I have lived in Honolulu since 1980, but not until 2010 did I live downtown. For three decades, I drove to town from Niu Valley to work as a professional speaker and corporate trainer. I would park my car, conduct my business, and immediately head home. I rarely spent more than twelve minutes on foot.
In 2009, I bought an apartment on Queen Street between Punchbowl and South. I then had the ease of walking to visit my clients. I had time to observe my surroundings.
Using my iPhone4S, I began to take photos of buildings and architectural details that I was noticing for the first time.
At first, I knew nothing about how to crop, straighten, enhance, or sharpen my photos. But over time, I learned how to turn a mediocre photo into something I thought worth sharing. I began to post my photos on Facebook. One day, my friend Ron Martin wrote, "I see a coffee table book here." That idea took root, and months later, here we are, in digital format.
When people see my photos, they say, "I've lived here all my life, and I've never noticed that." Or, "I will never look at downtown in the same way." It's especially fun when someone says, "I was on Bishop Street the other day, and I saw the detail that you posted on Facebook last week."
Downtown Honolulu is comprised of four neighborhoods: the Capitol District, the Business District, Chinatown, and the Waterfront. Each has its own flavor, central focus, and mix of historic and modern buildings.
For example, on Bethel Street you will see the former Honolulu Police Station (1930). Next to it is the graceful Queen's Court (1994). Around the corner on Merchant Street is the Stangenwald Building (1901) from which you can see the First Hawaiian Center (1996) on Bishop Street. A few yards down the street, you will see the historic Dillingham Transportation Building (1929).
Honolulu is a gem of a town. Thank you for seeing it through my eyes.