"I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting, It's in the subconscious."
- Andrew Wyeth
Walking In Waikiki With Cloudia: "Walking to Bombay"
Walking in Waikiki is even better now that we can all walk to Bombay. Bombay Indian Restaurant at Discovery Bay, that is! Every neighborhood needs folks like Ashwani “Ash” Ahuja who take the financial risk to live their dreams and who create these unique, one-of-a-kind places for us, places where neighbors and visitors always feel truly welcome and happily satisfied. The people, the space, and especially the food, will make you feel lucky that you walked in! Too often, busy restaurant workers say the right things, but do it without eye contact or any genuine sincerity. But at Bombay, everyone is living the Aloha Spirit indeed! Getting off the plane in Honolulu for his first time, Ash knew that this is where he wanted to raise his family. Smart man. Lots of restaurants are too busy, too loud and too bright. Some others are like deprivation chambers that bore you the minute you enter; but here the intelligence and sincerity of your hosts, the lovely natural colors, and especially the enticing smells of quality North Indian food, carefully prepared, tell you that you’ve made a happy choice! A pleasant buzz of excitement bubbles up whenever I walk into Bombay. Remember when going out to eat was special? Well, it is again! I like to eat outside on the terrace and watch the evening begin. See you there!The triangle park at Kalakaua & Beach walk is now Don Ho Park. Word is that a statue of Don is to be erected there. Fitting for the man who sang: “I’ll Remember You”. . . While you are there, be sure to stroll down Kalakaua and check out the art of Bill McQuistin the caricaturist in front of The International Marketplace. Lately the head sketcher at Universal City Walk LA, Bill couldn’t stay away from Waikiki for long! You will love his take on your favorite Hollywood Stars (yes, they are for sale) and even better – he will make YOU A STAR too. An original 1970’s Puka Shell Tour Guide, Bill has a million great stories about our beach town and all the changes he’s seen here, and about his travels all around the world, producing art that people love. Bill is a great sailor too. Ask him about the time his sailboat sank under him mid-ocean, and he was rescued by a cruise ship! He even made headlines on CNN that time. My Mom still displays a caricature of herself from her modeling days circa 1960, and that lovely image remains a beloved family treasure almost fifty years later (sorry, Mom). Next time you’re on Ohua Street come upstairs and ask to see it, Ruth loves the attention, and she’s still gorgeous! A picture of YOU by Bill is probably the best value on the avenue! You too will relive your vacation (and your youthful beauty!) for years to come! . . . Speaking of Stars (hams?) our Mayor Mufi sang a few numbers at this week’s Honolulu City Lights kick-off, receiving enthusiastic applause, and Hana Hou (One more time!) from the happy crowd. Sure they were happy! All the excellent free Hawaiian Entertainment, christmas tree lighting, and electric light parade, friendly faces, and amazing weather: what’s not to like? Won’t you join us for the Honolulu Marathon, christmas buzz, or many cultural extravaganzas later this winter? Chinese New Year (my personal favorite) will be an amazing kalidascope of people, food, fireworks, lion dances, food, and MORE! Be sure to see the comprehensive Calendar of Events at www.waikikinews.com for details. . . Congratulations to the crew of Boomerang for bringing the Thomas Lipton Cup to Waikiki. . . Which reminds me: this Month will see the Toys For Tots Christmas Boat Parade wind up at Ala Wai Harbor. It’s thrilling to be here as supporters welcome the entries with food, music, and excitement. . . . I can't help noticing all the folks here in Waikiki who are walking along and talking into their cell phones? It seems that they are usually heard saying things like: “Yeah, I can see Diamond Head right now,” to the same people that they talk with everyday. It’s nice to stay in touch, but I remember when travel meant going to new places and meeting new people. Hang up and meet someone new today! Be here now and enjoy the memories you’ll discover! . . . Winter is here! To mainland visitors “winter” in Waikiki is a relative term, but we locals can feel the difference! North Shore “Town” Surf is UP! Competitive Big Wave Surfing Season is here! The Hawaiians of old observed 13 seasons here in paradise, and after you have lived here for a while you too may notice and appreciate the cycles of weather, of the sea, and of the creatures. Personally, I sometimes miss the winter snow and pewter skies, but then I enjoy our sparkling, sunny winters just as much! Wherever you are right now; just stop for a minute. Look around you. Close your eyes and breathe fully for a moment or two. Be here now. Slow down and your sanity will catch up to you. Take the time this buys season to celebrate your private holiday of satisfaction. Gratitude is a great place to begin, and it starts with noticing all the little but precious things we have to be grateful for. Thanks for coming by the Comfort Spiral for a visit. I’ll look for you at Bombay, Don Ho Park, Bill McQuistin’s Art Stand, the Friday Sail Races, or. . . just Walking in Waikiki. . . ALOHA! Cloudia