1. Fashion is in the air
On the mainland, colorful foliage can be counted on to usher in the fall season, but in Hawaii, I can always tell the end of the year is approaching when magazines the size of phone books appear in my mailbox. To a magazine junkie like myself, nothing is more exciting than the September issues of Vogue and InStyle. This year, those two tomes weigh in at 726 pages and 600 pages, respectively. For someone on my budget, it’s mostly escapist eye candy, but how sweet it is. — Donica Kaneshiro
2. Riesling. For real.
I’m a red-wine gal, but when it’s really hot out, I love a riesling, in particular Pacific Rim Riesling from Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz, Calif.
A riesling is a light white wine with a reputation for sickly sweetness, but there are many great dry rieslings, a fabulous example being this one. It pairs extremely well with Asian flavors, especially anything spicy.
Plus it has a distinctive label and a name that’s easy to remember in a category filled with long-winded German brands.
I’ve always really liked this wine, but came to love it when it showed up on special at my neighborhood Longs for less than $10. — Betty Shimabukuro
3. Best burger. Period.
There are some great hamburger options in Honolulu, but in my humble opinion, the best comes to you from Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room at Ala Moana Center.
This kiawe-grilled burger is big, juicy and delicious, made from free-range cattle raised on the Big Island’s Kuahiwi Ranch and served on a soft, sweet roll. Jaw-dropping embellishments include two giant onion rings, bacon and cheddar, and a secret weapon: avocado salsa, a rich, creamy concoction spiced with chili powder for a grin-inducing zing. At $14, get it to eat in or to go with fries and potato salad or greens, but just get it. For reservations and takeout orders, 945-6573; www.alanwongs.com. — Elizabeth Kieszkowski
4. Adornments for your tresses
After searching for months for barrettes to put up my long hair, a hairstylist recommended a visit to Codi Club at 1538 Makaloa St. near Walmart on Keeaumoku Street. Since then, I have fallen in love with the small shop’s pretty barrettes, earrings and necklaces. Some of the items can be pricey, but I think it’s worth it! I just bought a heart-shaped, sparkly barrette for $22.99 and a gold, beaded one for $34.99. The store also has Chanel earrings and necklaces, and Hello Kitty fashion jewelry. — Jenny Delos Santos
5. Intoxicating jazz "Brew"
Columbia Records commemorates 40 years since the release of Miles Davis’ seminal jazz-fusion record "Bitches Brew" with a three-CD set.
Arranging his musicians in a circle and supplying them with the barest scraps of melody, Davis made everyone play above and beyond themselves, concocting a bubbling, psychedelic, electric potion. Among the players were such now-revered names as saxophonist Wayne Shorter, keyboardists Joe Zawinul and Chick Corea, guitarist John McLaughlin, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Lenny White. Favorite cuts: "Spanish Key" and "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down."
Included in this latest edition of the August 1969 studio sessions is a live recording from a year later.
But wait, there’s more! A 69-minute DVD captures Davis’ quintet in Copenhagen — outstanding. If you’ve yet to imbibe the "Brew," now’s the time. — Seth Markow