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Sunday, February 19, 2017


This is Sunday, so I'll be a tad more respectful and even feature a religion.  I'm also considering expanding Purgatory from just 15 Craigside to all of Honolulu.

In any case, we have special meals at 15 Craigside with two sittings, for residents invite friends and family.  This week we enjoyed a fine Valentine's dinner, here in photos:

One of my expensive Stanford wines, plus I went to Marukai and put together a Hokkigai sashimi platter, with shiso, cabbage and Japanese cucumber.  There were 40 pieces at the beginning, for our table of seven.  Prime rib was featured:

We might have drunk three bottles of wine:

Then this weekend I had a wonderful time in Honolulu, beginning with a stop at J-Shop on Young Street:

I got a pound of Japanese Wagyu Beef from Shizuoka:

Yes, the cost was more than $80 for two pieces, and I just fried one piece.  They certainly cut the hamachi (Japanese Amberjack or yellow tail) into large pieces, and the rice was from Gifu.  That is myoga (bud from a kind of ginger plant) to the left above (and cut in half below).

I added sliced onions and Shiitake Mushrooms to the pan.  The accompanying sunset was pleasing.

Yesterday I walked into downtown Honolulu and went for, perhaps, my favorite lunch, Shanghai Soup Dumplings at Chinatown Cultural Plaza:

If you walk to the left, you go to the wrong Fook restaurant.

You need to head in the right (makai--to the sea) direction.  There actually was a line when I first got there.  However, I went up to the really cute girl to add my name to the wait list, but she noticed I had a cane, so almost immediately gave me a window seat.  This is about the tenth reason I now use a walking cane.  I had, of course, first shopped at that Chinese convenience store located close by and purchased a $1 Rolling Rock Beer and a $1.40 bottle of 99-proof whiskey:

Place the dumpling into the ginger-vinegar sauce, cut a hole at the top, stuff in some hot mustard and chili, place the dumpling into a large spoon, then pour in some whiskey.  Heaven, with beer.

I noticed, though, that a police car kept driving by the restaurant:

Keep in mind that this space between the restaurant and the river is not a real road.  Their presence, must have been because black market vendors kept showing up with black bags or wheelies stuffed with contraband.  Here, I thought someone was demonstrating a rather large blow torch:

Turned out he was burning off the safety cover supermarkets use to make it harder to shoplift.  Here a few bottles of Jack Daniels, after the top was removed.  Some of you might remember the posting on My Horrid Day in Honolulu, which might, actually, now disqualify Honolulu from being considered as part of my Purgatory.

There are also animals in the River Street environment.  Here the whitest duck I've ever seen on a rock in the stream:

A short walk then takes you to Kwan Yin Temple, fronting Foster Botanical Garden:

A large yellow flower tree.  So I went in.  Kamaainas (local residents) get charged only $3.  Turned out this was not Pearl's Gold Tree.  

Those petals look awfully close that of the Gold Tree:

Which was not in bloom.  However, purple trumpet flowers were on a bench.  Looking above:

So the Purple Tree is a close cousin of the Gold Tree.

As you enter the garden, you will see a Bodhi Tree, one generation removed from the original brought here 104 years ago:

This tree is adjacent to the direct descendant, which was brought to Honolulu as a gift to Mary Foster, whose home became this park, by Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Anagarika Dharmapala.

Note that the first Bo Tree has number 1.  Prince Siddhartha Gautama in the 6th Century BC achieved enlightenment under an early ancestor of these two trees, becoming the Buddha:

You can discern the yellow Guayacan in the background.  While on this subject, here is Buddha's-Hand Citron:

Sadly, I saw four separate Monarch Butterfly wings on the grounds.  Clearly a bird must have consume the bodies:

However, if you look closely, you will see seven flying Monarch's in this photo:

This purple-colored sugar cane stalk is especially soft and sweet:

A few more interesting shots, including two cannonball trees:

Finally, three more reds (Red Saracen and Red Flame), with a Green Gecko:


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