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Sunday, June 12, 2016

MY LATEST WALK THROUGH HONOLULU CHINATOWN

There are more than 700 Chinatowns in the world, led by 662 in China 50, yes 50 (although some are now pale shadows), in the USA, and 66 more around the world.  There are, of course, the Japanese equivalent, Little Tokyo, here and there, California home to three, with San Francisco more a Little Osaka.  At one time Los Angeles had 30,000 Japanese living near their Japan Town.  The largest Japanese community outside of the country is Sao Paulo, with a total of half a million living in Brazil.  Europe has several, especially in Paris close to the Louvre and Dusseldorf.

Here is one Top Ten list of Best World Chinatowns.  San Francisco is #1, and also for the Best Ten in the USA.  Hawaii?  #6.

As an aside, did you wonder why China has so few cities, for the U.S. has around 20,000.  China has more than four times our population with only 662.  Well, the metropolitan area of Guangzhou has 44 million, Shanghai 36 million and Chongqing 30 million.  Beijing is not even in the top three with 21.5 million.

The history of Honolulu Chinatown is checkered with bubonic plagues, fires and a reputation as Sin City.  Declared a historic district in 1973, nearly half a century later, the crime rate is still above the national average, but the area has gained an artsy reputation, with a whole host of relatively new excellent restaurants.  My various walks through Chinatown mentions:  Lucky Belly, Grondin, Livestock Tavern, The Pig and the Lady, Ray's BYOBLittle Village Noodle House, Marukame Udon and Fete.  Today I went back to Lucky Belly on the corner of Hotel and Smith, looking away from Chinatown:


Above, say hi to Tina, and below, the Belly Bowl I ordered, with a glass of Cava:


This is the best ramen in the world.

Next, a quick walk through Chinatown, beginning with Lychee from Hilo:


Growing up in Kakaako, a backyard neighbor had a huge tree, and we freely picked what we wanted. We called the fruit soursap.  Apparently, the correct term is soursop, and if you've never had it, it is mostly sour, with some sweetness and creaminess.  I hesitated to including these photos, but to some, these are delicacies:


I do eat abalone.    Two strange flowers:


One thing about Chinatown haircuts, they're cheap:


Note my reflection.  On the way home up Nuuanu Avenue, the Gold Tree is again blooming next to Soto Mission:


I noticed there were tamarind pods on the ground, looked up, and...:



I love tamarind, which is like natural Chinese see moi (preserved plums).

I haven't yet decided what to post on tomorrow, but did you know that the 17-year cicada cycle is this year:


Or, maybe GUN CONTROL.  How did we ban machine guns in 1986 (it worked...no deaths from this mode since then--where was the NRA, anyway)?  Same happened for assault rifles in 1994, but lobbyists insured for the sunset of 2004?

On the matter of the 2nd Amendment and constitutional rights of citizens, if I lived in America in 1791, with the British still unhappy, hostile Indians, no police forces and everyone else with guns, I'd own a musket.  The 2nd Amendment is obsolete, but tell that to most Republicans, almost all Conservatives and the National Rifle Association.  Sure, as cruel as that might be, allow simple hunting rifles, but without those  8 round magazines, and small firearms for personal security.  Why would any homeowner need to own an assault weapon with a 30-round mag?  A terrorist or equivalent?  Sure.

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