Monday, September 12, 2016


Enjoy your cheese, sunbirds

Specialty meats and some 35 cheeses also may be purchased by the pound. The cheese offerings will expand as more selections arrive from local purveyors, said Johan Svensson, executive chef for Dean &DeLuca.
Star-Advertiser, 9/12/2016

by Larry Geller

Perhaps you thought I was kidding when I predicted lots of cheese in Kakaako’s future. In fact, it’s not possible to do gentrification properly in today’s America without cheese.

The red carpets rolled out to lure wealthy sunbirds and millionaires to pricy Waikiki or Kakaako condos are strewn not with flowers but with wedges of cheese.

CheeseAnd so it’s no surprise at all that today’s Star-Advertiser article (in the “Money” section, of course) announcing the opening of Dean & DeLuca’s in the posh Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach features a chef holding a platter of cheese. (Star-Advertiser p. B1, Dean & DeLuca to open first Hawaii site in Waikiki, 9/12/2016). Of course, cheese is featured.

[Just to demonstrate that I have no antipathy to cheese, note the small sampling of cheeses from our own fridge.]

So they will start with 35 cheeses and expand from there. Gentrification is well under way.

The ultra-rich need their Zabars, Whole-Foods, Dean & DeLucas and cheese shops because they eat lots of cheese.

“When Miss Petitfour made a fancy salad, Minky watched the way the lettuce leaves bent under the slight weight of the Parmesan; when Miss Petitfour had cheese toast for tea, Minky noticed how the cheddar melted into every little crevice and crater of the toast. She licked her whiskers greedily when Miss Petitfour lowered her hand to feed her snippets and smidgens, pinches and wedges, slices and crumbs. Minky loved all cheese--Swiss cheese, Edam cheese, Gruyere and Roquefort, Brie cheese and blue cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan, hard cheese, crumbly cheese, creamy cheese, lumpy cheese. Minky even had a cheese calendar that she kept with, which Miss Petitfour had given to her for Christmas. Each month there was a big picture of a different kind of cheese in a mouthwatering pose: blue cheese cavorting with pears, cheddar laughing with apples, Gruyere lounging with grapes, Edam joking with parsley.”
― Anne Michaels, The Adventures of Miss Petitfour

Instead of workforce housing which would make sense so many ways, our legislators decided to cater to the rich, ultra-rich, foreign investors and sunbirds. For one thing, no $8.1 billion train is needed if one can walk to work or take a bus to Waikiki. Instead, we’re making it possible for the ultra-rich to walk a short distance to nearby Whole Foods or Dean & DeLuca.

Too bad we, the public, are not involved in city planning.

Here is the gift we are giving the moneyed folk:

Kakaako 2050[3]

If you would like to drive over and sniff the cheeses, the article notes that parking is $4 per half hour for your sniffing.


Worse from a moral sense is the history underlying these luxury condos and cheese shops. It’s not just third-world countries that clear the slums to build housing for the rich. Honolulu city government did the same, with its repeated sweeps of Kakaako homeless and lack of planning for affordable housing (there still is no plan to produce the number of housing units the city will need).

I can't believe what inept politicians and cops we have in Hawaii who think solving the homeless problem means taking their stuff. Try having all your worldly possessions taken by guys with guns at 3AM... guys who tell you their job is to protect and serve. See how long it takes you to recover mentally from that and stop being homeless when all you can think about is how much you need to poop and drink water and eat and sleep and wash/dry your clothes and get out of the rain and heal your wounds but you can't because the cops took your clothes and soap and bike and tent and bed and food and meds and trash you were gonna recycle for cash.—
Anonymous comment

Enjoy your cheese, sunbirds.


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