Is there any smell better than the aroma of baking bread?

That’s just one of the many delights to be found on Middle Street, the newly proposed terminus of the Honolulu rail line.

Critics are wailing about Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s proposal, the result of running out of money to take the train route all the way to Ala Moana Center, the seventh-largest shopping mall in the United States.

Loves Fresh Bread. 22 june 2016
Love’s Bakery includes a little shop for retail sales. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

But that’s just stinkin’ thinkin’.

Middle Street is full of wonders, starting with Love’s Bakery — “the largest wholesale baker of original and distributed breads, buns, donuts and pies in Hawaii.”

Did you know that Love’s, established in 1851, has a little shop? Bet you did not. On Wednesday it was selling Small Love’s White-N-Wheat for $2.29 a pound and Diamond Bakery Original Animal Crackers for a similarly bargain price.

A couple blocks mauka of Love’s is the Apostolic Faith Church of Honolulu, home of the “Jesus Coming Soon” sign that freeway drivers can’t miss. Fern Elementary, where Mufi Hannemann went to grade school long before he became the city’s tallest mayor ever, and Fern Community Park, where he no doubt played, are right next door.

Bus Facility Middle Street. 22 june 2016
Need to catch TheBus? Middle Street is the place! Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Close by is T&L Market.

“Place is unreal cheap. Gives a lot of food for the price,” says Eugene E. on Yelp. “Curry is awesome as well as the fried chicken. Everything is great. Gotta try it.”

There’s a Chevron, an ATM and a store that sells liquor in the neighborhood, too.

Going in the makai direction, take a turn toward Diamond Head on North King Street. MD Restoration is on that block, there for all your water-damage needs. Walter’s Sound & Karaoke Shop is next door, then New City Nissan.

Middle Street Jesus coming Soon. 22 june 2016
Honolulu’s rail project may have company when it gets to Middle Street. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

OK, back to Middle Street and heading makai.

While there is nothing of interest on the Ewa side, the Diamond Head side is home to what I’ll call The Hub of Honolulu Public Transportation (actually called the Kalihi-Palama Bus Facility, a name that simply doesn’t have the zing of The Hub). This is where Oahu Transit Services has its offices, home to TheBus and TheHandi-Van.

At The Hub — sorry, I mean “TheHub” — you’ll find city buses and vans arriving and leaving every 30 seconds or so. And best of all: There are public restrooms! And shade! And a place to lock up bicycles!

Kamehameha Schools Kapalama campus1. 22 june 2016
Hey, is that Kamehameha Schools in the distance? Visible all the way from Middle Street! Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The fun is just beginning on Middle Street.

Back on the nothing Ewa side, a short walk will take you to the spot where the city parks its dump trucks. Who knew that’s where they were stored? Not me.

You are now close to all those concrete overpasses including the Nimitz Viaduct. Underneath is the perfect place to find shelter from the elements. And last time I checked, the authorities had swept out all the homeless.

Take a left on Dillingham Boulevard (which is actually the tail end of Kamehameha Highway — how about that?) and you’ll find ColorTyme Rent To Own, Cosco Air Conditioning & Refrigeration and — miracle of miracles! — Marukai Wholesale Mart.

On Wednesday, Marukai was offering plenty free samples. Score!

Middle Street Looking west1. 22 june 2016
Middle Street looking west. Hello, Honolulu rail! Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Across Dillingham you’ll find a large gray building with no signage. I’m told it has something to do with money, but what do I know?

I do know the large gray building next to that, however — it’s the Oahu Community Correctional Center, aka OCCC.

I could go on, but why bother?

All your needs are met on Middle Street: Bread. God. School. Booze. Fried chicken. Gas. Money. Cars. Japanese food. Karaoke. Restrooms. Jail.

Clearly, Mayor Caldwell and Council Chair Ernie Martin are on to something. Ala Moana simply pales in comparison.

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