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What It’s Like to Live in Urban Honolulu (Makiki)

I’ve been a resident in Makiki, Oahu since 2004. It’s a friendly neighborhood where “everyone knows your name” sprinkled with the neighborhood coffee shop, supermarket, farmer’s market, hole in the wall restaurants, museums, hiking trails, scenic points, and some of the top private schools in the state as well as down the street from the University of Hawaii, Ala Moana, and the famous Waikiki. The most notable residents are President Obama and Bruno Mars

Frequently Asked Questions About the Neighborhood of Makiki

Makiki city lights from a top Tantalus

Q: What attracted you to this part of town?

A: The cool breezes, being within 5 minutes of almost everything in metro Honolulu, and the feeling of community attracted me to Makiki. It’s a hip, lively neighborhood, but has the residential quiet that is hard to come by in one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Honolulu. There are also community events, such as the weekly farmer’s market, Punahou Carnival, and Sunset in Makiki.

Makiki Farmer's Market, where you can grab your groceries for the week or grab your dinner!

Q: What’s the number one selling point that residents and buyers rave about?

A: Convenience, affordability, and views that span from the mountain and city to the ocean. Everything you could possibly need is within five minutes of Makiki, the two major hospitals, art museums, downtown Honolulu, freeway on ramps, most highly rated private schools on the island, super market, and the University of Hawaii.

Q: What is your favorite way to spend an afternoon?

A: I love to take a drive to the north shore of Oahu and stop by all the famous beaches – Sunset, Pipeline, and Waimea – after a plate full of Giovanni’s Shrimp from one of the oldest shrimp trucks on the island. Sometimes, you can see turtles riding the waves or a beached monk seal, but you have to remember to stay 18 feet away as they are endangered species. 

I love stopping by Matsumoto’s shaved ice on a sunny day on the way back home. If I’m not going to the north shore for the day, I can be found playing a round of golf on some of the most beautiful, or some of the most difficult courses in the world.

Q: What is the predominant architectural style?

A: There is a mix of styles from Hawaiian Plantation to Hawaiian Mission Architecture, reminiscent of the old farmhouses in New England.

Typical Makiki architecture (MLS# 1204327)

Makiki has a mix of modern to vintage and incorporates the old with the new. There is a law that was passed a few years ago to preserve historic homes that have been built over 50 years ago and many are on the National Historic Registry in areas such as Manoa and also Makiki.

Q: What are the food trends in the neighborhood?

A: Makiki is more residential than filled with restaurants, but there are great “hole in the wall” style restaurants that are within walking distance. Vietnamese and Korean are directly in our neighborhood, but within 5 minutes you can go to a variety of Asian restaurants from very elegant to a casual evening out.

On the stretch of Keeaumoku Street, from Makiki to Ala Moana, are an excellent selection of restaurants ranging from ramen shops, best sushi on the island, Italian, frozen yogurt, dim sum, breakfast, etc. If you want something to eat, you’re likely to find it here.

Q: Is there a community or cultural center that you often visit?

A: One of my favorite things about Honolulu, and specifically where I live (Makiki), is that many of the art museums have events monthly and free art days for the community. The Honolulu Academy of Art is within walking distance from my home, and they have an “Art After Dark” event the last Friday of every month. They have a different theme every month, and people get dressed up in “theme” along with a movie, dancing, and dinner.

Visit the Contemporary Art Museum, formerly the Spalding Estate

There is also the Contemporary Art Museum, located in Makiki, which recently merged with the Honolulu Academy of Arts and previously of the Spalding Estate. It is a beautiful garden museum with contemporary art located on the mountain overlooking downtown Honolulu and has beautiful ocean views.

Q: Do you volunteer with any local organizations/causes?

A: I currently am on the Board for both Catholic Charities Hawaii, a non-profit social work organization that helps 60,000 Hawaii residents with a “hand up, not a hand out,” located in Makiki, two blocks from my home, and also the Young Business Council, a non-profit organization focusing on leadership and networking among young Hawaii business professionals. 

Peace rally at Catholic Charities Hawaii in Makiki

In addition, I am very involved with the Toastmasters organization, competing in speech competitions and President of the two clubs I belong to, Liliuokalani Toastmasters and the advanced club Na Hoku Kai Toastmasters.

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Shaylyn Kimura, R(S)

June 13, 2012

Wonderful snap shot of Makiki, Caron. Having spent much time there in the “college years”‘ Makiki is a nice option to the hustle and bustle of Honolulu proper and really is 5 minutes from everything!

Caron A Ling, R, CRS

June 13, 2012

Shaylyn, I’m glad I was accurate about those five minutes! And that you enjoyed the blog. Nice to hear from you.

Shaylyn Kimura, R(S)

June 13, 2012

Wonderful snap shot of Makiki, Caron. Having spent much time there in the “college years”‘ Makiki is a nice option to the hustle and bustle of Honolulu proper and really is 5 minutes from everything!

Caron A Ling, R, CRS

June 13, 2012

Shaylyn, I’m glad I was accurate about those five minutes! And that you enjoyed the blog. Nice to hear from you.

Jeanne E. Buboltz, R, CRS, GRI

June 13, 2012

Good one….lots of info. Aloha! JeanneEB

Caron A Ling, R, CRS

June 13, 2012

Thanks Jeanne!! Haha, it’s my favorite area and my home.

Jeanne E. Buboltz, R, CRS, GRI

June 13, 2012

Good one….lots of info. Aloha! JeanneEB

Caron A Ling, R, CRS

June 13, 2012

Thanks Jeanne!! Haha, it’s my favorite area and my home.

Erik Hinshaw

June 13, 2012

Can’t wait to meet you in your ‘hood and enjoy some sushi.

Erik Hinshaw

June 13, 2012

Can’t wait to meet you in your ‘hood and enjoy some sushi.

Caron A Ling, R, CRS

June 13, 2012

Erik… I’m ready for sushi… ANY DAY NOW. Can you guys move here ASAP? I’m waiting… tap..tap..tap. Can’t wait! May have to go a just a touch outside of my “hood” but it’s worth it!

Caron A Ling, R, CRS

June 13, 2012

Erik… I’m ready for sushi… ANY DAY NOW. Can you guys move here ASAP? I’m waiting… tap..tap..tap. Can’t wait! May have to go a just a touch outside of my “hood” but it’s worth it!

Mahina

June 13, 2012

Great blog Caron! Makiki *is* where it’s at. You hit all the highlights. Thanks for helping me score the best spot in my building!

Mahina

June 13, 2012

Great blog Caron! Makiki *is* where it’s at. You hit all the highlights. Thanks for helping me score the best spot in my building!

Char Alldredge

December 27, 2012

I absolutly love the island of Oahu. Not because the the typical cliche reason that it is Hawaii, but I love the Island so much that I feel like home when I am there. I am also a realist so when I say that I have been trying for the last 5 years to aquire a position there in order to move I am serious. My husband and I are finacially able to make the move (no debt) but we need jobs in order to sustain ourselves. You would think that a 40 year old Insurance Agent with 20 years of experience and an Associate Degree of Science would have no trouble but it has been impossible!!! How I would love to be on your island!

Char Alldredge

December 27, 2012

I absolutly love the island of Oahu. Not because the the typical cliche reason that it is Hawaii, but I love the Island so much that I feel like home when I am there. I am also a realist so when I say that I have been trying for the last 5 years to aquire a position there in order to move I am serious. My husband and I are finacially able to make the move (no debt) but we need jobs in order to sustain ourselves. You would think that a 40 year old Insurance Agent with 20 years of experience and an Associate Degree of Science would have no trouble but it has been impossible!!! How I would love to be on your island!

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