On the First Friday of every month, Honolulu’s Chinatown hosts an event showcasing Chinatown’s unique art galleries, retail boutiques, restaurants, and live entertainment. It’s an awesome scene, and highly recommended for anyone visiting or living in Honolulu (or Oahu).
My wife and I decided on a whim last Friday to fly over to Honolulu (the burdensome 20 min flight from Kauai) to attend.Â It’s not very often that we get to live the big city life (Kauai is, well… rural).Â The aptly named ‘First Friday’ is apparently so popular that hotel concierges stock multiple maps detailing the locations of the art galleries, restaurants, nightclubs and even parking.Â The evening is slated to start at 5pm and go until 9pm (even though it was clear that 9pm is when a lot of things are just getting started).Â Parking was a bit of a challenge, but well worth the hunt.Â Once you’re out of your car (or even better, taxi), everything in Chinatown is within walking distance.
It’s a popular event, so expect a crowd.Â I took this photo of the ‘Yellow Dak’ Lion Dancing and drum troupe… it’s a little blurry, but somehow that’s appropriate.Â The troupe walked up and down Chinatown, drumming and dancing.Â The loud drums could be heard throughout the night, and the nearly full moon helped with the ambiance, too.
Some of Hawaii’s finest artists were featured in the galleries, everything from more traditional Hawaiian art to modern art… and a variety of media; photos, paintings, collages, etc.Â The event has its own website featuring the artists.
The restaurant selection in Chinatown is incredible, too.Â We ended up in a French restaurant, Du Vin, where the food was as outstanding as the people-watching.Â And, of course, after hours, there are numerous nightclubs to dance the night away (we didn’t, but judging by the lines out the doors of all the clubs, it’s a busy nightlife on First Fridays).
I have to say, I think more highly of Honolulu after First Friday.Â The art, food, music, and equally important… the people, all combined for a particularly unique experience, unlike any other city in the world could provide.Â We, especially on the “neighbor” islands (I use quotes because some take offense to that name) often love to complain about Honolulu… but it’s really just a big version of a small town, and First Friday really tells that story.Â I’m always looking for suggestions for events in Hawaii… so feel free to share if you know of any.
A hui hou, Honolulu!