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Waikiki beach from an ocean-front room at The Modern Honolulu

Back in San Diego from: Honolulu

I’m recently back from Honolulu where I did a lot of observing and listening to locals in preparation for an upcoming story. Growing up on Kaua’i, Honolulu meant the land of Ala Moana (shopping mecca), stopping in at Liliha Bakery for Coco Puffs or Bubbie’s for mochi ice cream and whirling through an array of high school gymnasiums and musical performance venues as part of my high school extracurriculars.

Now, viewing the city as an adult and through the lens of a visitor looking to participate in local culture beyond Waikiki, and thanks to this recent writing assignment, I have concluded that Honolulu is one of the most interesting, dynamic and multi-cultural American cities right now.

For example, the food–to locals, food has always been a central component of Hawaii’s social fabric, but these days it seems the shift to strengthen the farmer/chef relationship and a growing demand for local, organic produce is reviving and reshaping palates and providing economic opportunity.

I noticed this type of collaboration across industries, from the entertainment scene to the fashion world. I’m really excited for this piece to publish because I think many will come away from the article with a completely different notion of what Hawaii is about, and how cool Honolulu can really be, if you only took the time to do your research. In researching this article, I certainly did.

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Golden Hour in Waikiki from Azure restaurant at The Royal Hawaiian

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Kalua pork everything please, like these Spring Rolls at Hideout on Kuhio Ave.

REI photoshoot

In the meantime, I can finally share a project I was involved with last fall. Earlier this month, outdoor retailer REI launched their Spring campaign and I (along with a few friends) got to be a part of it. The campaign is for their partnership with the National Park Service and a new hiking shoe from La Sportiva.

The deal is: If you purchase a limited edition flash pack, t-shirt or other gear, 5% of the proceeds will be donated to the National Parks.

Here are some screenshots from some of the social ads and the REI website:


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Currently at Salt & Wind

And, I’ve been getting into the zone with writing regularly for travel and lifestyle authority Salt & Wind, a site you’ll want to bookmark if you’re into traveling the world for all of the delicious moments that come along with it. If you’re into Spain, California, Mexico and Hawaii specifically, this site is for you. Some of my recent contributions include:

The Latest for Food52

For Food52, a place where you’ll find recipes with drool-worthy photography, a shop for all things kitchen and narrative features about hometown foods and dishes from far flung destinations, I wrote about a brief history of Hawaii by dissecting my favorite local breakfast plate; Portuguese sausage, eggs, and rice. To understand modern Hawaii is to understand its food, and this is my attempt to break down the state’s many layers in less than 1,000 words. Read it here.