Entries from August 2005

August 31, 2005

Mission Tiki: A New Tiki Drive-In

Filed under: Los Angeles,Palm Springs,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:16 pm

Mission Tiki, a tiki-themed drive-in, is being developed in Montclair, California. Mission Tiki is the remodelling of a drive-in that opened in 1956, the Mission Drive-in at 10798 Ramona Ave (the corner of Mission & Ramona). It’s being developed by De Anza, the same folks responsible for the immensely popular Starlight Drive-in in Atlanta, Georgia. De Anza’s Teri Oldknow says that she hopes to get the same sort of special events going at Mission Tiki that have become an institution at Starlight, where movies are just part of the attraction, including car shows and flea markets. De Anza has turned to one of my very favorite tiki artists, Tiki Diablo, to outfit the Mission Tiki.

Tiki Trader Joe’s

Filed under: Los Angeles,Monterey & Big Sur,Palm Springs,San Francisco,Tiki,Tucson — Humuhumu @ 2:30 pm

Trader Joe’s may share the “bringing you the best from around the world” M. O. with Trader Vic’s, but historically that has been the end of the connection to tiki. However, more and more Trader Joe’s are going tiki in their decor; locations that have been reported to have tikis include the Pasadena location on Rosemead Blvd, a Tucson location, San Luis Obispo on Higuera St., Cathedral City, Daly City, Santa Cruz, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Cerritos and Manhattan Beach. These locations all appear to have added their tikis within just the past couple of years, and even more exciting, they’re turning to artists local to each store, using art from their own community.

August 30, 2005

Tiki Artist Purple Jade Affected by Hurricane Katrina

Filed under: Art,News,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 8:05 pm

Popular tiki artist Purple Jade has likely lost her New Orleans home due to Hurricane Katrina. She and her family have been able to evacuate, but reports have indicated that there is a good chance her home is submerged, and most of her belongings had to be left behind.

Purple Jade specializes in accessories, jewelry and home decor items. Her renderings are characterized by a high level of detail; she has a strong eye for traditional Oceanic art, and a solid appreciation of vintage Polynesian Pop. Immediately after the tsunami in Southeast Asia, she donated the proceeds from sales of her pieces to the tsunami relief effort.

It is too early to tell exactly how we can help Purple Jade, as it may be some time before she is able to assess her situation. There is a thread on Tiki Central where ideas are being collected, and hopefully we’ll soon be able to band together to lend a hand to her and other tikiphiles affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Tiki Talk: A Tiki Blog

Filed under: Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:20 am

Assuming you’re here because you love tiki, I think you’ll also enjoy Tiki Talk, a tiki link blog run by Tiki Centralite Hot Lava. Today he shines the spotlight on Don Tiki; previous links include how to tikify your SIMS, and Tiki Bar TV.

August 31 Is the Last Day for Discount Hukilau Passes

Filed under: Events,Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:48 am

The Hukilau is happening October 6-8 (boy, that’s coming up quickly!), and tomorrow, August 31, is the last day to get passes for the event at a discounted rate. Through tomorrow, 3 day passes (Thursday – Saturday) are $35 and 4 day passes (Thursday – Sunday) are $45. After tomorrow, passes go up: 3 day is $45 and 4 day is $55. Individual day passes will be available at the door for each day at the rate of $20.

The Hukilau has always been a massive, tent-pole event, and this year is no exception. As if an evening spent at the magical Mai Kai surrounded by other tikiphiles wasn’t enough, they’ve also scored a few special guests: Robert Drasnin, Yma Sumac and Bunny Yeager. That’s only the tip of the iceberg (hm, not the greatest metaphor for a tiki event, but I digress…) of what that weekend has in store. Check out the official event website for more enticing details. Last year, a hurricane couldn’t keep me away; you can be sure I’ll be there this year.

August 29, 2005

Crazy Al on TV & Runnin’ for Charity

Filed under: People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 7:05 pm

Tiki carver and entertainer extraordinaire Crazy Al Evans is going to be on television this week, on TV Guide Channel’s show “Ready Set Change.” He’s part of an episode called “Gilligan’s Backyard,” and he carved tiki #94 during the show. Here’s the schedule for when his episode is airing:

Monday 8/29 – 8pm/7pm Central and 11pm/10pm Central
Tuesday 8/30 – 12pm/11am Central
Thursday 9/1 – 9pm/8pm and 12am/11pm Central
Saturday 9/3 – 2pm/1pm Central
Sunday 9/4 – 6pm/5pm Central

If you are a DirecTV subscriber, TV Guide Channel is 224, and Ready, Set, Change airs at 8pm Eastern (which is 5pm Pacific / 6pm Central) .

Crazy Al is also currently preparing to walk/run a half marathon and a full marathon to support the American Stroke Association, and he’s seeking contributions to this worthy cause. He’s hoping “to get a special commemorative tiki gift made for those contributors that have been very generous to the cause.” For more information, see his team’s webpage.

Opportunity to See Chin Tiki in Detroit

Filed under: Art,Detroit,Events,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:51 am

Chin Tiki in Detroit opened in 1967 and has been closed for many years, but is still somewhat intact. There was been much speculation over the years regarding what the eventual fate of the Chin Tiki will be: whether it will be reopened by the owner Marvin Chin, sold and reopened by another owner, or whether it will disappear entirely. The restaurant was used in filming the movie 8 Mile, and was reportedly damaged by the film crew.

Now, as part of the Jungle Madness Motor City Tiki Art show happening the first weekend of September, the Chin Tiki will be open again, albeit briefly. The Jungle Madness main event will be taking place Saturday, September 3 at Marvin Chin’s other, less-tiki restuarant, Chin’s Chop Suey in nearby Livonia. The organizers have arranged with Chin to offer a tour of Chin Tiki in Detroit the next day, on Sunday, September 4. Marvin Chin will be there to answer questions, I’m sure the first one will be “What’s going to happen to the Chin Tiki?”

Massive Moai: Hollywood

Filed under: Los Angeles,Massive Moai,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 9:30 am

My friend Sabu and I have been wanting to go document the massive moai (over 5′) in our neck of the woods, and inspire others to do the same. We haven’t been able to do our explorations just yet, but fellow tiki explorer Tikijackelope has spotted some fantastic moai — four of ‘em — right here in Hollywood. They’re at C. P. Three Prop House (not a Star Wars reference — C. P. stands for Cinema Props, it’s the third of four prop houses), owned by Omega Cinema Props, and have reportedly been used in a few film productions. They’re strapped right to the side of the building, and are in plain view.

August 28, 2005

Solar Powered Tiki Lights How-To

Filed under: Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:19 pm

Looks like it’s lighting day at Humu Kon Tiki! Tikiwahine has put together detailed, step-by-step photos and instructions for the creation of a solar-powered tiki light for use outdoors. Using a string of common tiki patio lights, and a set of rather plain solar-powered lights, and some other common pieces of hardware, she was able to create six colored plastic tiki lights that collect solar energy during the day, and provide just the right glow to her jungle at night. She has also generously offered to sell these lights to anyone who doesn’t feel up to making them.

Perfect Tiki Bar: The Lighting

Filed under: Perfect Tiki Bar,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:44 pm

I am often asked what defines a good tiki bar. It’s a question I love to answer, but it’s not one I love to answer in a brief soundbyte, for there are a myriad of elements that have to come together for a tiki bar to be ideal. I’ll address them individually in my Perfect Tiki Bar series, starting today with Lighting.

A good tiki bar doesn’t have much light. A tiki bar should feel exotic, mysterious… like the visitor isn’t quite sure what he’s stepped into, and even how to step back out again. The room should feel intimate, and yet should also feel like there is no end — low lighting is the only way to make that happen.

The way to achieve this is through the use of flame, low-wattage bulbs, colored lights, and fixtures that restrict much light from getting out.

Flame is a risky endeavor in a tiki bar, where flammable organic elements abound. People who are drinking are not to be trusted with candles, but flames in drinks — now that’s good sport. Some locations have had grand tiki fireplaces, and fire dancer shows are also part of the tradition. Flame-look flicker bulbs can be purchased, but their wattage is so low that they really are not useful for light at all. Disneyland uses special trickery to allow bulbs of any sort to flicker like flame. The electrical controls can be expensive, but someone who knows what they’re doing can tackle the project for under a hundred dollars.

Low-wattage bulbs are the most effective way to produce good tiki bar lighting. 15- or 30-watt bulbs will often do the trick. The key is to have enough light fixtures to make the low wattage work. A good tiki bar will have a ceiling that is nearly encrusted with low-wattage light fixtures.

All these light fixtures would look a bit dull without some variety, and that’s where colored lights and unusual fixtures come in. Any color of the rainbow will look right in a tiki bar, as long as the light level is low. Reds in particular will make everyone in the room look more attractive, and moody spots of green and blue add mystery.

Good tiki light fixtures look unconventional, and give off a restricted amount of light. The most prized tiki light fixture is a glass float — these large round glass balls were used on ships, and used to drift onto shore with their sides nicely blasted into a frosted look by the elements. They were once plentiful, but are now rare, with original floats going for well over a hundred dollars. Today, faux-floats are produced without light fixtures. Drilling one for use as a lamp can be tricky without proper equipment, many opt to instead mount the light on the outside of the float, and mask it with bamboo. Another popular tiki light fixture is the pufferfish lamp. It is not difficult to make a pufferfish lamp yourself, but it can be messy and smelly. Other lamp styles include old fish traps, bamboo bird cages, and frames wrapped in tapa cloth.

When crafting a moody, low-light environment, it becomes especially important to consider how bright light can affect it. Windows of course kill the scene, at least until nightfall. Neon is the scourge of the tiki bar, it’s far too bright and harsh. The worst offender is that mighty false idol, the television set. Nothing can ruin a tiki bar quite like a television set can. Even when showing supposedly tiki-friendly tropical scenes, like an old surf movie or a Hawaii travelogue, the screen is too bright. Even a television showing scenes that are dark is surprisingly bright. Worse, the moving scenes distract the visitor, and remove any sense of the exotic. Savvy tikiphiles are equipped with a device like TV-B-Gone, a small keychain device that works like a television remote, and can turn off virtually any television set.

There are lots of projects relating to lighting that can be done at home inexpensively, and in the future I’ll spotlight some places where you can learn to do that.

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About Humuhumu
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

- Website Design and Programming

- A Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

- Tiki Mugs & More: Track & View Collections




Arkiva Tropika
Mimi Payne’s massive Polynesian Pop collection

Barefoot Bloggin’
A surfin’, ukein’, freewheelin’ monkey boy

Beachbum Berry
Author of Grog Log and Intoxica!, and one of my dearest drinkin’ buddies

Blog from the user interface designer extraordinaire

Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

Dumb Angel
A look at the 1960s Los Angeles mod, pop, surf, and music scene

Eye of the Goof
Pop culture with a tiki tinge

Forbidden Island
My Wednesday hangout, the Bay Area’s best tiki bar

Humuhumu’s Life in Photos
Pictures of my adventures

I build websites

Junkyard Clubhouse
Random interesting things from Humuhumu & Hanford Lemoore

Kevin Kidney
Kevin loves tiki, I love Kevin, you will too

Tiki links galore

Mai Tai Online
Montreal-based tiki ‘zine

Tiki Mug Collection Organizer

The Jab
Follow the way of the jab

Tiki Bar TV
Public Access meets Modern Drunkard

Tiki Central
Community forums

Tiki Magazine
Periodical publication covering the wide world of Tiki

Tiki Talk
Hot Lava’s Tiki Blog