Category: Travel

Where in the world is vipnyc?

Friday, July 25th, 2008 | All Things, Arts, Events, Family, Friends, Music, Travel

Friends and readers,

As a few of you may have noticed, I have been on hiatus this past month.

After a musical Memorial Day weekend in the Pacific Northwest, I spent two glorious weeks in Hawaii, followed in rapid succession by a wedding, and jaunts to Orange County, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Locally, there was much work to do launching my community supported agriculture group’s season, a visit to Public Farm One at P.S. 1, a night of Shakespeare in the Park, a slew of birthday celebrations, a pair of sublime sushi dinners, and the Siren Music Festival in Coney Island. More, too, but you know I don’t include everything on this blog…

Oh, you wanted to see pictures, and perhaps a video or two? (Follow the links to the full flickr sets.)

P.F. 1 (Public Farm One) at P.S. 1:

San Francisco shores:

Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco:

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco:

de Young Museum & Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco:

Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco:

Coney Island, New York:

…and many more photos from O’ahu: Kualoa Ranch, Diamond Head, The Polynesian Cultural Center, and at Pearl Harbor, the Battleship Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial.

I will be up in New York’s Finger Lakes region this weekend for the annual 50-mile garage sale along Route 90 — remember last August’s Highway 127 Sale through the rural South? — perhaps with some stops along the Cayuga Wine Trail, after which I hope to be able to buckle back down to the business of blogging as my summer tan lines slowly fade into memory.

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Cry sanctuary

Friday, June 20th, 2008 | All Things, Travel

Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park in South Kona preserves the site where, until 1819 when King Liholiho (Kamehameha II) abolished the ancient system of laws against the gods known as kapu, Hawaiians who broke the law could avoid execution by fleeing to this place of refuge. Under the system of kapu (taboo), offenses punishable by death included treading on the shadow of an ali’i (chief), fishing outside the specified seasons, or eating with a member of the opposite sex.

Such crimes would be forgiven only if the transgressor could reach a sanctuary such as this, either on foot or by swimming through the shark-infested bay. If successful, the kahuna (priest) was required to absolve all wrong-doing. Interesting idea.

As no blood could be shed within the confines of the place of refuge, here, too, defeated warriors could find respite, and women, children, the infirm and the elderly could find a safe haven from the battles raging outside.

Carved ki’i statues, effigies of gods, tower over the bay. Reproductions, but still eerie.

The temple complex sits on a 20-acre palm-fringed lava bed bordered by the sea on three sides. The grounds include temple ruins, a fishpond and private canoe landing.

What better way to celebrate this milestone of mine than with a clean slate?

Full Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park photo set on flickr.

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Go with the flow

Thursday, June 19th, 2008 | All Things, Travel

The Big Island is so called because it is the biggest of the archipelago — hundreds in all, eight “main” islands. At 4,030 square miles, about three-quarters the size of Connecticut, it is larger than the other Hawaiian islands combined, and constantly increasing in land mass due to Kīlauea, perhaps the world’s most active volcano, which has continued to pour lava into the ocean since 1983.

The spectacle of red molten lava hitting the water in blooming clouds of steam draws crowds every night. As the park rangers (and many signs) are quick to warn, trekking out to the view point is something done at your own risk.

Setting foot on this newly formed, perhaps not entirely stable, land is a disconcerting experience: 23 acres of land fell into the ocean last May; over several hours in November 2005, 44 acres of coastline disappeared in segments — the largest collapse since Kīlauea Volcano began its current eruption, and a collapse which included a park station and a segment of the original road out to the lava flow lookout point.

We drove out over a road washed over in parts in hardened lava and hiked half a mile over jagged black rock as we waited for sunset.

Check out the video below — spectacular!

Kīlauea lava flow photos on flickr.

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