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the Best of 2016, according to me | honolulu's nightlife diaries

Honolulu's Nightlife Diaries

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the Best of 2016, according to me

January 9th, 2017 · 3 Comments

i know what you’re thinking – why would we want to look back at such a terrible year. let that crap go already. i know i know.

2016? the worst.

i’m usually a pretty optimistic glass-is-half-full kind of person and have been my whole life but 2016 got to me too.

the most obvious is what happened in politics, but my cat sophia loren the love of my life since paul and the only one who was with me day in and day out during those very difficult treatments passed away. my cancer not only came back but EXPLODED (the doctors words) all over my lungs liver and brain, i lost a friend that was immortal to me, i had to take a huge step back from everything that made me feel alive – socializing, doing events and parties, being at work, DJing, just being out there. in the scene.

they say bad things happening are really good things in disguise. Lessons. bad things happening gives us character… how we react to the bad things happening shows us what we’re truly made of. bad things happening strengthens our soul.

idk, but as a collective 12 months, it definitely sucked. i do feel stronger but also a bit defeated.

So how do we get past all this? Can we stop dwelling on the past? I have to admit I wasn’t going to post a Best of 2016. It wasn’t in me. I wasn’t inspired. I was wallowing in my own illness and the fact that every panelist on this PBS show we did on facing our own mortality has passed away. More than half of the year I spent laying still trying to think about nothing but getting healthy, missing several dozen grand openings, soft openings, restaurants, art openings, new parties, party anniversaries, work trips to breweries vineyards and vegas, club and bar anniversaries, and all those special events that were so fun to explode in to with my camera. I was laying still thinking about nothing doing my best to heal this body.

But i’m here (still) and i’ve observed a LOT and know you are out there working hard and making shit happen. as long as these fingers can type and these eyes can see i will be naming my Best Of. that’s that.

Biggest thing in 2016? Food. I think the idea of getting more bang for your buck is hitting home in the nightlife. Also not having to deal with someone in the crew wearing shorts and the whole “can we get in?” “what’s the cover?” “I don’t want to deal with a line” thing. i was quoted in Hawaii magazine about that saying i’m a fan. it’s very european to go out with the crew with the only destination being a place to eat. then congregate in the street for a while then maybe hit a karaoke bar. it’s casual and cheap, and more conducive to socializing. clubs are moving to a more special occasion thing than a weekly thing for most.

with that being said i also didn’t get as much time out as in years past, but these listed below i did experience and was super impressed and you all deserve a little pat on the back. thank you for all your hard work.

Best Place to Impress a Client
Bar Leather Apron

Best First Date
Cafe Maru
Ethiopian Love

Best Second Date
The Study
Tommy Bahamas

Best Place to Be Seen
MOKU Kitchen
Livestock Tavern
Doraku Kapiolani

Best Music
Bevy Bar

Best Morning After
Downbeat Diner

Best Lunch
Peace Cafe

Best Dinner
Ethiopian Love

Best Healthy
Juicy Brew
Ai Love Nalo
*make sure you go and sit outside in the “Garden of Eatin'” to get the full effect.

Best Pau Hana
Home Bar & Lounge
Smith & Kings

Best Brunch
Pint & Jigger
*versatile, friendly staff, and easy to actually sit down and eat are huge factors for where i love to brunch. plus drinks.

Best Breakfast
Morning Glass

Best Cocktails
Pint & Jigger
Bar Leather Apron

Best Block Party
Nightmarket/Eat the Street

Best Cultural Event
Hawaii International Film Festival

Best Rooftop
Tommy Bahamas
SKY Waikiki

Best New Bar
*thank you for bringing back the rooftop experience. with delicious yummy wine.

Best Hipster Strip Mall
SALT at Kakaako

Best Birthday Spot
KTV Lounge

Best Rock Shows Spot
Downbeat Lounge

Best Creative Hub
Lana Lane Studios

Best Afters
Ginza Nightclub

Best After-Afters
Asylum Afterhours

Best Weekly Party
Lulu’s Monday Industry Night
*so consistently consistent. even with a turnover in management and DJs the place is consistently packed with co-eds every Monday night without fail. must be the half off your bar tab. nice job you guys.

Best Weekend Come as You Are
The Manifest
*Friday or Saturday you are guaranteed good fun danceable music, crowd varies but it’s a free and easy failsafe for going out. consistent for years, nice job guys.

Best Monthly
Art After Dark

Best Art
The Human Imagination
Mark’s Garage

Best Performance
Votary Aerial Burlesque Animal Show

Best Husbands
Mai Tai Bar

Best Freestyle
Dragon Upstairs

Best EDM
Hawaiian Brian’s
*the electron room as the little house nook to the crossroads main stage is genius

Best Concerts
The Republik

Best Nightlife VIP Experience
SKY Waikiki

Best Nightclub
Scarlet Honolulu

Best Promoters
Level H
Tantriq Entertainment
Hawaii’s Finest

Best New Promoters
Audiophile Entertainment

Best Day Party
The Modern DETOX

Best Spring Break

Best Party You Probably Didn’t Get the Invite To
Young’s farewell to Bacardi house party

Bacardi HOUSE Party and Farewell from supercw on Vimeo.

Best Underground
Joe Agogo

Best Hip Hop
Justin Bone Kaneshiro

Best Renaissance Moke

Best Fancy Party
Dinner en Blanc

Best Band
Ivory City
Already Sweaty
Verses Undefined

Best Solo Performance
Taimane Gardner
Mike Love

Flash Hansen

Riana Stellberg


Best IT Girl
Dominique Kahale-Webster

Best IT Boy
Will Chen

Best DJ

Best Vibes
DJ Jem

Best Personal Style
Lesli Yano

Best Royal Couple
Alvin Yeh and Kelsey Campbell

Best Timeless
Derin Derego

Best Beauty
Leanne Kirk – Luxe Lashes

Best Self Improvement
Sacred Strategy
Modern Magic/Light Alchemy HI

Best Graphic Design
Scarlet Honolulu
The Republik

Best Karaoke
Wang Chung’s
Nocturna Lounge

Best Pizza
Proof Public House
JJ Dolan’s

Best Brand
Claymore Minds

Best Shop for Stylies
About the Goods

Best Gifts
Roberta Oaks
MORI by Art & Flea

Best Vintage
Barrio Vintage

Best Community
VegFest Oahu
Art & Flea

Best Hui
RedLabel Clothing

Best Hang Around

Best Staff
Hawaiian Brian’s

Best Comeback
Sick Dog

Best Breakout

Best Veteran STILL In The Game
Rick Rock

Best Events
Moana Events

Best Twitter

Best Instagram

Best Snapchat

Best Website

Best Media
FLUX Magazine
Contrast Magazine

Best Imagery
Joshua Bowlin

Best Use of a Helicopter
Anchor & Orca May Day Flower Shower at the Sandbar

Personal Best
Opening for Above & Beyond and winning over that sold out crowd of kids two nights in a row. I was so nervous to open for the trance veterans but put together a set that was very calm and deliberate. Of course everyone came super early and a lot looked like they were ready to jam out and hardstyle shuffle but a lot more listened and loved the music. I’ll never forget that feeling it’s why I listen to that set in my car on a CD whenever I am driving. Those faces smiling all of you dancing cheering jumping down and hugging everyone as the Petit Biscuit remix of ODESZA played for my last song. it was so incredible. That would be my personal best but also I guess beating down this cancer for the second time. My recent scan as of January 2017 has revealed all trouble areas in the liver breast lungs and lymph nodes have resolved :)))

Tags: Best

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Christopher Kahunahana // Jan 12, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    You’re the best! with the best best list. Always!

  • 2 JDub // Jan 13, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Amazing. You take care of yourself and keep smiling.

  • 3 graves // Jan 13, 2017 at 11:29 pm


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