everybody can swim in the pools.

Good to know before you go:

  • Hiking in Hawai‛i is not only beautiful but is also safe: you likely won’t find poisonous bugs, predators, or snakes larger than an earthworm. There are wild boars and goats at high elevations, but they stay away from humans.
  • It’s best not to wear running shoes while you hike in the islands. Light hiking shoes are better because they have more traction. Mountaintops here get a lot of rain and can be slippery.
  • Be sure you have enough water and carry a light snack to keep your energy levels high; dried mangos are a great option you can find at any local grocery store.

Header image by Brocken Inaglory on Wikimedia.

41 West 72nd Street #7H

Offered at $1,195,000, this beautifully renovated large one bedroom is bright and spacious with a well-configured layout, all on a prime Upper West Side block. This unit has been completely gut renovated to the highest standards and offers solid oak floors, a kitchen outfitted with custom cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, marble countertops, solid wood doors throughout, and a brand new marble bathroom.

Apartment 7H exemplifies luxury living; the apartment comes complete with a renovated and windowed open kitchen, featuring stainless steel Bosch appliances as well as a Sub-Zero refrigerator. This unit offers abundant closet space, a Bosch washer/dryer in unit and a large sun-filled bedroom with an oversized closet.

The Hermitage, one of the few charming pre-war condominiums located on the Upper West Side, is located on an ideal block between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Building amenities include 24-hour doorman, a laundry room,  and bike storage. It’s located in close proximity to Lincoln Center, the shops of Columbus Avenue, world-renowned restaurants, and transportation. The Hermitage is a pet friendly building and offers a warm and welcoming environment.

For more information call me at 917.854.5069. View full details about the home by clicking here.

The three most telling indicators about the strength of Honolulu’s real estate market are: 1) steadily rising average and median home prices; 2) an absorption rate under 3 months; and 3) 810 Honolulu home sales closed last month, and single family homes received 99.1% of asking price while condos received 98.6% of asking price. It’s a great time to sell if you’re looking to upgrade, and it’s a great time to buy because prices continue to rise.  Continue reading

45 Lispenard Street #2E

$3,695,000 / Enjoy wide-open loft living with abundant sunlight in this three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom quintessential historic Tribeca loft. No detail was overlooked in the full renovation, designed by Raad Studio.

From the moment you enter the home, you are greeted by southern sunlight that floods the entry and great room. Fourteen foot barrel vaulted ceilings, blonde wide-plank oak hardwood floors, and wood encased floor-to-ceiling windows are the hallmarks of this expansive 29-foot by 24-foot entertaining space, offering ample room for living and dining areas. A powder room, and large custom storage closet add convenience nearby.

The beautifully executed chefs kitchen is a dream with a wall of custom cabinetry and abundant counter space. Professional-grade stainless steel appliances throughout and an oversized center island.

Two serene bedrooms line the northern half of the home while the master is perfectly positioned on the southeastern corner. Exposed brickwork carries throughout the master bedroom into a tranquil spa-like en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower and dual-sink vanity.

45 Lispenard is a 19th-century Renaissance Revival prewar building dating back to 1895 and boasts a completely renovated lobby, a gorgeous landscaped roof-deck with a grilling station, outdoor shower, new elevator and virtual doorman video intercom system. With a keyed elevator and only 2 lofts per floor this boutique building contains 9 floors with only 18 units, creating an intimate and private oasis. Situated in close proximity to many major subway lines, wonderful restaurants and world renowned shopping.

For more information about this home, call me at 917.854.5069. Click here to view full details about this property.

Big Wave Season: Fall Honolulu Events

Fall is in the air! In Honolulu, we celebrate the month-long Aloha Festival in September. Throughout October there are art, music and food events unlike any you’ve seen before. And then it’s ‘all eyes on the ocean’ as locals and visitors eagerly await the big surf competitions in November. And to make this a season to look forward to even more, airfares between Labor Day and Christmas are the best visitors will find all year. Here are some exciting Honolulu Fall Events worth being in Honolulu for:

66th Annual Waikiki Hoolaulea – September 22

waikiki-hoolaulea
Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

https://www.hawaii.com/event/aloha-festivals-annual-waikiki-hoolaulea/
Kalākaua Avenue in Waikiki
Saturday September 22 7PM-10PM
FREE
During the Aloha Festival’s month-long statewide celebration honoring Native Hawaiian culture, Waikiki throws a block party you won’t want to miss. Kalākaua Avenue, the beachfront street in Waikiki, morphs into a blocks-long party venue with stage performances of music and hula. Vendor booths showcase the best of island food and craft items. With thousands of people enjoying the streets of Waikiki, this is an evening celebration to remember.

Aloha Festivals 72nd Annual Floral Parade – September 29

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Photo: Aloha Festivals

http://www.alohafestivals.com/
9AM-Noon
FREE
For the 72nd year, Kalākaua Avenue comes alive with a parade honoring the Hawaiian monarchy, floats festooned with tropical flowers, local marching bands, Hawaiian music, hula hālau and the regal pa‛ū riders on horseback representing each of the Hawaiian islands. The parade begins at Ala Moana Park across from the Ala Moana Shopping Center, proceeds down Kalākaua Avenue and ends at Kapi‛olani Park in Waikiki.

First Friday Art Walk – Chinatown – October 5

First Friday Chinatown
Photo courtesy of The ARTS at Mark’s Garage

http://www.firstfridayhawaii.com/calendar.html
Hotel Street and Nuuanu Avenue
5PM-9PM
FREE
With its rich cultural history, Chinatown is a hip combination of loft apartments, cutting edge artistry, fascinating boutiques, and delicious food in its cafes and restaurants, and on the First Friday of every month, Chinatown throws a party. On this night there is free entertainment and art exhibits throughout Chinatown, and after-parties continue late into the night.

Nā Mele O Ko Olina – October 20

Na Mele o Ko Olina
Photo: Na Mele o Ko Olina

https://www.facebook.com/events/1279620188804383/
Ko Olina Beach Lagoon #3
9AM-5PM
FREE
You’ll love heading out of town to the westside of O‛ahu for a day of Hawaiian music and local art displays. This monthly event welcomes nearly 40 artists showcasing their art beside Hawaiian musicians. Be sure to take your bathing suit because the Ko Olina lagoons are a great spot to swim and snorkel.

VANS Triple Crown of Surfing – November 12-December 8

vans triple crown of surfing
Photo: VANS Triple Crown Facebook Page

https://whatupintown.com/collections/vans-triple-crown-2018/
North Shore
All Day Events
FREE
Hawaiian Pro November 12 – Alii Beach Park, Haleiwa – First Stop of VANS Triple Crown
World Cup of SurfingNovember 25 – Sunset Beach – Second Jewel of VANS Triple Crown
Billabong Pipe MastersDecember 8 – Ehukai Beach, Haleiwa – World’s Best Male & Female Surfer are crowned
Fall is big wave season in Hawai‛i, and the iconic Big Surf series spans 39 days. If you’ll be in Honolulu during this time period, head for the North Shore! Check back with the website for any last-minute changes caused by Mother Nature.

 

 

Header image by Drew Farwell on Unsplash.

The Honolulu Market remains hot, with condos and single family homes still spending an average of ~ 2 weeks on the market before selling at 99% of the listing price. Less than 3 months of an absorption rate for single family homes and condos indicates extremely high demand for the approximately 3,400 homes currently on the market, and both average and median sales prices have increased since this time last year: 10% and 5% respectively for single family homes, and 6% and 1% for Honolulu condos. Have a look below for the most recent market figures from the MLS.

Continue reading

Boat Rides around Hawai‛i

The author Mark Twain called Hawai‛i “the loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean.” And one of the most memorable ways to view the islands is from the ocean. Distractions melt away. There’s only the seashore, the lapping waves, the mountain tops…and you. Each of the Hawaiian islands is unique. From the ocean you can see each island’s character and get a sense of its aura. Tour companies on each island offer visitors a wide assortment of ocean experiences. Here are a few of my favorite boat tours that will give you spectacular views of the islands as well as a stunning ride.

Oahu

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Photo courtesy of Hilton Hawaiian Village

There are no shortage of boat tours on O‛ahu. The Spirit of Aloha is a 54 foot catamaran that departs from Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. The catamaran offers lunchtime, dinner, and snorkel sails, along with the popular Sunset Fireworks Dinner Cruise on Friday nights.

The Atlantis Submarine tours are offered near Diamond Head, but also on Maui and Kona on the Big Island. The submarines descend to 100 feet underwater and give visitors a glimpse of the abundant marine life such as sea turtles, eels, and reef fish.

If you want to get out of the Waikiki area, Ocean Joy Cruise’s catamaran will take you to the Wai‛anae Coast on the west side of the island.  You will often spot dolphins, whales (in season), sea turtles, and flying fish along the way. After an hour of snorkeling in pristine ocean waters, you’ll enjoy their lunch buffet on the way back down the coast.

On the eastern side of the island, Kualoa Ranch offers a very popular 90 minute ocean voyage tour. It is a narrated tour of Kaneohe Bay, Mokoli‛i Island (Chinaman’s Hat) and more.  Knowledgeable guides provide the historic and cultural background of this area of O‛ahu, and the sublime blue-green waters and Koolau Mountain range provide a backdrop that is perfect for photos.

Big Island of Hawaii

lava ocean tours

Photo courtesy of Lava Ocean Tours

There is no shortage of adventure in the waters of Hawai‛i’s youngest island. Boat tours offer night-time scuba diving, snorkeling, deep-sea marlin fishing, and whale-watching. There are also lava-viewing tours where you can be a witness to the spectacular ocean entry of flowing lava from Kilauea Volcano.

Boat tours off the Island of Hawai‛i leave from Hilo on the eastern side of the island or from world-famous Kailua-Kona on the western side.

Kailua Bay Charter’s Glass Bottom Reef Tour is the perfect adventure for families with young children, or those with mobility issues. You can explore the gorgeous Kona reefs and its marine life without even getting wet! View the underwater world from the comfort of your own seat.

Lava Ocean Tours offers first class seats to view lava entering the ocean. Kilauea Volcano is pumping lava and creating new land as lava sizzles into the sea and hardens. They offer sunrise, daytime, twilight and sunset tours, but this force of nature is exciting to witness no matter what time it is.

Maui

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Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Paddle Sports

To explore Maui by ocean, boat tours depart from Lahaina harbor and Kaanapali Beach on the west side, the more centrally-located Maalaea harbor between the Kahului Airport and Lahaina area, or Wailea Beach on the south shore. Smaller motorized vessels may use the Kihei boat ramp on the south side or Mala Wharf in Lahaina. During whale season on Maui, there are two-hour whale-watching trips in addition to the usual charters. Most of these trips will have narration by a naturalist onboard, along with a hydrophone so that you can hear the humpbacks singing on their way to warmer waters.

The Pride of Maui has been doing charter tours for a long time, and they offer an array of tours including snorkeling off the southern coast at Molokini Crater. In fact, they have a 5-hour snorkeling tour that takes you to Molokini and Turtle Town, which is a long stretch of coastline teeming with turtles.

If you want to experience more private boat travel, Hawaiian Paddle Sports offers outrigger canoe tours limited to just six on a canoe. The guides will keep you away from the crowded snorkel cruises, and it’ll be a much calmer ocean experience with narration about the cultural significance of the places you pass.

Kauai

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Photo courtesy of Captain Andy’s Na Pali Raft Cave Patrol

There are few sights more spectacular than the Na Pali Coast of Kaua‛i. And most boat tours will feature the Na Pali Coast from the ocean. Captain Andy’s has been doing ocean tours on Kaua‛i for decades, and they specialize in Na Pali Coast exploration. They offer lunch and dinner cruises, and snorkeling tours. But one of their more unique tours is the Na Pali Raft Cave Patrol. Departing from Kekaha on the west side of Kaua‛i, the 24 foot rigid hull raft takes visitors on a 3 hour adventure darting in and out of sea caves, plunging under cascading waterfalls and experiencing majestic Na Pali in a memorable way. There is no snorkeling on this tour.

Holo Holo Charters will not only take you to Na Pali, but they will also give you a glimpse of the Forbidden Island of Ni‛ihau from the ocean. Their 7-hour Super Tour includes exploring the Na Pali coastline, snorkeling in Ni‛ihau waters, a continental breakfast, and lunch buffet. Since Ni‛ihau, a privately-owned island, is only accessible by invitation, this snorkeling tour is a rare opportunity.

The beauty of the islands is that whichever boat ride you choose, you are in for an enjoyable and relaxing ride.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Kaka’ako

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Photo courtesy of Kaka‛ako Improvement Association

Kaka‛ako is one of O‛ahu’s most vibrant urban neighborhoods. Nestled on the south shore of O‛ahu between the financial hub of downtown Honolulu and the tourist hub of Waikiki, Kaka‛ako is an ideal location for the mix of high-rise condos and businesses developing to meet the needs of young professionals and local entrepreneurs. The main roads through Kaka‛ako are Ala Moana Boulevard and Kapi‛olani Boulevard and the area has been transforming from a commercial center that was filled with warehouses to a trendy residential community with social activism at its heart.

The vision for Kaka‛ako is to be a community with an epicenter of commercial businesses that will make cars optional for residents. With walkability as an amenity of Kaka‛ako living, it can become a model for urban island life. The Honolulu Rail Transit will have two stops in Kaka‛ako. There will also be a stop in Downtown Honolulu just 4 minutes away, and a stop at the Honolulu International Airport a mere 13 minute ride from Kaka‛ako.

History of Kaka‛ako

Returning Kaka‛ako to residential living is returning it to its historical roots. It was once a thriving Native Hawaiian community with fishing villages, wetland agricultural terraces, fishpond farming, and salt making. King Kamehameha had a residence in Kaka‛ako where he would live from time to time.

In the 1800’s, the immigrant population grew and Kaka‛ako became a mix of residences housing blue-collar workers alongside commercial and industrial businesses. By the mid-1900’s, zoning for Kaka‛ako changed from residential to commercial and those living in Kaka‛ako were displaced.

By the 1970’s, Kaka‛ako had become an industrial area that was often at the center of political feuds. As a result, in April 1976, Hawai‛i lawmakers founded the Hawai‛i Community Development Authority (HCDA) to establish community development plans in community development districts (like Kaka‛ako). It has not been without controversy over the years.

Land ownership in Kaka‛ako is a mixed bag. Nine city blocks in the heart of Kaka‛ako are owned by Kamehameha Schools, a private land trust founded by a Hawaiian princess. Its sole purpose is to benefit the private school set up in her will to educate Native Hawaiian children. In addition, thirty acres of waterfront property, known as Kaka‛ako Makai, were conveyed to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs by the State of Hawai‛i as part of a settlement over longstanding claims for past-due revenue owed to the Native Hawaiian people from the Public Land Trust.

If it sounds complicated, it is. But there is still a lot of land being developed by private developers and good things are happening in Kaka’ako!

Kaka‛ako Has A Lot to Crow About

Kaka‛ako is brimming with activity. It is on the threshold of transformative growth and change. Here are some of the best things happening today:

Our Kaka‛ako: A project of Kamehameha Schools and Castle & Cooke Homes Hawai‛i Inc. encompassing nine city blocks in the heart of Kaka‛ako centered on the arts, culture and a creative hub on Auahi, Coral and Keawe Streets. It is an emerging epicenter for an urban-island culture that will incubate innovation for a variety of artists, chefs, entrepreneurs and influencers. It is rooted in Hawaiian cultural values. Its vision is walkable, sustainable, people-friendly neighborhoods. Open-air gathering places, and homes for diverse income levels. Kamehameha Schools will develop 88 rental units, and Castle & Cooke will develop 95 units for buyers.

Kaka‛ako Makai: The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is developing a Conceptual Master Plan for 30 acres of largely waterfront property. The Plan’s purpose will be to develop a place where Hawaiian national identity can flourish, invest in native intellectual capital and innovation, and integrate a planned community that embraces live, work, and play ideals.

The HCDA is planning for up to 30 new buildings to be constructed in Kaka‛ako. Community residents have protested permitting which would allow some towers to reach 700 feet, twice as high as the city’s building height limit. The issue remains unsettled at this time.

Salt: A marketplace that houses a variety of local retailers and restaurants. Part of Kamehameha School’s master plan, they will reuse existing warehouses to preserve the feel of Kaka‛ako.

Six Eighty: An apartment structure named after its address at 680 Ala Moana Boulevard. The first installment of Kamehameha School’s nine-block master plan. It is an affordable housing complex offering studio and one-bedroom loft-style apartments. 54 units are reserved for median-income renters. Small retail shops and eateries like Highway Inn and Starbucks are on the ground floor and there is an open-air venue on the roof.

Pow! Wow! Street Art Festival: Every year in February, street artists from all over the world descend on Kaka‛ako to paint new murals on its old commercial buildings.

Pohukaina and Cooke Street Tracy Chan

Mural at corner of Pohukaina and Cooke Streets. Photo: Tracy Chan

Whole Foods Market opened its largest store in Hawai‛i in the Ward Village complex in May 2018 with 72,000 square feet under roof. It boasts the largest hot bar in the western region with 43 choices; a sugarcane juice press, Two Tides Bar that has 24 beers on tap, and self-serve stations for mochi ice cream and poke.

Ward Village: Developed by the Howard Hughes Corporation, Ward Village is a community of exceptional residences. It is a mix of urban and island living with retail stores and entertainment venues near residences, pedestrian walkways, and outdoor gathering (green) spaces.

Ward Village rendering

Please let me know if you would like to be a part of this vibrant community and I would be happy to show you available real estate for sale or rent, and be sure to read NY Mag’s 2018 article about Kaka’ako being the hippest neighborhood in Honolulu.

Welcome to summer! July 4th is here, Q2 is behind us, and the market is still in the midst of a correction. After median Manhattan sales prices increased 40% from 2011 to 2017, submarkets in NYC have been correcting themselves for between 12-24 months. Since this time last year, median prices are down 4%, sales have dipped 11%, and there are 30% more homes on the market than there were in Q2 of 2017. This market correction is good news for motivated buyers, and as is always the case in NYC, current conditions can work in a seller’s favor with the right price and marketing strategy.

Pricing
There are currently 11,842 listings on the market in Manhattan with a total dollar volume of nearly $42B. The median price is $1,725,000 and the median price per square foot remains around $1,630.

Approximately 7% of listings are priced below $500K
25% of listings are between $500K – $1M
38% of listings are between $1M – $3M
13% of listings are between $3M – $5M
11% of listings are between $5M – $10M
7% of listings are $10M and above

Listing sizes with median prices
Approximately 11% of listings are studios with a median price of $599K
30% are 1 bedrooms with a median price of $930K
30% are 2 bedrooms with a median price of $1.9M
16% are 3 bedrooms with a median price of $3.9M
13% are 4+ bedrooms with a median price of $8M

Category of available listings
Approximately 50% of current listings are condos
42% of current listings are co-ops
3% of current listings are condo-ops
3% of current listings are multi-family properties
2% of current listings are townhouses


NoHo currently has the highest price downtown at $2,741 per square foot while the Financial District is the lowest current median ppsf at $1,404.

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Current prices in NoMad surpass all other midtown pricing at $2,178 psf and Murray Hill is the least expensive at $1,357 psf.

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Uptown pricing is currently highest in the UWS where the median ppsf is $1,675 and lowest in Inwood at $530 psf.

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DUMBO has the highest NW Brooklyn pricing at the moment, with a median ppsf of $1,365, while the lowest ppsf is in Windsor Terrace at $868.

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Greenpoint and Williamsburg are $1,200 ppsf and $1,205 ppsf respectively.

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Median East Brooklyn pricing is highest in Bushwick at $623 per square foot and lowest in Brownsville at $293.

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Prospect Park South takes the leading price in South Brooklyn with a median ppsf of $952 while the lowest South Brooklyn ppsf is in Flatbush at $419.

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Sunset Park in Southwest Brooklyn has the highest median current ppsf at $655 and Coney Island has the lowest at $417 psf.

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Southeast Brooklyn’s highest price per square foot is in Manhattan Beach at $665 and lowest is in Canarsie at $336.

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Long Island City’s median ppsf is currently $1,205 while Astoria’s is $795.QueensPPSF-01


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New York City Pizza

In New York City, pizza can be a more contentious topic than politics. NYC is home to some of the greatest pizza geniuses of all time, so the competition for making the perfect pie is stiff. With delicious, creative options in seemingly every neighborhood, the pizza scene in New York City can be overwhelming, even to long time residents. But that isn’t a reason to resign yourself to less than extraordinary pizza. Here are some of my recommendations – aside from Lombardi’s, John’s of Bleecker Street, and Grimaldi’s, which I’m assuming you’re already familiar with.

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Image courtesy of difarany.com

Di Fara
Original location:
Midwood
1424 Ave J
Brooklyn, NY 11230
New Second Location:
109 N 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Anthony Bourdain described Di Fara’s pizza as the best of the best, so it should come as no surprise that New York’s (arguably) best pizza costs $30 per pie. The Midwood location has been open since 1965, with Domenico DeMarco (the owner) making every pie and treating each one as an art form, a craft he and his family have mastered for years. All ingredients are fresh and flown in from Italy twice weekly. The new Williamsburg location in the North 3rd Street Market naturally lacks the authenticity of the original location, but being able to get this legendary pizza in Williamsburg is well worth the change of scene.

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Image courtesy of PQR on Instagram

PQR NYC
1631 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10028
PQR Pizza owner Angelo lezzi has been making pizza since he was 13, opened his first pizzeria in Rome 30 years ago, won The World’s Best Pizza by the Slice Championship in 1993, and is now the President of the Associazione Pizzerie Italiane. That is – he knows a thing or two about how to make the perfect slice. Through the years he experimented with the dough-making process and discovered a high-hydration, 96 hour, cold fermentation process that creates a fluffy crust with a crispy-bottom that is also easier to digest, lower in carbs, and higher in protein than standard pizza. PQR stands for Pizza Quadrata Romana and the restaurant just opened in March.

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Image courtesy of maniinpastanyc.com

Mani in Pasta
245 E. 14th Street
New York, NY 10003
Another Roman-style pizzeria owned by a world-champion pizza maker is Mani in Pasta, with an East 14th Street restaurant and a Midtown East take-out spot. Giuseppe Manco is the revered chef behind this joint and his pan pizza is what’s he’s earned championships for, but it’s not just the pizza that this chef does well; his entire Italian menu (meatballs, fritto misto, calamari, insalate, and much more) is a melt-in-your-mouth trip to the motherland.

Image Courtesy of Speedy Romeo’s


Speedy Romeo’s

63 Clinton Street at Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
As one of the 126 NYC restaurants to be awarded a 2018 prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand award, Speedy Romeo’s is the new gold standard for pizza. Its recipes are creative twists on classic Italian fare. House favorites include the Dangerfield, topped with béchamel, pork-veal meatballs, and ricotta; as well as the Anton Ego which features smoked eggplant, summer squash, and tomato concentrate.

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Image Courtesy of  Houdini

Houdini Kitchen Laboratory
1563 Decatur Street at Wyckoff Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385
Located in a converted 19th-century brewery, this spot is effortlessly cool. Instead of overdosing on crazy toppings, Houdini’s wood-fired pizza features delicious, traditional flavors.

Image Courtesy of Patsy’s Pizzeria

Patsy’s Pizzeria
2287 1st Avenue at East 118th Street
New York, NY 10035
Pasty’s Pizzeria is the reason they coined the phrase “neighborhood institution.” Started in 1933, it became a 1970s hangout and inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola as he was dreaming up The Godfather. New Yorkers still venture there to feast on the coal-oven pizza topped with aged mozzarella.

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Image courtesy of Loringplace.com

Loring Place
21 West 8th Street at Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Pizza only comprises a small portion of this restaurant’s flavorful menu, but its been enough to earn the young chef Dan Kluger praise. Kluger’s joint won New York Magazine’s Best Pizza of 2018 for its whole-wheat baked crust topped with unexpected items like crab and fennel. Be sure to save room for the chocolate-orange cupcake.

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Joe & Pat’s
168 First Avenue b/t 10th and 11th Streets
New York, New York 10009
Up until last year, pizza-lovers had to haul all the way out to Staten Island to try the famous Pappalardo family’s thin-crust pizza, a staple of the neighborhood since 1960. Luckily for Manhattanites, the owners decided to bring their fresh ingredients and perfected menu to the East Village. It’s a more dressed-up vibe, with catching vintage signs and a dark wood bar, but underneath it all, you’ll get to enjoy the same mozzarella recipes that have made it a cult-favorite.

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L’industrie Pizzeria
254 S 2nd Street b/t Roebling & Havemeyer Streets
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Chef Massimo Laveglia is a Florence native who envisioned L’Industrie as the perfect blend of Italian tradition and New York City authenticity. The menu items, all crafted from top-quality ingredients, range from the classic Margherita to a unique breakfast pie featuring egg, bacon, and mozzarella. You’ll want to save room for the house dessert, a Nutella pizza topped with strawberries.

 

New York City Summer Events

Summer is the season when the city really comes alive, with seemingly endless rosters of cultural and foodie events to enjoy. From checking out a film on the Hudson River or in Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park, to sampling the city’s absolute best streetcar-food, you’re sure to find plenty to keep you busy during the summer months in NYC. Continue reading “New York City Summer Events”

Perfect Burger Search / Honolulu Edition

When you think about eating in Hawai‛i, the thought of a big, juicy hamburger may not be the first thing that crosses your mind, yet the 50th State has quite a few ‘hamburger joints’ that could compete against the best in any of the other 49 and beyond. To make your search easier when you get the craving to indulge in that All-American mainstay, here are my choices for the best burger restaurants on the island so far. I still have dozens more burger joints to try out. Being on a Pacific island, I think you’ll find some of the unique versions of the hamburger found in Honolulu to be superb.

Burgers and Things! (Image above)
1991 Pauoa Road, Honolulu
(808) 971-1946
Tuesday – Sunday: 11AM – 6PM; Closed on Mondays
You know you’ve found a winner when you ask locals where the best burgers in Honolulu are, and they tell you about Burgers and Things! Of course they have standard fare like the Juicy Burger braised in a house-made jus, and the Teri Burger dipped in their special teriyaki sauce. But they really shine with their Specialty Burgers, and the novelty names they give their burgers are good, too. The ‘I Came In Like a Butterball’ is a turkey burger with a tangy cranberry chipotle sauce. The ‘Wagyu Say?!’ is made from Wagyu beef, the Japanese-bred cattle that is known for intense marbling. The ‘Lamb Bam Thank Ewe Ma’am’ is made from Niihau lamb braised in a special jus with bacon, apple, and maple jam on honey pesto. All of their burgers are lightly charred to seal in the flavorful juices, and the meat is well-seasoned. With its fun comic book-themed dining room and playful customer service, this restaurant is a must-stop. The only negatives? Their dining room is often too small for crowds so you may have to order take-out or wait to be seated – and they close at 6:00 PM so it’s a lunch and early-dinner place only.

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Ten Gallon Burger with Chub Fries. Photo courtesy Chubbies Burgers.

Chubbies Burgers
960 Auahi Street, Honolulu
Lunch truck in the parking lot (ocean side) near Starbucks/Jamba Juice
Open Tuesday – Sunday, Closed Monday
Lunch: 11 AM – 3 PM
Dinner: 5 PM – 9 PM
Chubbies Burgers is a no-frills lunch truck with plenty of seating outside and parking nearby. All they make here are angus beef hamburgers and fries, and that’s enough once you’ve tried them. They specialize in 50’s style hamburgers called ‘smash burgers’: cold beef is smashed down hard on a super hot griddle which forms a crust on one side locking in all of the juice and flavor. Their beef is from grass-fed cattle from Makaweli Ranch on Kaua‛i. All of their items are made-to-order so you know that your food is freshly made and not warming under a hot light. Their largest burger, the Ten Gallon, is packed with added bacon, grilled onion, cheddar cheese, and house barbecue sauce. Their signature crinkle fries are always crispy, and the Chub Fries are smothered with cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and a secret fry sauce. Any negatives? Yes, they’re closed on Mondays. Otherwise, they’re close to perfect for a hamburger lover. Not so much if you’re vegan or you’re into turkey burgers and other beef alternatives.

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Royal Burgers and Fries. Photo courtesy W & M Bar-B-Q Burger

W & M Bar-B-Q Burger
3104 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu
(808) 734-3350
Wednesday – Friday: 10 AM – 4:30 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 9 AM – 4:30PM; Closed Monday and Tuesday
This is another no-frills place where customers keep coming back for more. In fact, many people who grew up in this Kaimuki neighborhood return simply to buy the bar-b-q burgers they remembered from their childhood. The bar-b-q sauce recipe is so top-secret that the owner jokes that he was married for 5 years before he shared the recipe with his wife. The Royal Burger is their best seller with meat infused with the bar-b-q sauce. You can order the works with cheese, onion, tomato, and lettuce added. W & M’s fries are nice and crunchy, and there’s a popular Green River drink that’s non-carbonated and is the signature drink for hamburger lovers here. Negatives: there are only 5 parking spaces in their small lot, so many regular patrons park in the neighboring City Mill hardware store lot and dash over to get their burger fix. There’s also no place to eat on the premises, so customers order take-out, eat in their cars, and some die-hards eat on the sliver of a counter facing the wall in the corner – but W & M’s regulars will tell you that it’s all worth it.

Loco Moco Burger. photo by nathan k
Loco Moco Burger. Photo by Nathan K.

Mahaloha Burger – Waikiki
Royal Hawaiian Center, 2233 Kalakaua Avenue
(808) 926-6500
Open Every Day 9 AM – 10 PM
Located on the 2nd floor of the Food Court at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, this burger restaurant pumps out some good burgers and interesting items on their menu. The Loco Moco Burger is a twist on a local-style breakfast food, laying an over-easy fried egg onto the burger patty. The Avocado-Swiss, Bleu Cheese-Bacon, and Mushroom-Swiss all have patties that ooze out over the bun. Together with the house sauce, this can make for quite a messy and delicious experience. For non-beef eaters, Mahaloha offers a Chicken Katsu burger, a Mahi Mahi burger, a Veggie burger, and a Turkey burger. They also have a full assortment of hot dog varieties, and their Sweet Potato Fries make a nice partner to their burgers. Their service could be a little faster, but their food is made-to-order and they give customers a buzzer to carry with them if they want to order and continue shopping until their order is ready.

 

 

This month’s market update covers a range of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens pricing as well as median sales prices across all NYC boroughs. The highest current price per square foot can be found in NoHo, where median prices are $2,750 per square foot, while the lowest prices can be found in Brownsville, where median prices are $293 per square foot.

Continue reading

Farmers’ Markets Around Honolulu

Farmers Market Mahiku
Photo courtesy HawaiianScribe

More than any other state in the U.S., farmers’ markets in Hawai‛i are a smorgasbord of tropical produce and international cultures and foods. They are not your run-of-the-mill farm-to-table events. Honolulu farmers’ markets are teeming with exotic fruits and vegetables. Dragon fruit, passion fruit, papaya, apple bananas, mango, guava, lychee, and star fruit, to name a few. Scrumptious aromas of freshly cooked delicacies fill the air: lumpia and adobo from the Philippines; malasadas and pao doce from Portugal; sushi and tempura from Japan; laulau, poi, and poke from Hawai‛i; and locally-blended foods like huli-huli chicken and spam musubi. Buckets of tropical flowers like orchids, anthuriums, ginger, bird of paradise, and heliconia are everywhere. You can count on seeing bottles of Mānoa honey, Hawaiian vanilla, organic eggs, super sweet Kahuku corn, North Shore beef and coffee, aqua-cultured prawns, and the irresistible Waialua chocolate. You might even be treated to a cooking demonstration by local celebrity chefs or a hula performance by local hula hālau.

For visitors staying in Waikiki, some of the hotels and shopping hubs host farmers’ markets. Kings’ Village at 131 Kaiulani Street has a market open from 4-9 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The Waikiki Hyatt at 2424 Kalākaua Avenue hosts a market on Thursday evenings from 4-8 PM. But there’s nothing like getting out of Waikiki and going to where the local people host farmers’ markets. Here are a few of the farmers’ markets around Honolulu that you won’t want to miss:

KCC Farmers’ Market
Where: Parking Lot C, 4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu 96816
Schedule: Saturday, 7:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Farmers Market flowers
Photo courtesy HawaiianScribe

At Kapiolani Community College in back of Diamond Head, this is the Grand-Daddy of Honolulu farmers’ markets and easily the biggest on the island. It’s even become a stop for tour buses. Parking can be hard to find if you don’t get here early, but TheBus and the Waikiki Trolley both have stops at the site. The KCC Farmers’ Market website even has a map of the  market layout so you can see which vendors are regularly there.

Pearlridge Farmers’ Market
Where: Pearlridge Uptown along Moanalua Road. Parking near Kaiser Permanente and Macy’s
Schedule: Saturday, 8 AM to 12 PM

Pearlridge Farmers Market
Photo courtesy Pearlridge Farmers’ Market

The Pearlridge Farmers’ Market is one of the best markets on the island, and is out towards the west end of O‛ahu. It features over 40 vendors and is always adding new sellers who offer locally-grown fruits and vegetables, oven-fresh breads and baked treats. Live Hawaiian entertainment is usually featured at this farmers’ market. A pop-up café that seats 70 allows shoppers to enjoy music throughout the morning. Along with produce, you will find local butter, cheeses, honey, salsas, as well as other artisan foods and plant and flower booths. There are even organic dog treats for your furry friend Don’t forget to try the WOW Waffles that usually sell out early. Since this market is at a mall, there is plenty of parking, and plenty of shopping after the farmers’ market!

Kailua Farmers’ Market – There are TWO!

This lovely little town by the sea hosts TWO farmers’ markets each week. Seems like they can’t get enough of fresh, locally-grown foods. Kailua is also a haven for tourists, since the beach here is one of the nicest in the state.

Thursday Market
Where: 609 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734
Schedule: Thursday, 5-7:30PM

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Berrylicious Crepe at Kailua Farmers’ Market

This market is like the old-fashioned community social. Every Thursday evening many locals come to buy dinner from one of the vendors. The live music is a treat and gives the market a street festival atmosphere. For the organic and vegan aficionados, this market is your chance to get the best items from local sources. Look for the Nalo Meli booth for raw honey and soaps made from it!

Sunday Market
Address: Kailua Elementary, 315 Kuulei Road, Kailua, HI 96734
Schedule: Sunday, 8:30AM – Noon

Kailua Town Farmers' Market
Photo courtesy Kailua Town Farmers’ Market

A delightful way to start a Sunday and your week, it’s best to start early to get the best produce along with organic eggs. You’ll see a lot of locals coming here to buy freshly-baked breads and pastries. This market is especially aware of the delicate island environment. Organizers have asked their food vendors to use only bio-compostable plates and utensils. Some of them will even wrap your purchases in palm fronds or ti leaves.

Historically Significant New Development Sites

The changing skyline is one of the most certain features of modern-day New York City, with new buildings breaking ground – or filing permits to break ground – on a daily basis. Where they rise once stood buildings that were important in their day; unfortunately not all of these important buildings can be salvaged, but developers tend to pay homage to the history of their development sites through the new building’s design and name. Here are six upcoming new development projects whose sites or buildings have historic significance.

Project: The Rennie (pictured above)
Address: 2351 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd
Developer: BRP Development Corporation and Abyssian Development Corporation
Architects: GF55 Partners
The Renaissance Ballroom and Casino (The Rennie) was one of Harlem’s most happening jazz spots during the 1920s. It eventually became a dilapidated and (per the developers) unsalvageable abandoned building that is currently being made into an eight story condo with 134 units. Homes will include studios to 3 bedrooms priced between $530,000 – $1,700,000, with 20% set aside for affordable housing between $300,000 and $370,000. The building will also feature a full time attended lobby, rooftop lounge, fitness room, children’s playroom, pet spa, parking, personal storage, and bicycle storage.

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Rendering courtesy of The Durst Organization

Project: Plaza Park Tower
Address: 29-37 41st Avenue, Long Island City
Developer: The Durst Organization
Architects: Handel Architects; Interiors by Selldorf Architects
This project will be Queens’ tallest residential tower, rising 710 feet on a plot of land purchased by The Durst Organization for $175M in 2016. The 980,000 SF mixed use building will have 958 homes (nearly 300 of which are earmarked for affordable housing), a half-acre public park, outdoor pool, a 20,000 SF retail gym, co-working area, resident library, demo kitchen, and kids’ playroom. The project includes the development of the landmarked Clock Tower building, formerly the home of Bank of Manhattan. The 50,000 SF Clock Tower building was built in 1927 and will be used as commercial and retail space. Although construction is already underway, expected completion dates and prices have not yet been published.

Project: 432 East 14th Street
Address: 432-438 East 14th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A
Developers: Benenson Capital Partners and Mack Real Estate Group
Pretty soon you’ll be able to rent a home where the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office used to stand. The 8 story building (which developers wanted to make 12 stories despite local zoning laws – until neighbors put a stop to their plan) will house 113 rental units, 23 of which will be affordable, as well as a fitness center, courtyard, and landscaped roof deck. Prices will start at $3,350 per month for a studio, nearly $1K over the current median rent for East Village studios. Trader Joe’s recently signed a lease to take over 23,000 SF of retail space in the building.

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Project: 108 Leonard
Address: 108 Leonard Street, Tribeca
Developers: Elad Group
Architects: SLCE; Interiors by Jeffrey Beers International
The landmarked McKim, Mead & White building at 108 Leonard Street – known as Tribeca’s clock tower building – was once a criminal court. Sales recently launched at the Elad Group-developed condo, offering 151 homes ranging from one to four bedrooms with prices starting around $1.5M. Building features include a 75-foot lap pool, steam room, sauna, billiards room, rooftop lounge, fitness center, and screening room.

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Image courtesy of ARO.com

Project: ARO
Address: 242 West 53rd Street, Midtown Manhattan
Developers: Algin Management
Architects: CetraRuddy
The Roseland Ballroom closed in April of 2014 and in its place is rising a true skyline changer, The ARO building. Rising 62 stories and comprised of over 500,000 square feet, ARO is slated to open this year and will offer 426 rental studios through three bedrooms, plus one four bedroom home. 40,000 square feet of amenities will include a basketball court, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pool, lounge, and sun deck. Studios are expected to start at $2,500 while some three bedrooms are expected to ask $17,000 per month.

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Image courtesy of 67Livingston.com

Project: 67 Livingston
Address: 67 Livingston Street, Brooklyn Heights
Developers: Silverback Development
Architects: HTO Architect; Interiors by CetraRuddy

67 Livingston Street was one of the last sales from the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ portfolio of 30 Brooklyn buildings prior to their move to Warwick, New York. The address is now Brooklyn Heights’ tallest condo, with 22 apartments spread out over 29 stories. 21 of the homes are full floor apartments, and the 22nd is a duplex spanning two full floors. The homes range in size from 1,700 to 3,400 square feet and have direct elevator access as well as balconies, and double or triple exposures. Amenities include a landscaped roof deck, wine cellar, communal front and backyard gardens, children’s playroom, resident’s lounge with catering kitchen, and bicycle storage.

Please contact me if you would like additional information about any of these new development projects.

Honolulu Architecture

Honolulu, the city that has welcomed visitors to its sandy shores for centuries, has a unique architectural mix in its Downtown areas. Each building reflects a period in time important to the Hawaiian islands, and is a window into the evolution of this naturally beautiful coastal metropolis. The Honolulu office of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) offers architectural walking tours on Saturday mornings by advance reservation.  A rare treat for locals and visitors alike, the tours through the downtown area are led by an architect or architectural historian who will provide fascinating details and little-known facts about some of Honolulu’s most cherished structures. Visit the AIA website or call (808) 628-7243 for more information. Here are a few of my favorite Honolulu buildings:

‘Iolani Palace (pictured above)

Completed in 1882, ‘Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the U.S. Erected for Hawai‛i’s last ruling monarchs, King David Kalākaua and his sister, Queen Lili‛uokalani, the palace is the only building in the world constructed in the American Florentine style. Built of brick with concrete facing, the palace has four corner towers, two center towers, and open-sided verandas or lanais on the first and second floors. The palace had rare amenities for the time such as indoor plumbing, an early telephone, and electric lighting before the U.S. White House in Washington D.C. was wired for electricity.

Kawaiaha‛o Church and Mission Houses

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Photo by Joel Bradshaw, 2007, Wikipedia

Kawaiaha‛o Church, sometimes referred to as the Westminster Abbey of Hawai‛i

honolulu-hawaiian mission houses
Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Mission Houses Archives

The Mission Houses, built in the 1820’s, housed the first Christian missionaries on O‛ahu. Commissioned by Queen Ka‛ahumanu, Kawaiaha‛o Church was completed in 1842. Built in the Hawaiian Mission style, it combined New England architectural styles with Hawaiian building techniques and materials. Supplies were brought by ship from Boston, Massachusetts, and 14,000 indigenous coral blocks were gathered to build the church along with local timber and lime. The Mission Houses had been built 20 years earlier to house the American Protestant missionaries. Today, Kawaiaha‛o Church has an active worship schedule, and the Mission Houses are museums open to the public. They are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Aloha Tower

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Image courtesy of JGKlein for Wikipedia

Aloha Tower is a lighthouse at Pier 9 in Honolulu Harbor, and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hawai‛i. It has been welcoming cruise ship passengers and vessels seeking safe harbor since September 1926. Built in the Hawaiian Gothic architectural style, the tower stands 10 stories and 184 feet tall. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II, Aloha Tower was painted in camouflage to be unseen at night. It’s beacon can be seen from 20 miles at sea, and the tower has a 12-foot diameter, 7-ton bronze clock on each of its four sides with the word “Aloha” above it.

Wo Fat Building

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Image courtesy of Joel Bradshaw for Wikimedia

The Wo Fat Building is a well-known landmark in Honolulu’s Chinatown Historic District. It was first built in 1882, but burned down twice in the Chinatown fires of 1886 and 1900. Now standing at the corner of Maunakea and North Hotel Streets, the brightly-painted building was constructed in 1938 in the Italianate style with Chinese temple motifs, pagoda style roof, and a windowed octagonal tower. It once housed the Wo Fat Restaurant, Hawai‛i’s longest operating restaurant until its closure in 2009. The building now houses a food market and other local enterprises.

First Hawaiian Center

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Image courtesy of Xpixupload for Wikimedia

The First Hawaiian Center houses the corporate headquarters of First Hawaiian Bank. Completed in 1996, it features 645,834 square feet and 27 stories of commercial space. It is the tallest building in the state of Hawai‛i. There are 24,000 square feet of waterways, park space and open plaza in downtown Honolulu’s financial district. The Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House, a gallery of Hawaiian artwork, fills three floors in the building. During the design process, Hawaiian architectural principles were used to assuage local residents’ concerns about the effect of skyscrapers on the island environment. The building was designed to incorporate natural light as far into the interior as possible.