Monday, September 26, 2011

Hale Nalu

Hale - home
Nalu - 1) Disappeared, lost; 2) Waves, surf.

One of the universal childhood experiences in Hawaii---at least when I was growing up---was camping underneath the stars. The mild temperatures and sounds of the ocean compensated for the lack of a mattress, and falling asleep was not difficult.

Not surprisingly, the warm climate also makes some choose homelessness as a rational response to the high cost of living, more than they would in other states:
As in other temperate places — like Santa Monica, Calif. — Hawaii’s climate is a draw to people looking to live outside. “I love it: free rent, free electricity,” said Sherri Watson, 43. “Who wants to stay in a bed-bugged shelter?”
I had a couple of hours to kill between my visit to the downtown government offices and a dinner near the University of Hawaii. Walking east ("Diamond Head" to Honolulu old-timers) along King Street, less than a mile from the Honolulu beaches, is a chastening experience. The sidewalks and roads needed repair, and many of the buildings could have used a coat of paint. But the most disheartening sights were the tents in the park.

One ray of hope is that the Hawaiian unemployment rate of 6% is well below the national average of 9%. Let's hope that the recovery of the tourist trade continues and the tents get folded up.

Along King Street I walked past two parks where the homeless pitch tents.

At King and Kaheka Streets

Honolulu Stadium Park

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