A community is an amalgamation of people, places, and time. Our local communities are evolving over time as the mix of people change, but also as the businesses that are neighborhood landmarks change. In the past few months, we have seen a lot of changes, perhaps subtle to some of you, as many long-time businesses will no longer be there.
Masu's massive plate lunch, H. Hamada store, The Garden House, McCully Chop Suey, Varsity Theatre, TGI Friday's, Magoo's sit-down, Kwon On, Flamingo Windward, Shung Chong Yuein, Kaimuki Columbia Inn, Kam Bowl, Arts Hawaii, Inc., the list goes on. A favorite meal, or smell, or plant, or usher, or waitress, gone. And the reasons vary-- the rent is simply too high, the kids didn't want to continue the family business, it's tough to compete with aggressive competitors, the business niche is gone, the market has changed.
And thus the community's face changes a bit, and, like getting a nose job or a hair weave, it's not necessarily better, maybe worse, but certainly different.
This happens all the time on the mainland as strip malls and new developments and constantly moving people re-shape whole areas. But locally, maybe we sigh a wee bit more or feel a tinge more nostalgia as the vestiges of the past fade, and the present and future can never feel as close to us, as personal, as comfortable. People change, and so do communities, but memories last forever, especially on an island. Think About It.