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5 things we love

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Swiveling purse hook ($30-32) from Nordstrom's.

1. Hooked!

You know how when you go to a restaurant or bar and sit down, you don’t quite know what to do with your purse? You don’t want to put it on the floor beside your chair because it might trip up the wait staff and lord knows what nastiness is down there, and you don’t want to hang it on the back of your chair because that’s an open invitation to purse snatchers. And you can’t just plop it onto the table or into your lap. That’s just awkward. Problem solved, thanks to these swiveling purse hooks available at Nordstrom’s that grip the tabletop and allow you to keep your handbag safe and out of the way. They come in a variety of enamel-and-rhinestone designs for $30 and $32. Sure, there are cheaper purse hooks on the market, but none as fun or stylish. — Christie Wilson

2. A brush to rebuff rays

Peter Thomas Roth debuted a brush filled with powdered SPF 30 sunscreen in 2006 and I’ve been obsessed ever since. The tube is small enough to toss into your purse for on-the-go application and touch-ups during the day. The light translucent powder was powerful enough to ward off sun damage while touring Disneyland in the height of summer. Since then the company has rolled out anti-wrinkle, bronzing and oily-skin versions in various levels of SPF, but I’m still addicted to Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 30 ($30, Sephora). — Donica Kaneshiro

3. Political comment via mixed media

Assessing the aesthetic qualities of modern art is such a personal process that achieving consensus on the merits of a particular work can be impossible. On the other hand, it’s easy to appreciate the tremendous diversity of materials, techniques and themes in "Finding Latitude: The Work of Allyn Bromley," on display through Aug. 29 at the Contemporary Museum. It is a fascinating body of work.

Although Bromley is first and foremost a printmaker, many of these pieces stand out for her use of acrylics, Mylar and other materials to add layers, textures or visual effects. Two noteworthy works address local political issues: Giant bulldozers push aside rainbows and a grove of palm trees in "Troubled Rainbows" (above) and a squadron of 747s flies ominously low over Waikiki in "Trouble in Paradise: Exotic but Still Comfortably Familiar."

Bromley’s work includes life-size, three-dimensional human figures that can be viewed from floor level or from above. Be sure to look at them from both perspectives. The museum, 2411 Makiki Heights Drive, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. — John Berger

4. Ho’omakaukau!

While it takes muscle to move a Hawaiian outrigger canoe, it takes nerve, skill and luck to navigate one through the surf. That’s what makes the annual Walter J. MacFarlane Regatta so much fun to watch. Held every Fourth of July off Waikiki Beach, the regatta, hosted by Outrigger Canoe Club, pits crews against each other and waves that can either dump them out of their boat or swoosh them to victory. If that isn’t perilous enough, paddlers and canoe holders will have to contend this year with the monthly box jellyfish invasion predicted to start Sunday. The races begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue through the day. — Mike Gordon

5. An explosion of love, in the flesh

"4th of July (Fireworks)" is the second single from the soulful Kelis’ upcoming album "Flesh Tone," available in stores Tuesday. The house thumper about redemptive love has been out for over a month, but this song is sure to be played in clubs come Sunday and beyond.

The holiday is used more as a metaphor (made more obvious in the song’s video), but producer DJ Ammo has helped create an overall summer dance favorite.

In keeping more with the actual spirit of July Fourth, check out Kelis’ video interview on the music news site Idolator (idolator.com/5551721/kelis-packs-4th-of-july-picnic), as the recent Le Cordon Bleu graduate shows how she prepares a gourmet picnic basket, a perfect accompaniment to sitting outside and watching … well, you know. — Gary Chun


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