Friday, May 22, 2009

Lantern floating on Memorial Day at Honolulu's Magic Island

I'm debating whether or not to head down to Magic Island, a beach park near Ala Moana Shopping Center in central Honolulu (and the place I most commonly go kayaking), for this year's Lantern Floating.

It happens every year on Memorial Day, which is an appropriate day to give prayers for those who have passed and for a peaceful future for the remaining. Like Waikiki's annual Halloween Parade, Honolulu's rough equivalent of Mardi Gras but with a little bit less flashing of nipples, this is one of the must-go events that they say you should experience at least once while living on Oahu.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about what looks like it could be an environmental catastrophe in the making. Magic Island does have a reef that not only blocks the waves but also tends to trap things (and keep out sharks), so maybe they're able to grab them all up before they kill a sea turtle or some hapless migratory bird.

Having to deal with the crowds will be part of my debate. Sometimes I'm in the mood for being part of an energetic group of people, but sometimes I just want to run away as fast as I can.

My ex was always bugging me to take her to Myŏngdong (left), which was always crowded and never had parking (and is obnoxiously loud when you have adjacent stores with their competing boom boxes). If I wanted to be part of a sea of people noisily causing environmental damage like this, I'd have stayed in Seoul.

It took two years, but I finally made it.


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