Galleries / Museums, Oahu
If you like Modern Art and you want a beautiful view of Honolulu from the hills behind the city, you can do no worse than the Contemporary Museum. Show up around 1:30 and you can get a docent to guide you through the collection, which usually features Hawaii artists working in a variety of media. Since it's modern art, having the docent helps!! Not only that, but the cafe is a nice place to get a soup & salad or sandwich.
On November 12th, 2001, the City of Honolulu dedicated a memorial to those who died in the September 11th, 2001 attack on New York City. The memorial is located in front of Honolulu Hale on 530 South King Street in downtown Honolulu. An “eternal flame” burns at the monument’s top and a fountain stands behind it. The press release from the dedication ceremony explained the symbolism of the memorial, " The three-sided obelisk is about 6 feet tall and 28 inches wide. Two three-inch-wide vertical gray strips are set into the front of the black tower. They represent the twin towers of the World Trade Center that were destroyed on that date...the obelisk’s triangular cross section represents a folded flag" (http://www.honolulu.gov/refs/csd/publiccom/honnews01/flame.htm).
We didn't know about the memorial and came across it during our walking tour of downtown Honolulu. It's understated yet powerful. The inscription the memorial bears says, “Let this eternal flame unite our country in memory of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and honor the brave men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to save others. The love and spirit of our grateful nation and the hearts and prayers of our people will always be with them.”
This place is very small and mostly unknown to the Island’s visitors, but it has its charm. Lucoral is a company that specializes in pearl and coral jewelry, and has a museum that shows some stones, pearls, and corals native to Hawaiian Islands ONLY.
If you have 30 minutes to spare that visit this place, it’s pretty interesting, although it’s quite chaotic for a museum. What I really liked was huge statues made of gem stones, some of them where over 1 meter high.
The highlight of this museum is its staff, very nice, friendly, and helpful. From a conversation with one of them I have learned that Lucoral works very close with local schools and kids are always welcome there to enjoy jewelry making lessons.
I was told that families with kids that are visiting the island are more than welcome to enjoy these activities.
Of course, like every other museum Lucoral has a gift shop which sells necklaces, bracelets and rings made company.
The entrance is free. The museum is open Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm and is located in the center on 2414 Kuhio Ave, not far from Kohio Beach.
The Pacific Aviation Museum is in its infancy, but is still worth a visit. Expected to expand to three more hangers in the next few years (assuming the funds get raised), the museum has started with some exhibits about the air war in the Pacific and the air attack on Oahu. Having been to Pearl Harbor many times, I thought I had heard everything about the attack, but the Pacific Aviation Museum added a few interesting stories, including the vignette about a Honolulu lawyer and his son out for a joyride in their private plane when they inadvertently flew through a formation of incoming zeros and the Battle of Ni'ihau, where an errant Japanese pilot landed on the small private island and seized it for the Japanese governmet, only to be killed a day later. Given this bent, I can't wait for its new wings on the rest of the war, Korea and Vietnam.
THe entry fee is $10, but entre can also be had as part of the $14 Missouri tour. The museum is on Ford Island, a closed military base, so tickets must be purchased by the Bowfin.
Just off the Pali Highway is the little-visited Queen emma's Summer Palace, which disappoints at first glance because it hardly looks like a palace. In fact, it is an old New England home that was built in Boston and shipped around the horn for a local merchant, but ended up through inheritance in the hands of the Hawaiian royal family. So, if you give this little place a chance and take one of the excellent guided tours by the docents, you'll learn a great deal about life in Hawaii at the time of the very influential Christian missionaries.
You'll also learn a bit about Queen Emma, who was on the throne for four years before her young husband died of an illness caught while traveling to London (a fate all too typical of Hawaiian travelers). During an earlier stop in Washington D.C. in the 1860s, the King and Queen of Hawaii became the first royals from any country to be given an audience with a sitting U.S. president, Andrew Johnson (America's staunch republicanism is the reason it took so long).
Yep! That's what I said. I have no idea exactly why a piece of the Berlin Wall would be in Honolulu, but it is. As usual, I discovered it by accident at Honolulu Community College. At the back of the grounds of the school is where it is kept. It is one smaller piece kept in a larger piece that shows the actual size of the Wall. What is most interesting is that you can easily tell which side was on the West (heavily painted with graffiti) and which was on the East (very plain).
I guess I had never really noticed the Hawaiian State Flag before, but for some reason it struck me. I think it may be due to the factthat traveling with someone who has never been to the islands, I noticed more things.
The flag of Hawaii was commissioned by King Kamehameha I of Hawaii in 1816. King Kamehameha I had unified the islands of Hawaii in 1810, using a schooner armed with a cannon. Before that time, each of the large islands had been a separate kingdom.
The flag: The eight stripes of white, red and blue represent the eight main islands of Hawaii. The Union Jack (the flag of Great Britain) is in the upper left corner of Hawaii's flag, honoring Hawaii's long relationship with the British.
The only place the flag flies without the American Flag is on the 3 acre site of the Royal Mausoleum, which is considered to be "The Nation of Hawaii".