With America is still stuck in one of the biggest recessions since The Great Depression, days and nights of eating out have been hard to come by. We get it, so we pulled out some of the hottest restaurants and bars out of our little black book that has some of the happiest of happy hours around. Whether the hotspot is a chill bar to hang out with your friends or it’s an upscale restaurant to lure in a love interest, we got your back!
It’s almost the end of March, and as the Cherry Blossoms start blooming, we can start whipping out our Spring/Summer ensembles. If our closets need a little help, this week’s Happenings can help us out in that area, from an Allison Izu release event to the launch of NAMI’s new online store. Additionally, if you are more the book-worm type, feel free to peruse the collections for something to wear on your way to DC’s SAALT leadership event.
Nordstrom Hawaii to host Allison Izu Release Event
When: Saturday, March 24, 2012
Where: Ala Moana Nordstrom 11am – 3pm
Calling all petites! Allison Izu will be holding a release event at the Ala Moana Nordstrom on March 24, Saturday from 11am – 3pm in Hawaii to help customers find the perfect pair of Allison Izu jeans.
Allison Izu is a unique clothing company which designs and creates clothing for petite women, so they can realize their true beauty comes in a “smaller package”!
During the event, customers who buy any pair of Allison Izu jeans will receive a FREE Allison Izu top (assorted styles and sizes, while supplies last). Also, come down to enter a giveaway for a pair of Allison Izu jeans and top (winner to be pulled at the end of the event).
NAMI to Launch New Online Store
What: Full collection for Spring/Summer 2012
At the SXSW Style X fashion portion of the Austin, TX festival, NAMI announced the launch of its new online store to offer the full collection from Spring|Summer wear for 2012.
NAMI is a brand based out of Los Angeles, started by the multi-talented Korean-American designer Sarah Nami Ahn.
Rise Up! SAALT Young Leaders Institute
When: May 6-8; applications due by March 23, 2012
Where: Washington, DC
If you a South Asian American college student who wants to change your campus and community, then considering applying to the Rise Up! SAALT Young Leaders Institute to be held in Washington DC the week of May 6-8.
Rise Up! is a four-day gathering of fellow students who are looking to build better skills and strategies, create change and be more effective leaders in their respective campuses and communities.
THE RAID: REDEMPTION
When: Opens March 23, 2012
Where: NY, LA, DC, SF, and Chicago
The Raid: Redemption is an Indonesian martial arts action film directed by Gareth Evans and starring Iko Uwais. After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), critics and audience alike hailed the The Raid as one of the best action films in years.
She’s baaack! Former ER writer Shannon Goss ponders life as a modern Asian American hapa woman.
When I was in college, two of my girl friends were physically unable to walk past a jewelry store without stopping to gape at the engagement ring display. I was never that girl.
It wasn’t that I was above coveting material things, after all, I was probably (im)patiently waiting for them to finish gawking so we could move on to Charlotte Russe. Apparently, the things I longed for could be purchased with one $20 bill. I wasn’t superior. I was cheap.
When I was in college, I distinctly remember one ill-advised trip to an outdoors activities fair which led to the worst sunburn I’d ever had in my entire life. My nose looked like it was falling off and my shoulders cried out in pain for the remotest of touch.
“Why don’t you put some aloe on that?” My friends winced at me.
Comic creators Audra Ann Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga has released their fifth volume of collected comics in celebration of the fifth anniversary of their anime-style online comic, nemu*nemu. The fifth volume is titled nemu*nemu: Out of this World and features never-before-seen, full color, cuter-than-cute artwork, as well as previously unreleased author commentary.
April is here, which means it’s that time again … HIFF is back.
HIFF, short for Hawaii International Film Festival, showcases films from around the world twice a year here in the islands. April marks the 2011 Spring Showcase, hosted at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium. The film festival runs for a week (April 1-7) and boasts a wide range of foreign films from Australia to Turkey. And due to the high residency of Asian Americans here in Hawaii, there is usually a higher demand for films from Asia. There is a total of 29 films being showcased for the spring festival, and 16 of those films are from Asian countries (Korea, China, Japan,Thailand and India).
Happy V-Day everyone! If you get engaged today (tell us!) or if you’re already engaged and thinking of saying “I do” on the Islands, here’s a little insider guide from a local. At the very least, it’ll get you in the mood for love.
Every woman pictures her wedding day to be absolute perfection — perfect fiancee, perfect dress, perfect ring … and perfect weather. Where else to go for perfect weather year round but the islands of Hawaii? In Hawaii there is no destined “wedding season” as there is in the mainland, because the weather stays the same each and every day. Warm and sunny. Perfect.
Unfortunately, not every one of us has a contact in Hawaii that is “in the know,” so I’ve compiled a basic list of recommended and reputable companies that play a vital role in the workings of a wedding ceremony. Each company has had many years of experience in the islands, and offer the best when it comes to capturing the essence of the “dream wedding in paradise.”
Watanabe Floral is one of the most reputable florists in the state of Hawaii, winning numerous awards including Hawaii’s Best Florist 2003-2008 by Star Bulletin Midweek, Best Florist 2007 by Honolulu Magazine, and Best of the Best 2007-2008 by Honolulu Advertiser. Watanabe Floral is a family business that has been in the industry for more than 64 years. The store offers services including bridal bouquets, church and reception flowers, centerpieces, boutonnieres and corsages, parent pieces, leis, hair pieces, archway decorations, on-site set up, and free consultation with appointment. Not only does Watanabe Floral offer a wide range of flowers, but they are well informed in the meaning behind the flowers as well as floral and plant care.
Marina Miller is the owner of Red Heart Photo. Red Heart Photo employs a unique and fresh style, transcended by classic photojournalistic techniques with an edge so that every moment in a wedding can be captured perfectly. “Your wedding is a very special day. My job is to capture your day as a story, catching those little and big moments as they unfold before me. I perform with professionalism and a creative vision that will bring out your inner star,” she says.
Supreme Video Productions was founded by Philip Lemoine in Late 2009. Philip has had more than six years in the videography industry. After filming dozens of weddings with other reputable production companies back home in California, he decided to make the jump to Hawaii to finish his degree in business at the University of Hawaii, pursue his passion for film, and start his own production company. Supreme Video Productions offers footage mastered onto Blue-Ray DVD format, and is recorded in full 1080p HD. “Our style of filming and editing is far from the traditional. With smooth camera movements, creative angles, and a high production value, you can truly relive your special moments.”
Get a taste of their work here:
Supreme Video Productions
Aloha Cakery was founded by Kathy Mahone in 2007, but she has been designing cakes since 1992. Kathy Mahone was born in Kailua, Hawaii, and she and her family moved to Maryland in 1999. While she was there, she worked with Fancy Cakes by Leslie,a renowned cake artisan in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland area. Aloha Cakery has won awards including, 2010 pick for the knot Best of Weddings, and Bride’s Choice Awards 2010 by Wedding Wire.
For more information on these companies as well as other reputable companies in Hawaii, The Wedding Cafe is the place to go. It is a bit of a “one stop shop” for brides to be, and the staff there takes care of you for every minute in planning your wedding. The Wedding Cafe holds workshops, trunk shows, and special events, and their website features an online directory of recommended vendors including bridal salons, caterers, entertainment, hair and makeup stylists, officiants, reception decor, valet services, and venues.
Contributor and University of Hawaii at Manoa student Soohee Cho lets us in on all the insider secrets of life in Hawaii.
Hawaii is one of the must see destination spots for vacationers around the world, but to me it is my home. I am a Korean American and I have lived in Hawaii for the past six years. From my past experiences here in these wonderful islands I have made many memories that I feel only could have been possible here in Hawaii. Here are five reasons (in no specific order) why it is great to be Asian American in Hawaii.
1. We Rule
Asian Americans are practically the majority in Hawaii. The 50th state has the nation’s highest percentage of residents of Asian descent — 41.6 percent in 2000, when its Asian population numbered 503,868. As a result, more political leaders in Hawaii’s government are of Asian descent. James “Duke” Aiona served as Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii from 2002-2010, and he is of Hawaiian, Chinese and Portuguese descent. Hawaii’s congressional representation is entirely made of Asian Americans: Daniel Inouye (Japanese), Daniel Akaka (Chinese-Hawaiian), Charles Djou (Chinese), and Mazie Hirono (Japanese). There is also a larger percentage of on-air Asian Americans on local television than in the rest of the country. One of the most well-known faces in the industry is Stephanie Lum (Chinese) of KGMB and KHNL Hawaii News Now, who is arguably considered a local celebrity here in Hawaii.
2. The Food
One of the best things about living in Hawaii as an Asian American is definitely the food. Food is a big way in which both the Asian culture and local Hawaiian culture meet, and create an entirely new menu just for the people of Hawaii. Restaurants incorporating the Asian American local lifestyle include Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar, with items on their menu such as the Sushi Pizza; Zippy’s, famous for their Zip-Pac; and Big City Diner, which features dishes like Grandma’s Incredible Kim Chee Fried Rice.
Big chain brands such as 7-Eleven and McDonald’s also cater to the local taste buds. Unlike most 7-Eleven stores on the mainland, those located in Hawaii offer spam musubi and other Asian-Hawaiian snacks daily. Also, McDonald’s offers a breakfast menu exclusive to the islands, including items like Portuguese, Eggs, and Rice, or Spam, Eggs and Rice.
3. Landmark Family-Owned Businesses
When visiting Hawaii, it is important to have a checklist or a to do list of where you would like to visit. Most people choose to visit the typical landmarks of Hawaii, which includes scenic locations such as Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay and the Pali Lookout. Other popular landmarks of sorts revolve more around the retailers that have been around for generations, and gained popularity throughout the years. These include stores such as Matsumoto Shave Ice, owned and operated by a Japanese family and known for their absolutely delicious shave ice, as well as 88 Tees owned and operated by a Korean family and known for their, well, “tees.”
4. The Tourism Industry
The state of Hawaii is strategically located between East Asia and North America. Between its convenient location and its amazing weather year round, Hawaii is the perfect choice for foreign travelers for their vacation destination. Due to the importance of tourism and its impact on the business market of Hawaii, most businesses try to boost their company’s customer service by placing importance on the ability to speak Japanese, as well as other languages. There are also many restaurants that stay true to the Japanese palate around the Waikiki area, and stores like Don Quijote (a super store originating from Japan) offer otherwise Japan-exclusive items (makeup, food products, hair and body products) to both tourists and residents of Hawaii.
5. Diverse Asian Language Studies
The University of Hawaii at Manoa offers one of the most largest and diverse academic course availabilities for Asian language studies, including Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Cambodian, Chamorro, Hindi, Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese. The University of Hawaii at Manoa also is home to the Center for Korean Studies buildings, completed in December 1979.
If you thought the new Facebook movie, The Social Network just consisted of a bunch of dorky white guys talking about the internet, think again!
The movie also has plenty of eye candy, namely pretty (Eur)asian girls, infiltrating the scenes. The blogosphere is already all a flutter over whether these ladies are acceptable or not, objectified or not, stereotyped or not.
Whether or not the females in the film are just useless sex objects conveying a misrepresented stereotype, we know the actresses portraying the parts are anything but useless. Let’s get to know them a little better.
22-year old Brenda Song is Christy Lee, a girlfriend of one of the main characters, Eduardo Saverin, in the flick. Within minutes of meeting Christy, she is off in a bathroom stall, giving Eduardo some…special favors in a restroom stall – something that completely contradicts the Disney Channels princess image the actress is most known for, playing London Tipton on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Song, who is Hmong, has been in the limelight since she was 5 and has more films in the works, including the indie Little Sister and The Suite Life Movie.
Another tween darling, Jow’s age makes us blush a little as she played Song’s friend, Alice who gives main character Marc Zuckerburg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) the same…special favors that Christy Lee was giving Eduardo. The girl is only 19! The Chinese-Native American Jow has taken on plenty of TV roles, her breakout one being Emma Roberts’ best friend in Unfabulous. She was also part of The Vampire Diaries’ first season. We’re not sure where Jow will pop up next but with that striking face, we won’t be surprised if it’s sometime soon.
Model Courtney Arndt is none other than our Fall cover girl! Still a newcomer to the industry, Arndt (who also goes by Courtney Jane) plays the “Victoria’s Secret Model” on Napster founder Sean Parker’s (played by Justin Timberlake) arms. The 21-year old Korean-German-Irish-Native American was discovered in Korea and has been modeling in Hawaii but we really just need more of her hotness over here!
My best friend and I always talk about how when we grow up and we fail at everything we set out to do, our back up plan is to open a boutique together. We got everything figured out. She’s going to take care of the business/managerial aspect of things, and I’ll be handling the customers and the artistic side of things. We may or may not live in a pretty sweet apartment above it, but pretty much, we’re going to tear it up.
This is what G.L.A.M. is all about it. Based in Hawaii, four college girlfriends teamed up to combine their business and jewelry skills to provide jewelry made from quality materials inspired by the eclectic culture of the Islands. Each piece is made with the notion that each girl should only wear what is most genuine.
For this week’s TGIFREE giveaway, we bring you two of Gen, Lisa, Amanda and Michelle’s beautiful creations that definitely reflect G.L.A.M.’s motto of “Give Love Aspire Motivate.”
The first is the Jessica. Hanging from thin gold twisted into a square spiral is a periwinkle-purple gem. It changes colors in the light, much like an ocean might on a clear day.
The Joelle has two fine diamond outlines dangling daintily over each other. The silver and gold tones shine and contrast with the slightest movement. I kind of liken them to pretty wind chimes you might see on someone’s back porch.
Now, we’re changing up the drill a little bit so pay attention.
To enter this giveaway, you have to SUGGEST TO ALL YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS THAT THEY “LIKE” AUDREY. Then, comment to this post, telling us that you did that. Everyone who does those two steps are entered to win a pair of G.L.A.M. earrings!
You have until September 1, 11:59 pm to suggest and comment, and re-tweeting gets you an additional entry. Don’t forget you must have a U.S. addy to win. Good luck!