A Break From The Norm… Nu’uanu Pali

A small break from my normal filth, grime and beautiful abandonment to bring you the beauty that is Hawai’i ūüôā ¬†Last week I had the pleasure of enjoying the trade winds that sweep through the valleys and the warm ocean waters that surround the island of O’ahu. ¬†I had the best time! ¬†So don’t mind me as I make a few posts sharing some amazing photos from this wonderful reprieve of our everyday life. ¬†Have a great weekend everyone!!

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Breathtakingly beautiful is the view from Nu’uanu Pali. Sadly the history of this landmark is not as beautiful. Truth be told, it was very tragic, violent and historic. Pali Lookout or “The Pali” as the locals call it is located in Nu’uanu Pali State Park. The Pali overlooks the 985-foot cliffs of the majestic Ko’olau Mountain Range. ¬†The trade winds blow through the valley between the high mountains on either side, forming a strong wind tunnel of sorts. ¬†This wind tunnel makes for extremely windy conditions up top. ¬†It is said that on extra windy days, you can even lean into the wind and let the gusts hold you up.

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The Nu’uanu Pali was the setting for one of the most significant battles in Hawaiian history. ¬†In 1795 King Kamehameha I, led his forces in the legendary Battle of Nu’uanu near the scenic cliffs of the Nu‚Äôuanu Pali Lookout. The King and his army invaded Oahu, arriving in an imposing fleet of war canoes at Waikiki Beach. The Oahu warriors were led by Kalanikupule, the ali’i nui of Maui and Oahu. This momentous battle resulted in the conquering of Oahu and the eventual unification of the Hawaiian Islands under one rule in 1810.

Kamehameha‚Äôs army marched to Nu’uanu Valley to face Kalanikupule‚Äôs troops. The ensuing battle was fierce, bloody and unrelenting. Gradually, Kamehameha‚Äôs men gained an advantage, forcing Kalanikupule‚Äôs forces to retreat further up the valley. The O’ahu Warriors attempted to make a final stand, but Kamehameha‚Äôs army was too strong. Thousands of Kalanikupule‚Äôs men were pursued and driven over the steep cliffs to their deaths. It‚Äôs said that the victory was so complete that not a single Oahu warrior that got into the upper part of the valley escaped alive.

In 1897 an engineering firm was hired to build what is now the Old Pali Road, a winding road used to carry traffic across the mountains. During construction, workers found an estimated 800 human skulls and other human bones at the foot of the cliffs‚ÄĒthe century-old remains of Kalanikupule‚Äôs slain warriors.

Note: Pali means cliffs
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Ali’i¬†means¬†chief

Easton Theater

Once one of Detroit’s great neighborhood theaters…now a den of decay.

The Eastown opened in 1930 as a movie house, although it did have a small stage and would occasionally host stage shows during its early years. The theater featured an auditorium with a large balcony, seating just shy of 2,500 patrons. ¬†In the mid 1960‚Äôs the Eastown closed as a movie house and embarked on an adventure that would name them to be one of Detroit’s premiere rock venues. Between 1969 and 1973, the Eastown would host a number of famous acts, a virtual who‚Äôs-who of the current rock and roll era, performers such as the Grateful Dead, Alice Cooper, Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, Bob Seger, Pink Floyd, and Jethro Tull just to name a few.

From 1973 to 1990 the Eastown would go through many changes eventually ending in its demise and sordid reputation. In 1973 the city of Detroit forced the theater to close after failing to meet numerous health and safety codes. In 1975, it reopened as a jazz venue, but only remained open for 1 year. For a short time after, it was used for performing arts and live theater, but again closed down. In 1980, under the name ‚ÄúThe Showcase‚ÄĚ, the Eastown began to show adult films, but closed again in 1984. From 1984 to 1990, the Eastown was once again home to a performing arts group. ¬†During the mid-90s, the Eastown hosted raves and later housed a church. Abandoned since the mid-late 1990’s, today the building is unused and falling apart rapidly.
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A few weeks before our visit, the roof of the upper balcony completely collapsed, exposing the sky above and subjecting the remnants of the building to the elements.

High School (GWF)

img_1041_tonemapped-copyAbandoned since the late 1990’s, the school went through many additions and changes during its lifetime. ¬†The school was originally built to cope with the overwhelming number of students arriving in the growing city each day.

Originally built in 1911 the school started out as an Elementary School, however during construction it was already evident that the school would not be enough classrooms to house all of the potential students, so two additional wings were built at either end of the school.  From 1913-1924 even more additions were built, including extra classrooms, a swimming pool and a gymnasium.

In 1960 the school switched gears and transformed into a middle school. ¬†The last addition to the school building was a combination cafeteria / auditorium, built onto the western wing. ¬†As the city population started to decrease due to the economy, the school in turn experienced a decline in enrollment that it would never recover from. ¬†Eventually closing in the late 1990’s.

The school perfectly reflects the rapid increase and decrease the city experienced due to the boom and bust of the automotive industry in Detroit.  It appears there were tentative plans to re-open the school in 2001, but sadly the number of students in the school district continued to decline.  As is typical of almost all abandoned/vacant buildings in the city, the school has been stripped clean of anything of value. As of yet, there has been no plans mentioned to demolish the school.

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Upon exploring the school it was surprising to me, just how much was left behind.  We stumbled across a science classroom with a closet of chemicals still on the shelves, pouring out of the bottles, microscopes on a desk, cabinets still full of textbooks, desks/chairs, football helmets strewn about and lockers pulled off the wall.

It had been raining on and off through our visit, so there was evident rain damage everywhere.  With the exception of hanging metal, swinging when the wind would blow through the broken out window frames, it was peacefully quiet walking down the halls of this once bustling school.