On September 1, 1938 Tuck Yee Yap opened a new supermarket in Kaimuki. The occasion was of such significance that the Mayor of Honolulu attended the opening and, along with Yee Yap, commemorated the day by carving “A Dream Come True” into the cement threshold of the new store.
Almost eighty years later, this small portion of cement sidewalk has been preserved. The establishment has changed but the sentiment remains as strong as ever for many of the business owners, residents and visitors to this small enclave just three miles from downtown Honolulu.
Kaimuki, built around a rusty red dirt hill with panoramic views of Honolulu, is one of the last intact historical commercial areas in Honolulu and retains much of the charm and nostalgia that began with the dream of two developers in 1898.
The area is densely populated and home to many long time residents who make their homes alongside trendy eateries and shops. There is only one high rise and preservation is a point of pride for the residents and business owners in the area. Buildings are rarely torn down but are refurbished and re-purposed allowing the Kaimuki to retain a unique look and feel that is quickly becoming a rarity in the islands.
It has been my great pleasure to spend many hours in the area over the last few years making images that I hope will give you a sense of the the neighborhood that has been a dream come true for many over the years. Here are just a few…
Click on any of the thumbnails to view as a slide show.