Saturday, November 13, 2010

Things to Do: The Contemporary Museum

The Contemporary Museum (TCM) in Honolulu is...contemporary (read: weird) so most people won't like this place.  However, it's air conditioned and near Punchbowl Cemetery.  So if you visited Punchbowl and have extra time in the afternoon, want to cool off, have lunch, and pick up a few gifts, then it's worth it.

The hotel is located at 2411 Makiki Heights Drive on the slopes of Tantalus Mountain.  I'd recommend using a GPS, you need to make several twists and turns up several roads to get here.  The Museum is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday thru Saturday, 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm Sunday and closed on Mondays.  The Cafe is open from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm Tuesday thru Saturday, 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm on Sunday.

I was underwhelmed when I visited the museum.  It's small and with few exhibits.  That's understandable considering the few museums in Hawaii were originally someone's home, Hawaii is the youngest state, and the donor base is small.  

Like the Honolulu Academy of Arts, TCM was originally a residence donated after the owners passed away. Hence, the decorated tennis court.

It's more impressive when you think that someone had a pool, tennis court,  large front yard, and spacious garden.  Not quite a mansion, but you could easily throw a party for 150 people.

The exhibits have a zen-like, minimalist quality set among the spacious garden and interior.  Few would appreciate it *Cough! Emily! Cough!* but it is quiet and peaceful.  Okay, maybe J.D. and Chuck would dig this place, too.
This is one of the less weird exhibits inside the museum.  If you want to see weird, oops, I mean contemporary, stop by.

Or you can do what those people are doing and just chill out on the lawn.

This is an exhibit, not a bench.  Please don't sit on the artwork.

The two things that I liked about TCM was the gift shop and the Contemporary Cafe.  The gift shop is small, but is packed with several humorous and local items.  One item that stood out was the T-shirt above.  As for the Contemporary Cafe, the one thing they do that other museums don't is make you a box lunch.  But, you need to call ahead.  The Cafe is lined with various art however, I wasn't able to try the food because the Cafe was closed.  So maybe next time.

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