Saturday, December 12, 2009

Notes on living in Waikiki

As we're wrapping up our final day on Oahu, I thought I'd comment on what I think are the pros & cons of living in Hawaii, but more specifically in Waikiki. In no particular order, here are the LIKES: - reading by the pool - an annual zoo membership for two people only costs $30; we lived walking distance from the zoo (about 1 mile) - sunsets on the beach - drinks at the beach bars (Tiki Grill, The Banyan Court at the Moana Surfrider, Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai Bar) - drinking coffee & reading the newspaper on our lanai - happy hour at Yard House (over 100 beers on tap!) - watching live football at 7:30AM and still having the afternoon free - Chinatown for browsing the markets (all kinds of seafood, every part of a pig or a cow, whole roasted pigs & ducks, cheap vegetables, trinkets, etc.); cheap haircuts & pedicures; yummy restaurants (dim sum at Mei Sum and Legend, Little Village Noodle House) - the Waikiki library; again walking distance from the apartment and a 3 month visitor card was only $10 - the North Shore for big waves, good food (shrimp trucks, roadside produce stands), and SKYDIVING! - Kailua Beach Park & Lanikai Beach for beautiful views, turquoise water, and good activity options (kayaking, wind surfing, swimming, snorkeling, etc.) - Kona Brewing Company at Koko Marina for $3 pints at happy hour and tasty pizzas - walking/jogging around Kapi'olani Park - fresh POKE! (ahi/tuna, shrimp, mussels, etc.) - public transport via bus for $2.25/ride; it's slow, but gets you anywhere on the island - recycling bins next to trash cans pretty much everywhere - the multitude of restaurants at all price points and offering every kind of food imaginable - the climate!!! - the flora (hibiscus, plumeria, bougainvillea, palm trees...) And the DISLIKES: - large homeless population although panhandling is not aggressive - traffic & related noise - high prices and overall cost of living - distance to anywhere else (in the U.S. or world!) - the shopping mall that is Waikiki's Kalakaua Ave In conclusion, Honolulu/Waikiki offers many of the advantages & disadvantages of living in a big city with the added bonus of almost guaranteed beautiful weather year-round. After two months here, this really feels like home and I'm quite surprised at how much more open-minded I am about considering a place like this for a permanent residence. I'm honestly not sure if I would be quite so enthusiastic if I had to work every day, especially if I was commuting by bus or by car in rush hour traffic. The high cost of living would also take its toll, especially if I could not earn comparable to what I was making in NYC (and I suspect that would be the case). But it's sure nice to know from experience what options are out there, and this little "living experiment", much like our month in Seattle, has really brought Greg & I closer as a couple and given us some insight as to what each of us wants & needs both in our relationship as well as from the place we live.

1 comment:

  1. This list is a work in progress.

    Sales tax is only 4%.
    You're only a 20-40 min plan ride away from another island which are unique for the most part.
    No chance of snow unless you are on the Big Island.
    Active flowing volcano.
    Hawaii doesn't observe daylight savings time.

    No professional sports team.
    Local University sucks as most sports.
    Gas is expensive if you have a car.