Touristy & Developed. While It’s Hardly Paradise, It’s Still An Incredibly Exciting Place To Be
Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. March 8, 2013
Waikiki is a well-known beach and resort area on Oahu Island, the best known & third largest of the Hawaiian Islands after the Big Island of Hawaii & Maui, my last two destinations on this my second visit to the Hawaiian Islands. Oahu, nicknamed The Gathering Place, is very much the Hawaiian heartland. It is home to the regional capital Honolulu, Hawaii’s only real metropolitan area, & is by far the most popular of the eight Hawaiian islands with Hawaii’s ample volumes of tourists, mostly from the mainland & Japan. Waikiki itself is nothing more than a lively district of the capital, a heavily touristified stretch of half a dozen beaches in the heart of a host of resort style destinations, pricey hotels and general tourist tat, hardly a tropical paradise in the traditional sense or the idolized image of a desert island that Hawaii inspires in some. That said, the developed nature of Waikiki makes it an incredibly exciting place to be. And it’s still Hawaii after all – just being here oozes life is good vibes.
Duke Paoa Kahanamoku (August 24, 1890 – January 22, 1968)
Raised in Waikiki, Duke was a full blooded Hawaiian, who symbolized Hawai’i to millions of people. He developed into an Olympic champion and the world’s fastest swimmer. Between 1912 and 1932 he won three gold medals, two silver and a bronze in four Olympics.
He is known as the “Father of International Surfing.”
Duke introduced surfing to the Eastern seaboard of American, Europe & Australia. He became a hero when he save eight lives from a capsized launch at Corona del Mar, California in 1925 when using his surfboard. A movie actor from 1925-1933, he was elected Sheriff of Honolulu for thirteen consecutive terms from 1934-1960. He has been recognized as Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha since 1912.
He has honored his name, he has honored his race, he has honored his state, he has honored us all.
Text at the foot of the Duke Kahanamoku Statue on Kalakaua Avenue. Oahu, Hawaii, USA.
– Duke Paoa Kahanamoku