Stat Counter

A Valley Isle reportage. Shoot first, write later.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pickle Mango

Let's say you have a mango tree in your front yard.  Of course the fruit ripens all at once, and since a fully-grown mango tree can give birth to hundreds of mangoes at the same time, you can't possibly consume them all before the fruit rots.  What to do?

Enter a local tradition that goes hand in hand with  food preservation methods dating back thousands of years - pickling of the mango.

"Pickle mango" is simply sliced mango pickled in a chilled sweet brine solution, usually infused with li-hing powder - a tasty plum-like flavoring common in the Islands.  Locals put li-hing on everything - popcorn at the movies, preserved fruits like cherries, gummy bears, you name it.  Li -hing makes everything a bit sweeter and more savory.

This pickle mango stand was set up on the side of Hana Highway right before Paia town.  You will see this very distinctive pickle mango sign all over the North Shore, so if you're in the area and see this call to mango lovers the world over, why not pull over and have a taste of local Hawaiiana?

Friday, June 25, 2010


I love my pets, and this shot was a lucky grab.   His name is Tiger, a.k.a. - "Bah Bah" as he sounds like a sheep.  He's doing what he does best - nothing at all!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tourists On Vacation

I tried to think of a more original post title, but that pretty much sums it up, so I'll leave it at that.  I never spend much time in Kihei around sunset as I'm usually at home by then, but I was visiting my sister today and thought it was a great time to get some shots of the beach and S. Kihei Rd.  Tourists galore!

After a bit of walking around, I realized that Kihei in general is what I believe visitors expect when then come to Maui.  Hey, if I was on vacation, I would probably think so too - full of sunsets, beaches, cuddling, ice cream, and posing for photos.

If you care about these kinds of things, all shots were taken with a 35mm prime lens (52mm equivalent on a full-frame camera) with a Nikon D90 shot wide-open at f1.8.

A Traffic Inferno

Yesterday afternoon, there was a 25 acre brushfire near the Kahului Heliport that snarled traffic around Kahului, Paia, and blocked access to Upcountry and Paia for hours.  Originally reported around 1:25P, I got stuck in the traffic trying to get home (Haiku) from Kihei at 3PM.  The only way to get to Paia was via the back road behind Costco, which incidentally wasn't closed and led traffic right by the fire. Fortunately, the road was upwind of the fire.

At the time, Hansen road and Hana highway between Dairy Road and Haleakala Highway intersection were closed.

 Here are the smoldering remnants of the fire.

Due to the nearby location of the fire to the airport, we got to see the fancy airport fire rescue trucks in action.

Me stuck in traffic trying to get to Paia.

Crazy mess - intersection of Hana Highway and Dairy Road

Officer directing traffic at above intersection

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Picture Perfect Maui Suburbia

The suburbs.  I grew up in a Florida suburb, in Saint Petersburg on the Gulf Coast.  The rows of houses with fenced, manicured yards, sidewalks on both sides of the street, and depending on the suburb, houses that look like they were erected from one of 5 standard templates.

Well, Maui has its own share of the 'burbs too - where resident families of Maui lay roots.  If you're visiting Maui, you will probably never intentionally eye such neighborhoods.

I always thought suburbs such as this one were a little creepy.  It all looks the same.  Are the people the same too?  Who exactly lives around you?  Such uniformity and acceptance of conformity.  Different strokes for different folks I guess.

This is the Maui Lani subdivision near Wailuku.  The neighborhood was shot in the early morning light around 6:30AM on a Sunday morning while driving through in my truck.

The Google mobile!

A Park Ranger truck - note the newspaper in the driveway.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Earth Keeps Rotating

I've been on Maui for 6 years now, and I don't think I'll tire of sunrises or sunsets like these. Please note, the images have not been digitally enhanced in post-production.

Sunrise from Kahului (facing northeast)

Sunset from Haiku (facing north)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cafe Prana Nui

Back on May 31, I took this pic of a curiously painted student transport vessel in the parking lot of the Haiku Marketplace:

"What the hell is this?" I thought to myself.  This was right before I posted my series of pics on Maui cruisers and abandoned vehicles on June 1.  Naturally, I thought someone abandoned their mobile home and some inspired locals felt like expressing themselves after visiting the paint section at Home Depot.

In all seriousness, the purpose of this bus was revealed today in the form of the "soft opening" and Hawaiian blessing of Cafe Prana Nui in Haiku.

It's a short bus restaurant!  Why didn't I think of that?

To quote the giant banner, with a focus on "organic, local, vegetarian, macrobiotic, ayurvedic, aloha" inspired cuisine, I'm anxious to try their offerings.

Note: the "TACO" sign in the below image actually belongs to the food stand NEXT to Cafe Prana Nui.  Also really tasty IMO!

For more info:  Cafe Prana Nui

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Holy Rosary Church

On Baldwin avenue near Paia rests the Holy Rosary Church, home to a memorial of Father Damien.  Damien was the Roman Catholic priest that lived on the Kalaupapa peninsula on Molokai, where he cared for and lived with Hawaii's leprosy patients.   Since performing three miracles, the Pope canonized Father Damien in October 2009 creating Hawaii's first saint in the process.

King Kamehameha V, determined to rid Hawaii of Hansen's disease (leprosy), quarantined all those afflicted to the Kalaupapa settlement beginning in 1866.  I've heard stories of early patients literally dumped from the transport canoes near shore and left to swim to Kalaupapa to fend for themselves.

The settlement is definitely worth a visit, although it's best to book a tour in advance.  The peninsula is surrounded on 3 sides by ocean (duh) and the 4th side abuts a very steep, 1,700ft tall cliff face.  Access is difficult.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dawn Patrol

Hookipa at dawn - a special and magical time.  If you live on the North Shore and you love to surf, when can you?  Usually, it's before you need to punch in, which is before the sun rises - especially in the summer.  Like a daily ritual, people come to Hookipa Beach Park to exercise their bodies, awaken their minds, and refresh their spirits.  These are all locals.  As a matter of fact, I recognize two people this morning.  One works at Mana Foods and the other at Upcountry Fitness - all Maui citizens enjoying their mornings.   Just another day on the Valley Isle.

Just Arriving - 5:21AM

Stretch and Pray

Follow the Leader

Ridin' Solo

Just Leaving the Truck

Stretch and Focus

About to Jump In

Shreddin' It


Out For Fun

The Lineup

To Catch or Not

Fresh Coconut Juice for Breakfast