My Point of Heu
The Story Behind the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon
By Olena Heu
On the west end of Waikiki you’ll find a famous white sandy stretch of sand called Kahanamoku Beach, Kaiser Bowls surf break, the Ala Wai Boat Harbor and nestled in between it all is a dazzling lagoon. The crystal clear water, small fish and a rainbow of beach-goers enjoying the water, is a picturesque stop for some fun in the sun, sand and sea.
The Duke Paoa Kahanamoku lagoon is a man-made saltwater oasis, named after a man with an extraordinary legacy. Kahanamoku was the beloved father of modern day surfing, a revered Hawaiian Olympian and admired ambassador of Aloha. The legendary waterman was born in the region of Waikiki, which prior to development was mainly fishponds, marsh, streams and swampland.
Back in the 1920’s a popular beach cottage sitting on these several acres along the oceanfront of the pacific, was once named the Niumalu Hotel. In the mid 1950’s developer Fritz Burns and industrialist (Honolulu resident) John Henry Kaiser purchased the property and began an expansion project to form Kaiser’s Hawaiian Village.
With a vision to create a tropical resort complete with multiple towers, an array of swimming pools and an expanded beach, the lagoon was created on 5 acres of land. The man-made-lagoon was built in 1956 fronting the Hawaiian Village and just steps from the ocean’s edge. In 1961, hotelier Conrad Hilton purchased the property, which included 22 beachfront acres, and the lagoon had eventually become owned and managed by both the state and the hotel.
After several decades, the lagoon became un-swimmable, uninviting and was in dire need of repair and restoration. Thus the Hilton Hawaiian Village invested $15 million to replenish and enhance the pond, installing a brand new water circulating system and manicuring the landscaping. To everyone’s delight in 2007 the lagoon was restored and has been a breathtakingly beautiful landmark ever since.
The famous Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon is now a popular spot for visitors, locals, walkers, swimmers, stand-up paddle boarders, picnickers, BBQs and more. It also serves as a central area for families, couples walking along the shore hand-in-hand and provides a beautiful backdrop for some of the most iconic views of Diamond Head, the warm pacific ocean and for sunbathing on the beach.
With about 2 1/2 months in isolation I've been catching up on everything and anything streamable online. Netflix has its most popular shows and fan favorites. I wanted to give you an honest review of the shows that I have enjoyed the most lately. Here's a look at those that were the most entertaining, kept my interest and I would say are binge-worthy.
1. Black Mirror
Season 1 originally began in 2011 and has now reached 5 seasons, this take on a modern-day Twilight Zone features standalone episodes and each has a strange and unusual twist. Some may seem dark and disturbed while others are just plain satire and suspense. Warning these shows are not for the conservative, as they take on controversial topics and uncomfortable situations. But it is oddly addicting with very original and relevant plot-lines.
2. Tiger King
Spoiler alert, all of these people featured on the show are crazy. Unfortunately, I suspected that they would be utilizing the big cats in order to make a profit in the name of breeding and conservation -- and yes they all are. While I think some want to believe these people are in it for the greater good of the species and animal rights, in the end they are seeking fame and mostly fortune - but with that said it is very interesting, produced well and it's almost like watching a circus unravel before your eyes. The only downside is it does seem to glorify misconduct and abuse of animals but in the name of animal rescue.
3. Too Hot To Handle
Probably the greatest thing to come out during quarantine, this show is gloriously funny, absurd, entertaining, visually appealing, keeps you on your toes and full of laugh out loud hilarity. There is nothing educated, inspiring or academic about this- it is purely a dating reality show wherein the people on it think they are going to a resort to hook up and have sex. But once they arrive they find out they can't be intimate or even kiss or risk loosing the pot of prize money at the end. We needed this mindless, comical and vibrant show to laugh, scoff at and make side bets on. (It's so terrible it's good)
Being of Jewish descent I was interested to see what this show was about. It is a little slow in the beginning but is an in-depth look at what it was like for a real-life Hasidic woman to flee an American orthodox community and an arranged marriage with the hopes of finding herself. in Berlin, Germany. Once it gets going it is really good and captivating. The drama is excellent and then when it ends, it ends. That's it. Apparently there won't be a sequel either - if there were I would watch it. It's very good.
5. The Unibomber In His own words
I was so young when the unibomber drama was unfolding and didn't really grasp the length and severity of what was happening. This is an excellent look back and investigation into how long this person terrorized the country. An excellent documentary that shares a great deal of information. I found this to be extremely valuable and brilliantly done.
6. Next In Fashion
Another reality TV fashion show, but this one has immense talent from around the globe and the garments these designers are able to create are jaw dropping. Well thought out challenges and the dynamic between the competitors is extremely entertaining as they are paired together and then separated once in the finals. Really great production and I enjoyed each episode.
7. The Circle
Oddly bizarre a handful of people fly across the world to live in an apartment building where they never get to see each other in person and can only communicate via social networking - they have to vote each other off in a mishmash of Big Brother Meets, Catfish, Survivor. In this social media and digital world it is really interesting to see how people perceive each other and who they think is being real or fake. There are other versions in other countries and the USA second season is casting now. Very interesting to watch as they seemed to be just like us in quarantine unable to leave the apartment.
8. Never have i ever
Cute show about an Indian-American teenage girl who goes through the trials and tribulations of high school, her father's death, boys, popularity, friendships and etc. It's a feel good show that keeps you entertained. In the middle it almost seems like the same episode over and over, but then it develops a bit more and it's very endearing.
9. Extreme Engagement
A female news anchor fiancee and her cameraman soon to be husband, travel the world for a year to some of the most remote regions to experience what it is like to celebrate and prepare for a wedding in rural villages and communities. The twist is they dated, got engaged and then the boyfriend left and worked abroad for some time, so they haven't really seen one another or been together in each other's company for a while. She's a bit high maintenance and he's rugged so there is conflict and it's very entertaining.
10. Iron Fist
Presumed dead after a plane crash a cute caucasian boy is found and raised by kung fu warrior monks, then returns home to America to try and re-claim his life and his family's multi-billion dollar business. It's part super hero meets drama action flick. Not realistic at all but surprisingly entertaining for both genders... this was a fun show to watch as a couple after dinner.
Some of my all-time-favorite shows to watch (in the past) on Netflix are:
Jane The Virgin
Orange Is The New Black
Dead To Me (Season 2 is out now)
American Horror Story
As an only child to a single parent... often times I do/did feel lonely, or as if I don't/didn't have any family. Since my mother's passing from metastatic breast cancer 2 years ago, these feelings have been amplified each year. Honestly on holidays, her birthday and even the anniversary of her death, I am ok. I don't start to feel melancholy or sadness until Mother's Day rolls around. I think because there are constant reminders everywhere and a lot of emphasis is placed on this holiday.
While it is a joyous event and one that we should recognize and celebrate... to be completely honest my mother and I, didn't have the most best relationship. For 7 years we were estranged and it wasn't until she was diagnosed with cancer that she emailed me to let me know of her diagnosis. As her only daughter and only relative for thousands of miles, and as a human to care for another human, we were able to reconcile and share a few extra years together before she passed away. Relationships are never easy and they often take work, no one is perfect and even as I reflect back on those feeling of loss and grief I get a lump in my throat.
I remember the bad times and I also remember the numerous good times. I know it is extremely important to not suppress these feelings and to let them out when it happens. Like a tsunami the wave of sadness rolls in... but then there is a period of relief and solace afterwards. Does it get easier? I think so. Will I ever get over this? I am not sure. Obviously when someone is gone the people left behind are the ones that it impacts the most.
Last year, in December I also lost my grandmother - my mom's mom. Lucky for me I had a strong desire to see her in May, just 7 months before she would be gone. I hadn't seen her for maybe 20 years and it was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect. With the passing of my mother and the passing of my grandmother I have been able to connect with family that I hadn't seen since I was a teenager.
While this year's Mother's Day is a painful one, it is ok to feel sorry and learn to cope with these feelings. I do think eventually the emotions won't run so high... but it will just take time.