I spent several years growing up in Hawaii when I was younger. I lived most of the time on Oahu when there were fewer people and many of the old ways were still being done. Although I do not live there at the moment, I still visit regularly because I have such good memories.
I can tell you that over the past decade or so, many of the sites in Waikiki have disappeared and been replaced by new and improved buildings. For instance, they replaced the old International Market Place with a new building that houses some very upscale stores. I miss the good court, I miss the way you could go through following a different route every time.
They’ve gotten rid of Kings center, aka Kings alley, a quirky building that looked as if it came from the movie set of a fantasy movie. It housed a small museum of the Kings guards and had some quirky pathways through the building with some cool shops but that has been torn down.
The only food store, Food Pantry, was torn down and there is this huge multistory building that has replaced it. I’ve heard, a new Food Pantry will be in the building when it actually opens but who knows. Now it looks like everywhere else with its tourist attractions and fancy hotels.
As far as trying to live there, rents and housing prices have gone up so much that you really can’t afford a decent apartment on what most people make. Unfortunately, traffic is said to rival Los Angeles and the tram that they’ve been building to relieve traffic congestion is still not finished and will take another who knows how many years and dollars.
The price of gas is comparable to Los Angles but the one thing going is the bus system. You can get anywhere on the Island for a reasonable price but you have to know which bus to take and where the stops are. Then the price of groceries has gone up significantly because most everything has to be shipped in. Image having most of your food, gas, wood, brick, and any supply coming in by sea or by air so the prices tend to be more than on the continental United States.
So if you still think of Hawaii as it was 50 to 100 years ago, it isn’t. It has become like living in any big city like New York City, Chicago, or Los Angeles and it’s the whole state, not just a city. A cheap house on Kauai is in the $400,000 to $500,000 dollar range. I saw a few condos for much less than that but the HOA fees were over $1300 per month.
Hawaii is Hawaii but it is no longer a paradise. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear. Have a great day.