Monday, March 20, 2017

Honolulu Chinatown

The Cultural Plaza, built in the 1970's, never did spark
a much desired urban renewal in Chinatown
In the 1950's my grandmother would often take me to Chinatown. The friendly shopkeepers would give me a piece of candy or char siu (roast pork). I would stare at the live chicken that grandmother picked out, destined for slaughter in her back yard. (When I first saw a cleaned, de-feathered, and refrigerated chicken it was a wonder, as well as expensive.) The last stop was Char Hung Sut, where we would pick up noodles, rice cake, and manapua (pork buns). Chinatown was always colorful but never upscale....until now.

The lei shops on Maunakea St. are still there (WSJ photo)
Per the WSJ - Honolulu's Chinatown is "newly hip":
New owners are taking over nondescript spaces and tearing down the stained drop ceilings to create tall, airy spaces; ripping up the worn linoleum and smoothing the concrete floors underneath. They’re also expanding the area’s offerings, peddling everything from moules frites (at the bistro Grondin) to Italian linen dresses (at Echo & Atlas), as well as sophisticated Hawaiian wares.
I'll check it out on my next trip, and it looks like I'll have to save up, too.

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