Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tsunami scenes in Hawaii

Today many former colleagues will gather in Denver to mark the anniversary of the Rocky's final edition.

Today in Honolulu we focused on a different, potentially much more serious, event, a possible tsunami heading our way in Hawaii. Ultimately it was anti-climactic. But the pictures from Chile are an indication of why people here took it so seriously. It could have been a very destructive day. The tsunami provided a different window on life in Hawaii.

I had been scheduled to attend a tech conference so we got up very early. The warning siren sounded across the city at 6 a.m. The event was supposed to be at Kapiolani Community College, the site of probably the most amazing farmers' market I've ever been to. We decided to go to the market anyway, even though the conference was canceled before 7. The market was half empty today. Usually it's just packed. You can't find a parking place. It was a beautiful place to be nonetheless. There was nothing we could do re the tsunami. So why not stock up on some good fresh food and enjoy Kona coffee, fried green tomatoes and barbecued abalone (farm raised) for breakfast.

Here's a picture Judith shot there. It gives an idea of how beautiful it can be at a tropical market in February.
Then we went over to Kaimuki, the neighborhood where I work. It's on high ground above Waikiki. It was pretty dead. A lot of stores had signs like the own below on their doors. If they even had a sign. Many stores were just closed.



There's a very friendly coffee shop I've been using to interview candidates for Peer News called Coffee Talk. Today it was packed. This is how we and many others followed the tsunami there.


Finally, we got hungry and had a sandwich and then headed to another neighborhood to see if we could buy art supplies for Judith. The art supply store was closed, but there was an amazing nursery next door. It was empty, but the man behind the counter "talked story" with us for a long time. He was a longtime diving coach who had been everywhere. He grew beautiful plants.

When the news that the warning had been listed came through on my blackberry, we headed home. We were strangely exhausted. The Pacific visible from our lanai was dotted with boats and ships that had put out to sea from the harbor.

Tonight we'll have a lot to talk about as we attend the annual Heart Ball here. My first "black tie" event as editor of Peer News. Except what's so cool is that I'm not going to wear a tuxedo. Instead I had a special Filipino dress shirt made for the occasion, a Barong Tagalog. That, and black pants will do just fine.

Mostly, we're just relieved that the danger has passed. We think of the people in Chile who suffered from the earthquake and remember how united we are across the ocean.



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  1. john, good to hear everything is okay. so.....the strange energy of 2/27 seems to find us wherever we are. you would have enjoyed the party. very happy vibes from everyone. totally great to connect. a lot of talent crowded into one place.

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