Aloha Chinatown Honalulu

I had heard and read a lot about the Chinatown in Honalulu. Large, bustling, exotic … instead I found it not-so-large, very decrepit, and unfortunately co-existing with the flophouse/druggie scene reminiscient of Vancouver’s lower east side. The streets were strangely empty for a workday at 4.30. As visible in the picture, the downtown core is barely a block away. Two sides of the Chinatown were surrounded by enormous high rise blocks (40 stories) of condos and student residences but they seemed to somehow ignore the Chinatown area.

As part of urban renewal or some such scheme, a newish structure is shown in the pictures. I think it is a parking garage. The top band of the structure is decorated with reliefs showing the various animals of the chinese zodiac. I thought it a subtle chinese element; the building itself reminded me of the By Ward Market building here in Ottawa, with parking garage above shops.

In the next post, there will be more conspicuously Chinese/oriental touches on some new buildings in Honalulu.