In the Neighborhood: Kimi Evans shares favorite memories of growing up in Little Tokyo

Thursday, August 2, 2018
In the Neighborhood: Kimi Evans shares memories of life in Little Tokyo
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Kimi Evans has lived all over Los Angeles, but the one constant presence in her life was the community she grew up with in Little Tokyo.

LITTLE TOKYO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Kimi Evans has lived all over Los Angeles - attending preschool on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, elementary school in Monterey Park and college at USC. However, the one constant community in her life has been Little Tokyo.

Her mother was a Pan Am stewardess based in L.A., and her earliest memories include her time at Union Church.

Down the street was the New Otani Hotel.

"My family had a little gift shop right over here, and I would come, run around and play, and from time to time, obviously, take home a little stuffed animal," Evans said.

She often spent New Year's Day in the garden upstairs.

Evans was a competitive Merrie Monarch hula dancer. In the summer, she would watch the Nisei Week Parade and eventually, as Nisei queen, she also got to participate in the festival.

Her local hangout was Oiwake, where she often sang karaoke.

The Japanese Village Plaza was the place to be and had the best comfort food. Evans recently sat down to share a meal with Min Tonai, her mentor, friend and pillar of the community

"I was involved with Nisei Week because of the JACL (Japanese American Citizens League), that's how I met you," he told Evans.

Evans was very active and involved in her community - from making mochi at Fugetsu-Do to taking classes at East West Players. Looking ahead, she hopes to continue following in the footsteps of her news anchor grandfather.