Max Wowch's Hawaiian Adventure
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Originally published October 2011.
Why hello there! Just sitting here in my favorite tree overlooking China Walls, reflecting on my lovely two week trip to the island of Oahu, or as you pale-faced mainlanders call it, Honolulu.
That’s my amazing girlfriend, Naomi. She grew up on the island and her lovely parents still live there. I believe she is standing in the exact spot she was born (or conceived, I can’t remember). WOWCHY’S TRAVEL TIP #1 - Try to meet a wonderful gal or guy from Hawaii. Take it slow. Date them for a few years, maybe try living together, and if all goes well you eventually pop the question “When the hell are we going to Hawaii?”
I’ve seen enough travel blogs to know I need some glamour shots of my fancy meals. Here we are at Kona Brewing Co, home of the famous Longboard Lager. I wanted to try something local AND exotic, so I order a Hawaiian pizza. You can tell its a classy joint by all the boats in the background. However I didn’t realize it was a chain until I saw another location in the airport on our way home. Had I known I would have skipped lunch and ate there. WOWCHY’S TRAVEL TIP #2 - When you’re a stranger in a strange land, don’t be a snob!
Here we are making the dangerous climb down to my favorite secluded beach, Cockroach Cove. I’m pretty sure they gave it a gross name to keep the tourists away, but being from NYC it made me feel right at home.
Here’s another angle from the opposite side of Cockroach Cove. WOWCHY’S TRAVEL TIP #3 When you travel to Hawaii, make sure you either get a haircut, bring a hat, or staple your wig on tight because its always windy!
Beware of the Kuliouou Trail fork in the road. Just turn around and go to the beach. If you take the valley trail you will be surrounded by locals legally hunting boars. If you take the ridge trail, like we did, you will be stuck hiking three miles up a mountain. Of course it’s beautiful at the top, but guess what? It’s Hawaii! It’s beautiful everywhere! And now you’re stuck hiking three miles back down. At least my wig didn’t fly off.
Matsumoto’s Shave Ice (Hawaiians are always in the present tense) is a sweet tooth’s landmark on the North Shore. When we stopped by there was a line around the corner. The main difference between Hawaiian Shave Ice and that crap you get in New York is that the Hawaiians seem to enjoy topping it off with what appears to be baked beans, but don’t ask me I didn’t try it!
I sat there all day with this song in my head, but I didn’t see one damn hang glider.
Kalua pork is another salty, delicious local dish that you just gotta try. I ordered it at Sweet Home Waimanalo, a cute road side eatery for fans of locally sourced foods and/or Lynyrd Skynyrd puns.
No, that’s not my walk in closet! You’re looking at the endless ‘aloha’ shirt section at Goodwill. There are some real treasures to be found in Honolulu’s thrift stores, but unfortunately for you I will not reveal any locations. Our local pal Michael took us to all his hot spots, and he happens to be a professional thrifter. Check out his vintage online shop, Moratorium here.
Probably the best ramen I have ever tasted was at Goma Tei Ramen in the ginormous Ala Moana Shopping Center. I was so hungry I forgot to take a decent picture of it. As a tasty bonus try the chicken tatsutaage appetizer. My depth perception might be off, but I’m pretty sure that fried chicken was the size of a bowling ball.
To call Waikiki Beach a tourist trap would be an understatement. Regardless it’s a necessary evil that is one of the island’s main industries. We wanted to see how the other half lived, and we booked a night in the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki. Here’s the view from the 'VIP’ pool in the Ali'i Tower, and no joke, they made us wear wristbands to enter.
We spent our last morning back at my favorite hidden beach. Aloha, Hawaiian vaycay. Hang loose, Cockroach Cove. Back to Bed Bugs Brooklyn :(
Max Cattaneo is a loveable scamp from Brooklyn who designs the weird and wonderful clothing line, Wowch. It’s fun to wear his tshirts with shark eating kittens and tigers with pot leaves outside of the country and confuse the hell out of the locals. His designs also confuse grandmothers and the general kitten loving public. Max just returned from a two week trip to Oahu, Hawaii and brought back some words of wisdom from paradise.