Flowers and decorative plants and ti leaves — all newly planted along the street.
I guess the naupaka wasn’t enough for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), in town for the week.
The city, it seems, has been taking major steps in beautifying downtown Honolulu and Waikiki in recent weeks, all in preparation for the leaders of APEC’s 21 economies and their massive entourages. There are new palm trees lining Nimitz Highway, cleaner streets in Waikiki and a noticeable decrease in homeless communities in the areas in and around the APEC zone.
Civil Beat’s Chad Blair shows you Honolulu before and after. (Read the story here.)
Here are my two unsolicited cents:
First, I’m annoyed that the city thinks this expensive facelift is only necessary for APEC. Never mind the 800,000 people who live on Oahu — or the thousands who live, work and play in Waikiki everyday. Why would we need a beautiful place to call home?
And secondly, I’ll take bets how long the city will let this temporary beautification project go to the wayside. We watched city workers plant lush patches of Saint Augustine grass around coconut trees and delicate decorative plants in front of waterfalls — knowing full well these adornments won’t last a month after APEC packs up and leaves.
So what’s the point?
It’s a temporary fix to a long-term problem. And don’t we, the people who actually have to live here beyond APEC, deserve a solution?