Archives for category: California
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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

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For the last several years, the thought of an extended weekend trip never crossed my mind. I was hyperfocused on exploring as slowly as possible. Thanks to my new-ish freelance lifestyle, it was possible for me to work and play for two weeks in Colombia, or most recently, to stretch the limits of the Schengen visa to spend a summer in Europe.

While there, I sampled digital nomad life in a loosely structured environment in Barcelona with Unsettled and learned a lot about myself. Like, how it’s simultaneously distracting and rewarding to live and work from a new place with people who are just as interested and curious about people, pursuing passionate endeavors and new experiences as I am. To be completely transparent, this same experience ate away at my productivity, no thanks (but really thanks) to the cool people I met in the program and all of the horchata, vermut, tapas, sunset strolls, beach days and more.

 

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SDBWFF14-167

A lot of my experience with food festivals isn’t from the attendee perspective. Looking back, much of it comes from working behind the scenes in capacities that ensure the ticketed folks have a good time. In high school, I played in the jazz band while Taste of Hawaii attendees sampled their way through the best of Pacific Rim cuisine. During my tenure at a creative agency, I churned out avocado smoothies or corralling chefs and foodie personalities at intimate to large scale food events across the country.

But come next week, I am really looking forward to participating in one of the West’s largest food and wine festivals as an attendee. I’ll be puttering around the Grand Tasting on Saturday, 11/18 as part of the culminating activities of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival happening near the waterfront Downtown.

I’m particularly excited about bites and sips from the more than 60 San Diego based and cross-border restaurants, chefs and wineries. It’s been cloudy and chilly these days, which is uncharacteristic of our perpetually sunny corner of the country, so let’s hope for some status quo rays come next week.

The #SDBayFest as you’ll find on social media has been around for more than 10 years, and this year they’ve got some new events for those of us into the foodie scene, like:

  • A screening of the documentary, Fermented
  • Whisky + Wagyu at San Diego’s new steakhouse, Born & Raised
  • Sushi & Sake
    Cult Wines of Napa (which, if you are curious about how to help the community up North affected by the recent wildfires, the regional wine industry has banded together under the CA Wine Strong umbrella. Make a donation or learn about other ways to help at the link)

If you’ll be around America’s Finest City next week, or if you’re local to the area and are looking to indulge for the weekend, join me at the Grand Tasting on Saturday, 11/18. Snag a ticket at the fancy affiliate link the festival organizers provided me*: https://www.squadup.com/events/grand?aff=curious

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See you there?

 

*This means I get a small percentage of ticket sales if you purchase tickets through my link. Special thank you in advance to #SDBayFest for inviting me to the Grand Tasting.
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