Call it Hawaii’s silent holiday. Friday is Statehood Day, also known as Admission Day, when Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States. But unlike other states that rejoice with public re-enactments, festivities and flag waving, Hawaii’s day is muted. For Native Hawaiian sovereigntists, who believe Hawaii was unjustly overthrown and annexed, Statehood Day is not a cause for celebration.
Still, it is a day that commemorates the 1959 ballot in which Hawaii’s electorate voted to join the U.S., and President Dwight Eisenhower’s Aug. 21, 1959, proclamation of Hawaii as the 50th State. Today is also a paid holiday off for state and city workers, so for many, that might be reason enough to celebrate.
Let’s eat at the shopping center
Back in the day, way back, shoppers at Ala Moana Center had relatively few choices for grub. Remember the out-the-door lines at Patti’s Chinese Kitchen, the smell of Woolworth’s chicken, the pastrami sandwiches at Lyn’s Delicatessen? For upscalers, there was Hackfeld’s at Liberty House.
All of the above are long gone, but the center’s eateries have grown by leaps and bounds. The street-level Makai Food Court and the many fourth-floor restaurants are among today’s options. And come June, a Japanese food village will be holding court at Ala Moana’s new Ewa wing. Shirokiya Holdings Inc. will spend $35 million on a food court and beer garden triple the size of its current bustling eating spot at the mall’s opposite end.
Gone are the days when shopping centers were largely for shopping.