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by Nicole Jones, student writer


The buzz is that Chinatown is the place to be every first Friday of the month. Downtown comes alive as vendors open their doors, live music fills the streets, and people gather to partake in this monthly celebration. “It’s something different” says Timmy Harman, “and I like it.”

According to a spokesperson at The ARTS at Mark’s Garage, a project of the Hawai‘i Arts Alliance, they are working to transform downtown Honolulu with the power of the arts. Some galleries such as The ARTS at Marks suggest you also visit Thirtyninehotel, which is also its address, and the Kim Taylor Reece Gallery at 1142 Bethel Street.

“ I like the gallery walk,” said 22-year-old Dean Schuild, adding: “there’s new art every month plus free wine. It gives me a night to make me feel like I’m off island.”

Andres Sanchez’s personal favorite gallery is Ong King Arts Center at 184 N. King Street. Sanchez said that Ong King has theater circus-like performances with a vast repertoire of music virtuosos accompanied with food and ‘awa.

Other galleries recommended by The ARTS at Marks include the Bethel Street Gallery at 1140 Bethel Street, The Exhibit Space at 1132 Bishop Street, and Mark and Brown Gallery at 1170 Nu‘uanu Avenue.

Galleries and art studios are not the only places to visit on First Fridays. Kimberley Borges, 22, suggests checking out the restaurants. Borges said that she always eats at Epic with friends.
“ They have a five-course sample meal that’s really good, and you get to try their different dishes,” said Borges.

The area offers whatever you’re in the mood for whether it be French (Du Vin), Cuban (Cuba De Sol), Chinese (Little Village) or something unique like Smoked Salmon Pizza (Bar 35).

Although the event starts early— around six, it goes well into the night as the Next Door Bar located on the corner, also has live music or a DJ, and boasts a unique ambiance with its bare brick walls adorned with interesting wall art. So whatever you’re looking for, First Friday is sure to meet your needs.

Most of the exhibits change or rotate month to month, so to get a complete current listing of shows and or maps of the gallery walk visit www.artsatmarks.com.



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