Hawaii’s Hong Kong
Honolulu’s Chinatown is “livelier than ever,” said Bonnie Tsui in The New York Times. This bustling neighborhood, steeped in history, has gone through countless changes since it first sprang up in the early 1800s. A new crop of cafes, bakeries, and boutiques has recently opened, transforming this section of Hawaii’s capital into an “arts hub and gritty, up-and-coming place to shop and eat.” Tin Can Mailman, an antiques store that was relocated from Kauai, specializes in “vintage Hawaiiana,” ranging from hand-painted ukuleles to a “many-hued collection of midcentury Bakelite bracelets.” Chef Betty Pang’s beloved Green Door Cafe serves up Nonya cuisine, which mixes Chinese, Malay, and other influences. Manifest, a “chic coffee bar by day and sleek cocktail bar by night,” hosts art openings and music events in its glass-ceilinged, exposed-brick loft space.
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A slice of ‘Old Florida’
Anna Maria Island may be one of the least pretentious places on the planet, said Andrea Sachs in The Washington Post. “Trimmed in white,” this thin strip of old-fashioned Florida sits just off the state’s west coast, in between Sarasota and St. Petersburg. It’s one of eight isles, “surrounded by water as clear and blue as the cloudless sky,” that make up the Gulf Islands. You won’t find a chain hotel—let alone a Starbucks—anywhere on Anna Maria, and the island proudly boasts a building-height limit of three stories and a speed limit that never exceeds 35 mph. Visitors lucky enough to know about this Floridian secret spend their days paddling the Robinson Preserve, a 400-acre mangrove and salt marsh reserve where bald eagles sit “stoically” in the trees. Evenings are lazed away at Sandbar Restaurant, where watching the sunset is considered a “momentous occasion.”
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