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Chinatown's beginnings
Hawaii's first Chinese
Chinatown takes shape
Chinatown's other communities
Chinatown fire of 1886
Chinatown fire of 1900
Chinese culture
A`ala Park
Cultural and economic changes
Chinatown's rejuvenation
Chinatown today
Bibliography - Chinatown

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Chinatown today

Honolulu's Chinatown remains one of the city's most vibrant neighborhoods. Landscape architect and planner Laurence Halprin notes, "Where else in America can you wander around in a Chinatown as real, as lively, and authentic as this in Honolulu which gives the same qualities, on a smaller scale of course, as a trip to Hong Kong?"

In the 1980s, the city developed both Maunakea Marketplace and Kekaulike Mall to draw in commercial ventures. Along with O`ahu Marketplace, these centers teem with immigrant entrepreneurs selling fresh produce, seafood, clothing and household items.

While traditional businesses still dominate Chinatown - restaurants, retail shops, bars - the arts are also gaining a foothold in the area. Renovation of the historic Hawai`i Theatre in the early 1990s provided a large professional performance space for local and traveling productions. The Arts at Mark's Garage, opened just around the corner in 2000, offers a smaller alternative space for more casual or experimental work. A handful of art galleries have gained a permanent footing in Chinatown and have garnered a growing local following with a monthly gallery walk begun in 2003.

The residential population of Chinatown has also risen in the last two decades, now approaching 7,000. The population mix is no longer predominantly Chinese, but is heavily Asian and includes Japanese, Cambodians, Laoatians, Vietnamese and Filipinos.

2008 - Year of the Rat

Mrs. Cassella's 4th grade class from Punahou School visits Info Grafik in Chinatown on 2/8/2008. To mark the start of the Chinese New Year 4706 (Year of the Rat) the children spent the morning touring Chinatown and searching in shops for a "mystery item" for their classroom.


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