we aren’t exactly sure either.

Words by Naz Kawakami // Photos by Maxfield Smith, Royce Hui, and Christian Navarro

Words by Naz Kawakami // Photos by Maxfield Smith, Royce Hui, and Christian Navarro

The theme of this issue is Party, an activity we here at Chinatown Now enjoy very much. Nothing better than going to someone else’s place, drinking their alcohol, dancing to a crappy Spotify, destroying that place and leaving satisfied. However, the guilt of a thousand free beers and several broken windows has weighed on us, and we thought we ought to try and return the favor to the world. Instead of being the destructive force at a party, we thought we’d try and throw one.

But how exactly does one go about doing that? When Chinatown Now began, we threw some great ones, but it’s not like riding a bike, and we are a forgetful bunch. Motivated by journalistic curiosity (guilt?), we thought we’d have one of our unluckier employees attempt to throw a party while we drink alcohol and laugh. He threw it and he wrote about it and here it is.


1. Pick a reason

Find a reason to party. It’s fall and we like to get spooky, so Halloween is the natural choice for an occasion.

2. Find a place

Your apartment is awful, and bars have rules, so find somewhere else. I chose the lovely Aupuni Space in Kaka‘ako. You might ask, “Why is Chinatown Now throwing a party outside of Chinatown?” We’re looking to spread our gospel and Kaka‘ako is just down the road, which makes them first in line.

3. Ask for money

Money buys a better time, and if you can ever not pay for something, don’t. Ask your venue, your friends, your mom.

4. Get used to disappointment

I asked my editor for $200 and he told me to fuck off.

5. Ask for help

Your friends are just as poor as you are, but they’re probably willing to help, and their assistance is much needed. By saying pretty please, I scored a venue, three bands, decorations, a video projection installation, and partnered with local promoter Full of Noise for a sound system.

6. Ask for more help

Your party needs a flyer. Statistically speaking, one or more of your friends have introduced themselves at a party (or on Tinder) as a “graphic designer/creative.” Get them to open their MacBook and spit out a cool flyer with all the pertinent info for your party.

This party is going to be a failure and it is all your fault. Nobody likes you.They never did.

7. Promote your party

Shove that flyer onto every Instagram you can and down the throat of every person you encounter from now till party time. If you’re feeling extra underground, leave the location off the flyer and don’t announce it till the day of, but that leaves you open to the potential for an attendance of zero.

8. Gather your decorations if needed

In this instance, it is needed. As with any party, the quality of one boils down to ambience. Lighting is key as it creates not only spectacle, but vibe. Also, skip the big purchases in favor of smaller, more subtle décor options. You’d be amazed at what some well-placed spider webs and a few nooses will do for your party.

9. Get your alcohol

A combination of hard alcohol and beer is always favorable. But given the mess and complexity of making and serving mixed drinks while a band rages on a couple of feet away, the simple can of beer is best. In this case, our lovely friends at Honolulu Beer Works lent us a hand and cut us a deal. Don’t have friends like that? Make some! Shoot an email over to your local alcohol distributor and ask if they’d trade a few cans in exchange for some conveniently placed logos on your flyer (refer to “creative” friend for changes).

10. Arrive early and procrastinate

If you’re the type to throw a party for no reason, you’re also probably the type to procrastinate on it.

11. Ask your friends to start decorating while you drive frantically to pick up more supplies

Realize how much time you wasted and ask your friends to keep up the good work while you make several trips to Walmart. (I can’t believe you forgot the fucking duct tape!)

12. Forget to bring an aux cord and call everyone you know to ask for one

While you may have remembered the mixer, drums, and amps, you forgot the lynchpin of the whole goddamn thing: the aux cord. Call somebody.

13. Have several moments of insecurity while you suspect that nobody will arrive

This party is going to be a failure and it is all your fault. Nobody likes you.They never did.

14. Allow those moments to pass as people begin to fill the room

They showed up. Thank god. Now give them something to listen to.

15. Play your friend’s ipod nano over the loud speaker until the bands finish their sound check

This is why you needed the aux. Mood music before, after, and between bands is vital. The music before the first band should be mellow but fun. We recommend the Kinks, LCD Soundsystem, and The Cure.

16. drink an enormous amount of alcohol while the first band (goon lei goon) kicks it off

It has begun. There is no turning back now. Take a shot and watch the fun ensue.

17. Play music over the speaker while the next band (lame radio) gets ready

The first band got the dancing going, the next band is setting up, and the iPod is dead. Plug in your phone and play something that’ll keep that energy up. We recommend Devo, Billy Idol, and New Order.

18. Smoke outside during most of the second band’s set

You don’t smoke? You do now. Relax. Let loose.

19. Get back to being a DJ

The interlude between the middle and the final band is important. The crowd is drunk, sweaty, and insatiable. They want to sing along to something fast and loud, and you want them to do exactly that. We recommend "Jet Boy Jet Girl," "Video Killed the Radio Star," and "Any Way You Want It."

20. As the final band (the common dandies) goes on, prepare for the inevitable destruction of carefully placed decorations

The lights you hung from the ceiling are being ripped down by the feet of a crowd surfer. The pumpkins are being smashed. Things are going well.

21. Dance

Don’t be one of those people who stands in the back scrolling through Instagram. You don't look cool you look boring.

22. Brace yourself as the last band takes all of their clothes off

Just try not to make eye contact while they do it.

23. Take a moment to yourself

As that final band finishes up, look at yourself in the mirror. Your face is covered in sweat and someone else’s make up, and there’s a noose around your neck. Good job.

24. Make your most helpful friends angry at you

You weren’t attentive enough and you turn into an ass when you’re stressed... it’s bound to happen.

25. Play their song requests over the speaker to try and make up for it

No amount of Mo Bamba plays will make them forgive you, but it’s worth a shot.

26. Clean up

How did such a serene place become so disgustingly horrid so quickly? This too, is your fault. Sweep up the cigarette butts and mop up the spilled everything. Carry your box of lights and fog machines to your friend’s car and fall asleep in the backseat.

27. Wake up the next day to various thank you and apology texts

Send your own thank you and apology texts.

28. Think

About all of the time and money you spent—all of the memories you made and all of the people who came together to make them with you. Think about all of the joy on all of those people’s faces and know that there will never be another party quite like it.

29. Never do it again.


Aupuni, Alec, Donnie, Alyssa, Jacob, Kainalu, Lame, Goon Lei Goon, Common Dandies, LCD Soundsystem, NMG Network, Halloween, Kaylee, Jordan, The Buggles, Honolulu Beer Works, Violent Femmes, Royce, Christian