Party pics: Ghost Ship after-party at Eleven44

The Ghost Ship after-party raged on Friday night at Eleven44. Halloween started early this year for the Ghost Ship crew. Partygoers first pre-gamed on a cruise out of Kewalo Basin early in the evening evening. Sexy and scary costumes were encouraged. After, the crowd continued to Eleven44 to finish off the night.

The Ghost Ship Afterparty at Eleven44

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Our Top 5: Karaoke places

Our Top 5: KaraokeYou better lose yourself in the music. Eminem only had one shot and one opportunity, but we don’t live on the wrong side of 8 Mile. Lucky for us, we live in Honolulu — the karaoke capital of the world outside of Japan.

A Filipino stereotype is having the ability to sing, which unfortunately skipped over me. But what I lack in talent, I make up for in passion. Armed with enthusiasm and a tendency to speak too fast, my genre of choice is rap, and my specialty: Seminal hits (think “Ice Ice Baby” and “Baby Got Back”). I love going to karaoke, but I’m pretty sure my audience loves it more when I stop. Still, it balances out.

During my karaoke career, I’ve been to three types of places — bars, lounges and private venues. The bars tend to offer karaoke as added entertainment, while lounges often have more karaoke rooms. Both do not allow you to BYOB. Private places offer only karaoke and usually allow BYOB.

For my top karaoke spots, I considered the following: price, song selection, parking and atmosphere. My list doesn’t include private karaoke. I can be a lazy guy, so prefer to visit a one-stop-shop for my karaoke and adult beverage needs.

After being a Rap God for days, here are my top picks. Disagree with my opinions? Let me know in the comments.

No. 5: Cafe Gangnam

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If you want to visit Korea, but can't afford the trip, you can still get a taste of Korean-style karaoke at Cafe Gangnam. As you enter, the well-stocked bar dominates the space. There's also a mural of PSY ("Gangnam Style") dancing across the back wall. Rooms here are clean, sleek and free with drink purchases, and it's $1 per song. K-pop is the norm here, but you can also find the usual karaoke staples and contemporary hits. Located at Samsung Plaza in K-town, parking can be rough. Either park in Samsung Plaza for $1, or else it'll be street parking.

What sets this place apart is its Korean food, which is brought straight to your room. Favorites are fried chicken, Korean pancake and kalbi. After all, karaoke can be a hunger-inducing passion.

Cafe Gangnam
611 Keeaumoku St.
808-312-1079

Party pics: Anime Day 2014

Costumed cosplayers congregated at Windward Mall Saturday for Anime Day 2014. The free event, sponsored by Kawaii Kon, featured cosplay events and art activities. Comic book artist Andy Lee illustrated portraits, while the local art group Manga Bento encouraged cosplayers to flex their creativity at an art table. Anime Day 2014 leads up to Kawaii Kon, scheduled for March 2015.

Anime Day 2014

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Party pics: First Friday October 2014

Colorful characters as part of First Friday flooded the streets of Chinatown last night, turning up the block party past midnight. Check out the scene from Nextdoor, Downbeat Diner and Lounge, Fresh Cafe Downtown, The Fix, Eleven44 and more.

First Friday

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Rice Fest Hawaii 2014

Rice lovers gathered Sunday at Ward Centers for Rice Fest Hawaii 2014. The annual event featured all kinds of rice dishes, local musicians and a Spam musubi eating contest. An attempt was also made to create the world’s largest loco moco.

Rice Fest Hawaii 2014

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Photo by Eric Baranda