I remember visiting Honolulu (a few islands over from Hilo) years ago and meeting up with friends at the nightlife hot spots – The Point After and Masquerades. For a city of a million people, that was it, and we had to drive between them.
Honolulu now has a CoolTown spot (elements of a CoolTown) at Aloha Tower and there’s no question where I’d have gone every night back then: dozens of places to drink, eat, dance, listen to music, shop, or just walk around and “sightsee”. Plus, there’s the backdrop of the Honolulu skyline, the island’s mountains, the ocean and night sky.
Unfortunately, it’s so popular that it’s getting expensive – time to build another one. What would make it a true CoolTown is if it were affordable to entrepreneurs and artists, and that they could actually live on-site.