The Conversation: Music Glory Days in Chinatown, Joining the Citizens' Patrol
Chinatown Citizen's Patrol on Mayor Blangiardi's intiatives; New approach to policing Chinatown's unsheltered population; Moloka?i Arts Center offers free classes; Downbeat Diner and Lounge; Manifest cafe-bar back in business; Wo Fat Building restoration
Chinatown Citizen's Patrol on the state of the neighborhood and Mayor Blangiardi's intiatives
At the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board meeting, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi told attendees to hold him accountable for a list of initiatives spanning most, if not all, city departments. Members of the board including Chair Kevin Lye were joined by HPR's Noe Tanigawa for stroll down Bethel Street.
New approach to policing Chinatown's unsheltered population
The City is starting a new approach to policing Chinatown's unsheltered population. The new program would send health and social workers to 911 emergency calls instead of police officers. Anton Krucky, head of the Mayor's Office of Housing and Homelessness, and Alex Kozlov, head of the Department of Design and Construction, talked about the program.
Moloka?i Arts Center offering free art classes for all | Full Article
Artist Kim Kai, who flew to Honolulu with work from the Moloka‘i Arts Center, told us about a program called Pana‘i Aloha—Giving Back to Moloka‘i. The goal? Helping the island cope and revitalize in light of the pandemic. Maui County and the Atherton Foundation are funding free classes for residents and visitors alike.
Downbeat Diner creating a new era in Chinatown
Guitarist Joshua Hancock has been part of the Chinatown scene from the early 2000s. In 2010, he and a partner opened Downbeat Diner and Lounge on Hotel Street, a rock and vegan music venue that helped create an era in Chinatown. Now, he's the Director of Food and Beverage at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Manifest cafe and bar clawing their way through the pandemic
Hotel Street can feel pretty homey, especially once you know Nicole and Brandon Reid of Manifest Cafe-Bar. They opened at the height of the Great Recession in 2009 with art and music as their business plan. They thrived hosting music, poetry and art shows until March last year. They’ve somehow clawed their way through the pandemic with key staff members and are looking forward to what’s next.
Restoration of Wo Fat Building underway
The iconic Wo Fat Building with its scalloped roof sits at the corner of Hotel and Maunakea streets. Facade preservation work is underway right now for a project that’s seen as pivotal for Chinatown’s future. Former University of Hawaii coach and project partner June Jones flew back to Honolulu for the blessing and start of renovations.
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