For a slice of K Streets demographic, visit the McDonald’s on Keeaumoku Street. Early morning is best.
You have your Korean ladies golf groups on the patio, perfectly coiffed hair, enormous visors and trendy attire. A few taxi drivers sit nearby with stunned looks on their faces like cattle waiting for the sledge to fall. They probably had a tough night.
Inside is the senior cohort sitting in small groups, sipping their free refill of coffee and waxing eloquently and authoritatively on all the world’s ills. Get off my lawn, kid. It is amazing to see how long the codgerly set can make a cup of coffee last.
The small front patio is often the domain of the homeless and crazy. One guy seems to be talking to the sidewalk newspaper stand while a couple who have resided for months in a tent at Pawaa In-Ha Park snag a robust bag of breakfast goodies, cups of expensive designer coffees and looks that kill from more prosperous customers.
Some families can be found herding the kids around the store and grabbing huge quantities of napkins, filling multiple tiny paper ketchup buckets and then scoping a place to park the family that won’t expose the kids to Uncle McNasty, and there’s always at least one Uncle McNasty in residence.
During the weekdays you have the worker bees grabbing their daily McFix. Most seem to work at the huge HMSA fortress building (perhaps our most astonishingly ugly commercial property) and a surprising number seem from India.
On weekends you get early birds bound for Ala Moana beach park or to the sale tables at the shopping venues. The two-lane drive through keeps on pumping.
Local columnist and write Lee Cataluna often opined that the soul of Honolulu could be found at the Pali Long’s store. Maybe so. But if you want to see the cross section of K Street folk, visit McDonald’s.