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Neighborhood Doggo Bloggo: Gobi the Introvert

The very first candidate for our new dog blog segment is the one and only Gobi Dog! About eight years old, owner Rechung Fujihira presumes he is possibly part Pomeranian and Australian Shepherd. Gobi weighs about 15 pounds and loves to eat dried veal tails. Some of his favorite activities include “forgetting people and then barking at them even though he met them and became friends with them the day before.” Being cute, sometimes aloof, playful and very forgetful are some of Gobi’s traits.

Gobi was originally a foster dog and was pawned off to Rechung by Dan and Cindy. After a month of fostering him, Rechung knew that he could not give him back and adopted him right away.


I’m comfort.

I’m peace. SHUT UP!

Leave me loner hoo-man.

I don’t understand hoo-man obsession with doggo-me. They want to come and touch my skin. I want to relax. I wait for Rechung for home. Dried meat taste satisfactory. I stick close to masterman to keep me away from these “undesirables.” When I’m not with him, I like my safe-space. Catch me laying underneath the wooden table. Nevermind, I don’t like you. I like laying on cold floors. Reminds me of hoo-man soul. Barren and cold.



Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Thad Higa?

I’m someone. I wake up everyday and don’t know how combs work. 3rd generation Korean American, 4th generation Okinawan American. Ex-religious. Born in San Jose. Went to elementary and high school in Honolulu. Moved to Seattle, moved to New York. Been back in Hawaii for two years. I can do ten push ups in two weeks. Art makes me pale. I like jeans and am looking for overalls.

What did you do in the past and what are you currently doing?

I was pursuing life solely as a writer of experimental fiction and poetry. I got sidetracked making zines with a group of artists and musician friends when I lived in Seattle, and didn’t stop. Now I’m going to take it to the Guggenheim this summer.

I got into bookmaking after I finished writing this novella and was impatient with finding a publisher so I started printing, binding and selling it out myself. I smuggled it into bookstores and took it to bars to sell for drinks. It wasn’t the best story but it got me excited about bookmaking.

I’m working on designing a zine with a band Sontag Shogun, a zine that will be released as a counterpart to their album. I’m also working on a HIZAB Library collaboration with CONTACT—the contemporary Hawaii arts exhibition—coming up in April. I’m building shelves for the artist books, curating a selection of HIZAB books for perusal and display, doing a Walkabout event with Adele from 88 Block Walks, where we’re attempting to remap the mission house area through psychogeography, and trying to finish my own artist book to submit.

How did your art come about? How would you describe your work?

I like to make things. It started by making special little art objects for people I liked. Then I started keeping things for myself. I’m an amateur. I just experiment and use the stuff around me to make things. I have ideas that make me laugh, or complicated feelings that I want to take apart, then I make work from it.

I would call it something like speculative book-making. Ultracollagin’. Special curatives for curators. Counterpart-therapy through frustrating and non-therapeutic means. Stealin’n’Sewing. Word Problems. I’m figuring it out. I’m trying to bring words to life. Physically. Giving actual weight to words. I’m definitely not a pioneer in the field, but I’m trying to find my own way to both new writing and new books.

Why do you do the work that you do? How is it different from everything else?

Everyone has their own lens through which they experience the world. These projects are mine. I want to find a deeper communication to people and place through these endeavors. Or in the least, engage my time in a way that interests me. I like what I do, so I do it. If you’re true to yourself through the work you do, I believe (maybe naively) it will resonate with others.

What is Tiny Zine Hawaii?

Tiny Zines. In Hawaii. I set up a little archive library for the zines to exist at Mori in South Shore Market. People can create their own tiny zines to live in the library permanently, or have some set up to give away for free.

I wrote in my first (and maybe last) Tiny Zine email list message, “It’s an exercise of creation, and a meditation on salience, portability, intimacy, coincidences and impermanence. It will be whatever the community makes of it and whatever failures/successes I cause by poor sense of place and social interaction, and will last for a long time or a not so long time. I don’t present hallmark invitations to create with Tiny Zine. I am one direction in an open field. I present myself and my moment here today. Tiny Zine is next to nothing. This near-nothingness is the signified and the signifier. Tiny Zine is the notion of the unopened door we walk past on the sidewalk daily. It is the free access to create/pass on/find not just beauty but wisdom in this quick world. It is the practice of exposure and a permanent quest for strangeness (realness), friends, heavy entertainment and alternative routes of communication.”

Thad’s edits and version of this interview.

How did you come up with the concept of Tiny Zine Hawaii? How did it all start?

I’ve always been into miniature things. They make me laugh, especially if they’re represented dryly, objects unaware of their own tinyness. It provides me perspective on how absurd our concerns are to some giant entity looking down on Earth. I also went small because it’s economic. You don’t need a lot of material to create 1 tiny zine.

I don’t remember the exact impetus behind Tiny Zine Hawaii. But it was definitely inspired by Little Free Libraries and The Sketchbook Project. Little Free Libraries are those birdhouses for book-people, where someone builds bookshelves on the sidewalks, outside their houses or shops, and people take and leave books. Sketchbook Project is a space in NYC where artists all over can purchase a notebook to fill up with whatever they wanted, drawings, writings, paintings, prints…and when they’re finished they leave it in the Sketchbook library for others to look at. Tiny Zine Hawaii is supposed to be a mix of those two, but it’s hard to keep up with it. People take a lot more than they put back.

What is HIZAB Library?

It stands for Hawaii Zine and Book Library. It’s a work in progress at the moment, in the Chinatown Artist Lofts (until I have to relocate at the end of April). The full idea is to create a speakeasy type lounge for books rather than drinks, some which can be borrowed, and other rare or collectible items for in-library-use only. The curation is unique to Hawaii. It houses local and non-locally made zines, as well as artists books, poetry (much of it experimental), graphic novels, design-heavy books, as well as a mix of interesting fiction and non-fiction books. I’m also gathering local curators, book lovers, librarians, artists, writers, publishers, to curate special collections that are exhibited for a limited time, much like paintings in a gallery. Anyone can come in, pick up a book and hang out for as long as they want (or until it closes).

Why is it important to have HIZAB Library? Why does the community need to know about it?

There aren’t any well curated public spaces in Hawaii devoted to books. HIZAB proposes a comfortable, warm lit, lounge-inevitable space designed for books and book culture to thrive. You always hear people saying that books are dying and no one reads anymore, but its not wholly true. It’s rather that the book culture is changing, and bookstores/spaces/libraries often don’t make accommodations for it. The concept of what a book is, looks like, and can do is shifting with the global shift from written language to visual language. HIZAB wants to live in that critical juncture, and I think if its done correctly Hawaii will respond to it.

What is your goal and purpose for creating this library? How is it relevant today?

I want spaces that cultivate book culture, slowness, artful thinking, and curated coincidences. I didn’t see it happening on any one else’s watch, so I’m seeing if I can make it happen. Books are an access point to anything, any topic. It’s the internet, but focused, a forced deep dive on one issue or story. People want to read. Most of us just aren’t in the habit of reading. HIZAB promotes that. It also rethinks what a community space can be. We CAN have free spaces like this. We CAN cultivate the right questions, and the right actions by communing over quality, rare, esoteric, alternative, challenging and enriching free-access materials.

What made you want to apply to the Artists in Residence program? What are you hoping to get out of it?

I want to be obliged to push my art as far as I can. Working on a 6-month residency for a show helps towards that end. I’m honing a skill of commitment—learning to take myself more seriously as an artist, while not getting locked into expectations of myself as such.

I befriended a couple of artists last year who just worked at their art all the time. They had day jobs, but filled almost all of their down time with making art. I would hang out in their studio just to be a part of that energy. It was creative energy for sure, but mostly dedication to hard work. I’m trying to emulate that work force and put pressure on myself to evolve into a better version of me.

How does it feel creating your art in a co-working space and does it affect your workflow versus working in a traditional work environment? What are the benefits?

I like the energy. It’s easier to get work done when I know other people around me are working as well. Also, it’s easy to get stuck in your own head when you’re the only person working in your own studio, so it does dissolve those mental blocks.

What do you aspire to do in the future?

I aspire for a stable location for HIZAB to operate. I aspire for grants to fund  reading events and shenanigans and acquisitions of incredible artist books and curated book and zine collections from all over the world, so that they may be made accessible to anyone who walks in the door of the library. I aspire for strange books that cross media boundaries, break their own forms in sublime and impossible ways. I aspire for new forms of old stories and for raising consciousness of language, thereby raising awareness of culture, diversity of story and thought, and furthermore empathy for all humans in the absurd universe. I aspire to meet someone who to take over my social media and marketing presence so I don’t have to think about it ever again. I aspire to eclipse Irma Boom and Dieter Roth.


Living Healthy with Miko and the Juice

Stepping into Miko and the Juice, I could see right away that this place was different. The owner, Miko, has an open space where people can not only see what he puts into his smoothies but also start a friendly conversation with him. At first, I was a bit hesitant when I asked him for an interview as he mentioned that he was busy making soup and finishing up a few orders but offered me a seat. An older woman proceeded to come to the stand with a little girl holding up a $5 bill. Miko began to talk story with her as if they were old friends. Right away I could tell that this spot is going to feel like home.

Miko came to Hawaii from the Philippines about five years ago after needing a change of pace. He originally worked at a food truck in Haleiwa for $6/hour, thinking it would be good money in comparison to the money back home in the Philippines. One day, he experimented with some of the food ingredients, creating something similar to his now “Black Amanda” smoothie, which is a sweet coffee, chocolate and coconut based drink. His boss tasted his creation but didn’t share Miko’s enthusiasm.

Shaken but not stirred, Miko took his creation and sold it at the Farmers Market in Waikiki where it became a hit. Inspired, he continued to create more smoothies and eventually Miko and the Juice came to life. He obtained a regular spot in Waikiki and thrived on the new business. With this success he was able to provide remittances for his family and relatives back in the Philippines. Miko was able to send his relatives to school, pay off his aunt’s dental bill, and even provide enough for him to travel around the world. After seeing how much more income he received compared to the food truck in Haleiwa, Miko knew that he wanted to continue working as his own boss.

Everything was going so well at his spot in Waikiki until city authorities asked him to leave due to upcoming expansions to a nearby hotel. In November 2018, Miko and the Juice found its new home in Ohana Hale Marketplace. While he shared his experience of having a slower start at this new location, Miko feels grateful for the sense of family that are inherent in the marketplace community.

Despite having a change in pace being at Ohana Hale Marketplace, Miko shared that this family feeling motivates him. Miko shared that it is not in his nature to give up so easily, especially when it comes to his dream of being his own boss. Having the juice stand, Miko and the Juice, has provided the opportunity to promote a healthier lifestyle for his customers. Miko uses only natural ingredients in all of his smoothies. Even though he knows that his biggest competition is bubble tea, Miko wants to continue staying true to his core values and philosophy. “I want to be healthy and provide healthy options for people.”

Miko hopes to obtain a second location for his business in the near future and eventually go global. In the meantime, people can find him at his juice stand in Ohana Hale Marketplace and choose from sixteen different options. Don’t like any of the smoothies? Let Miko know and he’ll create a custom drink based on your needs and wants!


Self-care in the Office

In a world where we’re constantly on the go while looking for new ways to make it and become more productive, it’s easy to forget to pause and take care of yourself. When you have too much work on your hands, it’s important to take a step back. Here are some tips to continue practicing self-care right from your work space:

Make a task list for the day

Often times we create unmanageable lists and become discouraged when we cannot finish even half of those tasks by the end of the day. To prevent yourself from getting anxious and disheartened, limit yourself to three big tasks a day and then three smaller tasks in the event that you accomplish the bigger tasks early. From there, create an action plan for the top three tasks so you know exactly how to get them done.

Load up on snacks and food

Because of the ongoing daily grind, many people forget to eat or skip a meal (or meals) altogether. Taking the time to do groceries once a week and meal prep will help you get back on track to staying nourished during work hours. Not to forget to mention, pre-packaged food and snacks are a great start towards a healthier lifestyle.

Drink lots of water

I’m sure you have heard this multiple times but it bears repeating; people need eight cups of water a day. Set a consistent reminder or even a water app to remind you how much water left to drink and do it. Not only does it keep you hydrated but drinking water truly has a bunch of different benefits to it. Not only is it critical for productivity and mental alertness, water takes up 85% of our brain and it helps the brain work properly. Even a mere deficiency of just 2% can cause the brain to slow down and lose focus.

Use the Pomodoro Technique

Living in a digital world today, it is easy to become distracted with social media and forget about the task at hand. To help combat that, try out the Pomodoro Technique. This work method was designed to break down work into intervals of 25 minutes punctuated by five minute breaks. You can use a simple timer as your phone to help you keep track of time or download an app. Once you get into the habit of incorporating this technique in your workflow, you will be amazed at how much work you accomplish and how much time you save!

Take breaks

Don’t burn yourself out trying to take on the world. When you feel your focus diminishing or you’re stuck on a task, take that as a sign to rest. For me, I try to do something that will inspire and motivate me to get work done like watching inspirational Girl Boss videos on YouTube to remind me WHY I’m doing what I do. Another thing that I practice to simply re-energize myself is to do yoga. This helps calm my mind and recenter so that I can go back to work ready to complete my tasks for the day.

Stretch it out

Sitting down at a desk or staying in one position can get exhausting and often normalize bad posture in your body. To help you get out of it, take five minutes out of your day to do some stretches. Here are some examples of stretches that you can do to maintain a good posture.

Play motivating music  

Whether it’s EDM, smooth jazz or Beyonce, play music that makes you feel good and most productive. This will help keep your spirits up while working and perfect when you need a dance break or a moment to break out into song.

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Using essential oils and aromatherapy everyday is trending for good reason. There are so many different oils for various individual needs, including staying focused at work, calming down anxiety and staying motivated. Take a moment to stop and smell the goodness. In the meantime, check out the different benefits each scent provides.

All of these tips are meant to help us all have a productive day while also preventing burn out. It’s a little reminder that we are all human and our health, both mental and physical, should always come first, not to become the world’s next billionaire. The term “work life balance” was created for a reason so keep up the good work and don’t forget to create those lists, take breaks and stop and smell the roses, (or oils).



Comic artist and illustrator Brady Evans shares a strong interest in manga and other art forms of imagery and storytelling. His work often displays narrative themes of death, humor and our place in both the natural and supernatural world. Evans received an BFA specializing in drawing from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2012 and received the Recognition Award from the Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts in 2015. We caught up with the artist to talk story about his journey as an artist, experience as a freelancer and his current art series, Void, which is on display at fishcake until May 4, 2019.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do as an artist.

I do comics and illustration, but my work takes the form of different things. From books to drawings on paper for an exhibition or illustrations, I like to think of myself as working a lot with narratives and stories. Either the story is informed by the drawing or vice versa. I leave it open ended.

Was there like a pivotal moment in your life where you wanted to follow this career of being an artist and illustrator?

Both of my parents are heavily involved in the arts. My dad’s a musician and my mom creates textiles, paintings, and drawings. Since I was young, they were really supportive of me going into the arts. I recently made a pivotal shift in my art career. Last October, I decided to leave my job at the Honolulu Museum of Art to work solely as a freelance artist. For the first time ever, I was going to give my art more attention than I had in the past. I had already been sending my work and exhibiting for about nine years, in addition to studying at the university or working at the museum. With the amount of time that I spent in it, I didn’t want to regret not trying freelancing at least once and seeing how it works out. I didn’t want to make my art suffer for not putting in enough time.

You have an art show in FishCake. Can you tell me about the pieces you put in the show?

The show is called Void. It started from a series of drawings and paintings that I did for a show at ARS Cafe in 2017. The show happened right after a few people in my life passed away very suddenly and it was a response to that trauma. These drawings display various objects and forms shaping into silhouettes of people. Even though a person is missing, there’s a presence in their absence. Absences create a physical feeling. People leave an imprint in our memories and from the objects which they leave behind.

In addition to Void, I will be showing some illustrations for a book called Magic Show which is a collaboration I did with musician Gary Liu. Gary wrote the short story and I made five complimentary illustrations. I will be presenting illustrations I made for a performance/tea ceremony by Keiko Hatano.

Can you talk a little bit about your process when you’re making these illustrations?

I start with the silhouette drawing in pencil to make sure the figure is visually legible. Once I have the silhouette figure down I draw the the forms. I use plant and wildlife imagery in a lot of my illustrations in Void. Recently I’ve been looking at the Japanese painter Ito Jakuchu. He lived during the 18th century in Japan and was known as an eccentric painter. His work is extremely detailed and he did a few temples paintings where he painted hundreds of individual flowers and plants. Half of them were dead or dying. I thought it was so beautiful how they referenced death in subtle ways. These works influenced me to put plants and wildlife into my illustrations as a way to symbolize life and death.

Can you talk more about your connections to art history?

I became invested into art history when I studied at UH Manoa.  As an undergraduate, I took all of the art history classes. After I graduated from UH, I was the collections manager at the Honolulu Museum for almost five years. Art history gives me a wealth of visual influences for my work. When I create work I’m never too concern if it’s original or not. All that matters is if I can fully flesh out ideas that I find interesting. I look at pieces throughout art history and take from works that I find compelling and I synthesize it into my own work.

How did you get into doing work and collaborating with Drowning Dreamers?

I know Gary the Drowning Dreamers frontman from my time as the collections manager at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Gary was a teacher in the art school. He would contact our department to use artworks for his classes. Gary happened to see my work and he reached out to me for collaboration.  He felt my style of drawings would work perfectly with Drowning Dreamers and suggested we work on a couple of projects together. One of the projects was Magic Show and then Gary suggested projecting a live illustration during Drowning Dreamers performances.

While the band plays I illustrate in Photoshop to the music. I treat the canvas like an animation screening so I layer the images and colors. Gary always sends me the setlist beforehand and I have the lyrics to the songs. Before the show, I have it printed out and I look over and circle some words that are interesting to me to do a sketch to begin my live performances.

Other than that, I just let the music and the images developed from that first sketch. The songs are only four minutes long so it goes by relatively quickly. This means that I have to see what kind of marks I want to incorporate throughout the performance. So it’s been fun for me, trying those things and not watching the drawings display upon the wall. Instead I focus on the work at hand on my computer screen. It’s good to see other people’s videos of it and seeing the band get integrated with the drawings.  

What’s like the biggest difference for you in terms of doing a live drawing to doing these illustrations?

With the live drawings I can’t go back. I try not to undo and to be more spontaneous. If I want to delete it, I just draw over it. I’m more okay with things just being spontaneous while the ones that I plan out, I am a little more picky about composition. In a way the live ones are more freeing because I can just make it and it’s big. I love when you project the image on the wall, the color bounces onto the other walls as well.

Have you ever doubted with your art practice? How do you get past that doubt?

Something that is challenging for me is that I’m comparing myself to other friends who are similar age but are at a different points in their career. I’m getting a little better at just talking myself out a bit and looking at what I do have and what I am able to enjoy doing.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist or someone who wants to start doing freelance for a living?

It’s important to very committed to what you’re doing. You’ll need to develop good habits and be disciplined. They’re important because freelancing offers freedom and flexibility. Also, I don’t think I am so much of a list person, but I’ve found that making to-do lists helps a lot. Even if you don’t get it done you can just start it again the next day. It’s probably good to have a nest egg and to have some money saved up because if you ever hit a dry period, you’ll need to hunker down and be frugal.

March 22, 2019


“Frozen , Floating”- Michelle Artist in Residence

During my second and third months at the BoxJelly my plans have materialized and I’m moving full-speed ahead. Supplies are being prepared and the forms are taking shape. BoxJelly’s co-working and exhibit spaces are being scrutinized so the artwork can match the proportions and functionality of the layout.

I initially thought my project would have me working with wool and creating forms with novel approaches, but that plan has been modified for the sake of other explorations.  For some years I have felt the urge to let go of some principles of science illustration, to experiment with looser interpretations of ideas, and I decided to answer that call during this program.  The materials I’m using are familiar to me but some aspects include exciting departures from my previous works.

This new body of work will include 3D and 2D works with metals. I’m sticking with the sculptural knit stitches I know and love, this time using them to depict elements of my experience scuba diving under Antarctic sea ice.  A series of small multiples are being created and will interact with a singular large piece, built to scale, representing a certain feature of the diving environment I want people be able to visualize.

The second component of my project is a series of metalpoint drawings, a medium rarely used in modern times but something I have been exploring for the past two years. These drawings are guided by the self-imposed directive #ifitmakesamarkdrawwithit (examples can be found through that Instagram hashtag) whereby I test various metals to see if they can function as drawing implements.  More small multiples are being made in this manner, demonstrating my experiments and sharing what I saw underwater during these extreme dives. Mark your calendar for the following upcoming events at BoxJelly.  The “Artist in Residence Conversation” will be Friday May 18 at 6pm when I will share some of my background and discuss this new body of work.  Special guest will be my dive buddy Kirsten Carlson, joining me to talk story about our experiences in Antarctica!

The previous Artist in Residence exhibition  “Mother” by Nanci Amaka is currently still up at The BoxJelly. The closing party will be on Friday June 29th at 6pm. Also join us for the opening reception of my exhibition “Frozen, Floating” on June 14th at 6pm.


Artists in Residence, in Conversation: A Recap





Last Wednesday, in collaboration with Fishcake, the BoxJelly kicked off a fun evening of raffle prizes and info-packed conversation with its inaugural artist in residence, Amelia Samara and Laurie Sumiye, our second artist in residence and newly appointed coordinator of the program. Through this presentation- style conversation, audience members learned more about this unique opportunity and what it takes to become our next artist in residence.


The two artists started by introducing themselves: Amelia grew up in many places, a factor which she attributes to shaping her work and interests. She remarked that while in school, there was perhaps a disproportionate amount of emphasis on the conceptual aspect of art while very little to no attention on the business side.  After graduating with BFA in Fiber Arts from University of Hawai’i, she tried to grapple with how to actually make a living as an artist coming from a background where “making beautiful art for the sake of just making beautiful art is not encouraged.”


Born and raised in Mililani, Laurie Sumiye took an 18 year hiatus from the islands until returning to the Big Island where she began a documentary focused on an endangered native Hawai’ian bird called the Palila. During her time away from Oahu, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Art and Communication, worked in web design and advertising, and then earned a filmmaking degree at Hunter College.






Both artists agreed that this residency provides the unique opportunity to understand the professional side of your career as an artist. With a very supportive network of people from both the BoxJelly and Fishcake, you will have people to talk to and bounce ideas off of. The program provides a chance to explore and develop your practice, but also works within a mindset that reassures you that it is okay to create something to sell. Amelia commented that it was a pretty intuitive process, which she entered without knowing exactly what she wanted to do, although artists are required to submit a proposal as part of the application process. While Laurie noted that the program helped keep her on track, by setting deadlines (now 3 months, instead of 6) it also helped her engage with an audience, and connect what she is interested in with a local audience. She now feels that she is at a point where where her art making is a sustainable career, and left the audience with a statement: “It’s possible to live in Hawai’i, to make a living doing what you love *and living in Hawai’i*. You don’t have to go somewhere else, and there’s support for what you do [here], that was my biggest revelation.”


Applications are due June 15 at midnight. More information about the program can be found here.


The event was live streamed on Facebook, watch now:  link: https://www.facebook.com/fishcake.hawaii/videos/10155274611678632/


Below is an outline that highlights the types of questions asked in the conversation and by the audience along with it’s corresponding times in the live stream recording:


14:40 — What was the process like of having an exhibition at the BoxJelly and the selling work at Fishcake?


18:30 — The most surprising thing?


22:40 — What’d you do after the residency and how did it help you move forward in your practice?


24:50 — Did you find that in being in this space, in this community, affected your art at all?


28:24 — Tension between commercial aspect of selling vs. conceptual, conversation-sparking art. Is there one?


29:39 —How Laurie chose birds as her subject.


36:39 —What would be useful to know for applying if you had not done this before? Whats required of the artists?


43:00 — Lessons learned as program alumnae. If you could do things differently knowing what you do now, what would you do differently?


48:09—Pricing work?


Morning Glass


Morning Glass approaches their coffee as well as their food with the same basic philosophy – seek out the best ingredients possible, and prepare them simply and properly. All coffees are fresh roasted and ground and brewed to order. All baked goods and sandwiches are made fresh every day at their Mānoa location. Catering items available for your meetings and events.



Juicy Journals 
Tuesday 4/29/14

There’s public transport, but then, there’s the sharing economy. Juicy gave us access to a promo code for Lyft, so of course I was going to try it despite my Uber allegiances. Since the app wasn’t connecting me with my driver, I couldn’t tell him I pinned the wrong address (sorry, Paul!); so instead, I went with uberX. Seriously, I think I found my part-time job once it hits Honolulu.

“Cabbing” still didn’t save me nearly enough time between then and my 6:15pm Amtrak departure, but I HAD to meet David; he’s the founder, AND from Hawai’i! Sam (the driver) said he’d pause the meter and wait 10minutes. I gave myself 5.

Malcolm Gladwell talks about the reliability of first impressions, and a first impression is pretty much all that I got of Kleverdog (and that Kleverdog got of me). Comfortable, active, and creative are the first words that come to mind. And as much of a rush as I was in, David just smiled, laughed, and said he’d be looking forward to next time we could talk story. Looks like I’ll just have to make another trip to LA!

Click on the pictures below for commentary descriptions!

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Juicy Journals 
Tuesday 4/29/14

Public transportation might not be the most reliable, it is one of the  most effective forms to get to know the city and its people. Busses usually have bad raps for carrying bums and degenerates, but really, it carries everyone who can’t drive (i.e. the elderly and grade school children), or doesn’t want to drive (i.e. urban commuters, bicyclists, me).

Getting off the bus into Little Tokyo, I ran into Angel. She had been left by her husband, needed money for meds because she had an infection, and was [supposedly] pregnant. I couldn’t exactly make out her injury, but at one point I thought I could see straight through to her bones. I sympathized even more because she’s from Fountain Square in Indianapolis (just a bridge away from The Bureau, where I’m writing this now).

The thing about “bums and degenerates” is that they know their areas very well. Since I apparently can’t use [Google] maps, I threw Angel a $10 which I used to comfort my conscience, and for her to show me where I was going. How pretentious of me to think she didn’t know where I’d be talking about, because as soon as I said “Opodz” instead of “an office”, she immediately took me straight to the front door!

Opodz is fairly new, as well as the developments in and around Little Tokyo. In a lot of ways, Opodz reminded me of BoxJelly – our space size is about the same, number of members is about the same, and we even have some of the same bottles of scotch in our bars. But something Opodz is already experiencing that BoxJelly hasn’t yet is residential development. Because we’re in Kaka’ako, a redeveloping urban district of Honolulu, our neighbors are all businesses. There are some residences (a condo., an old folks home, and a homeless shelter), with more on the way (luxury high-rise condos), but seeing how Opodz was trying to build community made me wonder what’s in store as our neighborhood changes.

I got the same feeling as I did with NextSpace, in that Opodz was very neighborhood oriented. Lots of their members and inquiries come from people who live in Little Tokyo. They set up cafe seating outside, and offer free space for local artists to feature their work – such gallery space is not common in LA. But for being the new kid on the block, all their reserved desks were filled, their open desks were active, and there are a number of discounts that their members had to neighboring businesses. Looks like I have get on my neighborhood relations game once I get back!

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