Truth From Dare: Coming home
BY DERIN DEREGO / Special to the Star-Advertiser
When I first moved back to Hawaii over 10 years ago after living in Los Angeles a lot of my friends asked how I could do it. How could I leave L.A. to go back to an island life I swore I was over? I wasn’t sure how long I’d last without the luxuries (and distractions) of living in major metropolitan city.
After being in Honolulu for several years the questions started coming from the locals and people who had moved here recently. They wondered why I wasn’t ready to move back to a big city and how I tolerated being on an island for so long. I’ll admit it wasn’t always easy to stay in Honolulu.
One of my biggest frustrations was the prevalence of the attitude that “this is how it’s always been done.” Never before had I encountered so many people whether in business or social endeavors who were content with the status quo. The “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality was almost unbearable.
Luckily with the maturation of young minds into entrepreneurs and an influx of talent from all over the globe I began seeing proponents for change and advocates for creative thinking taking an active role in the landscape of Honolulu. There was the Chinatown revival with spots like Bar 35 and Nextdoor leading the charge. More recently we’ve seen the continued development of Kakaako not only in the high-rise condominium sector but also with shared work spaces, alternative health and wellness options, and artistic gathering spaces.
It’s been amazing to see so many new things take shape over the past several years. To see productions like Hawaii Fashion Month, Art and Flea, and POW! WOW! Hawaii go from mere chatter and brainstorming to major events has been incredible. Knowing that we’re watching great things unfold from daring and innovative individuals has been truly inspiring.
Speaking of NextDoor, the now legendary spot celebrated its 10th anniversary on Wednesday with an over-the-top evening as the club went gold. The party featured gold drinks, gold costumes and thousands of gold balloons as part of a midnight balloon drop. Two trips to Las Vegas were also given away, one hidden in one of the balloons that were dropped and the other as part of a raffle to benefit owner Daniel Gray as he continues to battle cancer.
When he’s not out and about at the hottest parties and other events in Honolulu, Derin “Dare” Derego works as an account executive at a local radio station group. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.