Honolulu vs home

Being here in Honolulu for a few weeks has highlighted some differences from being at home in upstate New York, other than driving:
*  Today, there was the monthly test of the tsunami warning system. E’s neighborhood is higher in elevation, so she lives above the evacuation zone. When we were staying in the hotel in Waikiki, the first several floors of the hotels were mostly dedicated to parking. This allows them to keep people safely on the upper floors in case of tsunami.
*  A heat wave here is not as hot as in most of the rest of the US.  We have been having a heat wave with some records tied or broken, but it is only 88-91 degrees F. (31-33 degrees C.)
*  There are microclimates everywhere, but they are much more noticeable here. For instance, in E’s neighborhood, you can be walking in what seems to be a rain shower – while there are no clouds overhead and the sun is shining.  The rain is falling in the  Palolo valley and being blown into Kaimuki.
*   At home, I’ve never had a tiny chameleon show up in the bathroom, matching its color to the bathmat.
*  There is much more coverage in the news on climate change and renewable energy.  Despite Hawai’i being the most remote islands in the world, the effects and the threat of more effects are real.
*  Because the angle of the sun is higher here, solar panels can often be placed on more than just the south-facing slope of a roof.
*  Unlike home, there is almost never a basement here. It ‘s strange to me to see water heaters just sitting outside under the eaves.
*  There is a lot more discussion and coverage of homelessness and affordable housing.  Rents and real estate prices here are very high and there are many people who can’t afford them, even when they are employed. While there are single people who are homeless, there are also many homeless families.
*  The tension between the indigenous Hawaiians and the state is obvious. There are demonstrations almost daily against development of certain areas. While these problems are also present in New York, they are much more hidden.

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Author: Joanne Corey

Please come visit my eclectic blog, Top of JC's Mind. You can never be sure what you'll find!

2 thoughts on “Honolulu vs home”

    1. You’re welcome. I think a lot of it is the difference between vacationing in a place and visiting family or friends, where you are more exposed to everyday life issues.

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