I don’t try to deny it when someone says I hardly ever get out of Chinatown. They’re right. I really don’t. What’s good about this scene is there’s something for everyone. What’s even better is, well, there’s Chinatown. My whole life I never lived anywhere for more than a few years at a time so being able to live here and see a whole district of great spots open up and thrive before my eyes is an experience in itself. It’s literally everything we need. If I want to mingle with my fellow grown-ups and business professionals (Bar35, JJ Dolan’s), I can. If I want a legit dive bar for not so dive people (Mercury Bar), Iʻve got it. If I want a legit dive bar for all people (Smith’s), there’s that too. The clubbie clubs are smaller but you can still feel glamorous with a martini at BambuTwo and Indigo. Sports gets its fair play with Murphy’s and O’Toole’s. There’s jazz (Dragon Upstairs), there’s EDM (Soho) and there’s even dubstep (Lotus). Spots with a creative soul like thirtyninehotel, Nextdoor and The Manifest round up what is seriously the best neighborhood for nightlife for progressive people ages 21-40. They’ve got it and I love it.
What’s good about a lot of these spots is the versatility of each one. You might be surrounded by shiny dresses and stilettos one night then arty tee shirt dudes and kicks the next. More often than not, it’s all of those things. The Wave closed its doors then stretched itself across a whole neighborhood. Walking around Saturday night between all these places was almost more fun than being inside those places. The vibrant assortment of faces and events is just as awesome to look at as the mountains and ocean when you’re on the east side, and those people are really what makes it what it is. It’s now become stylish to detest the masses that flock to the streets on First Fridays, it’s also brought the logic of creating another art walk, on another Friday of the month, to keep that idea (and the neighborhood) alive. I know it’s not easy to keep these places going, and through the years everyone has seen some tough times, but knowing that Chinatown is there for us every weekend, and even on the weeknights, is comforting. So thank you.
Moving beyond Chinatown, this weekend is World Sake Day. There are going to be parties for it all across the world and even in the US. It’s all about sake! If anyone should be killing it on World Sake Day in America, it’s Hawaii. TY KU knows that and they’ve put together a nation-wide celebration. It’s a simultaneous sake toast from New York to LA. I mean from New York to Hawaii. The multi-toast time is 9pm New York time, which falls at 2pm Honolulu time. That means be somewhere with a killer view of Diamond Head where there’s lots of skin. The pool deck at the Queen Kapiolani was happy to host and with promoters like Furious and Tantriq Entertainment, it’s expected to be a damn good looking daytime party. I’m all about those. Sure, it’s far away from my usual stomping grounds but worth it to toast with the rest of the nation. Any excuse to show the world what’s going on in Honolulu is fine with me.