Entries from September 2005

September 23, 2005

International Market Place Carver, Edward Malcombe Brownlee

Filed under: Hawaii,History,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:01 pm
Edward Malcombe Brownlee -- from the collection of Bongofury
Edward Malcombe Brownlee,
from the collection of Bongofury

Bongofury has posted about an article he’s found from 1958, profiling a youngun’ from Oregon who’d moved to Oahu to work on his Masters in Art at the University of Hawaii. Edward Malcombe Brownlee started his post-Masters career by carving idols for restaurant and hotel developments in Waikiki, and went on to do many tikis for the International Market Place. Hawaii radio personality Fil Slash has a book featuring Brownlee in the works, set for release next spring. Today, Brownlee (who goes by Mick) lives in Neahkahnie Beach in Oregon with his wife, Phyllis and his Airdale, Mr. Bones, and carves from jade.

September 22, 2005

Katrina Fundraiser at Bay Area Trader Vic’s September 27

Filed under: Events,News,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 4:58 pm

All three of the Bay Area Trader Vic’s locations — Emeryville, San Francisco and Palo Alto — are doing a fundraising event for victims of Hurricane Katrina on Tuesday, September 27. A portion of revenues from that evening will be donated to the Red Cross. A prix fixe three-course “New Orleans Style” dinner will be available, or you can just stick to the bar if that’s more your speed.

Huell Howser Visits Oceanic Arts

Filed under: Los Angeles,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:16 am

Huell Howser, the Tennessee native always on the lookout for amazing things to see in California, has made a visit to Oceanic Arts for one of his umpteen public television series. Little is known in terms of details, but so far we know it might air in November, and that he might have enjoyed a Mai Tai or two while there. Oceanic Arts is certainly worthy of the Huell Howser treatment: Bob & Leroy created what has become an institution in Southern California, a sort of Home Depot for tikiphiles. Oceanic Arts has been responsible for outfitting a mind-boggling number of tiki bars and Polynesian restaurants through the decades, and continue to do so today. Their warehouse in Whittier, just east of Los Angeles, is a must-see for any visiting tikiphiles. I’ll post more information about air dates & whatnot as it comes available.

The Alibi in Portland Undergoing Renovation

Filed under: News,Portland,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:03 am
The Alibi -- Portland
The Alibi in Portland

The Alibi in Portland, Oregon has a long history, and a promising future. The establishment today known as the Alibi began as the Chat n’ Nibble, a stop along a dirt road in the late 1800s. Over time, the bar morphed, becoming Max’s Alibi, becoming simply The Alibi, and expanding into a restaurant. The Alibi went Polynesian in the middle of the last century, though much of the existing decor dates from about the ’70s.

The Alibi has been operated under lease from the property owner since the 1980s, and the lease agreement has stated that the decor must remain intact. The current lessors have been learning about tiki culture from the dedicated local tiki community, and they share the desire to keep the tiki torches burning (even if only figuratively) at The Alibi. To that end, there are efforts underway to renovate the tiki, while keeping the decor intact. The Orchids of Hawaii lamps are being cleaned and repaired, the spectacular exterior sign is getting a paint job, and the water feature is being expanded. The Alibi’s owners have eagerly recruited the assistance of the local tikiphile community to lend a hand with keeping the tiki aesthetic in good shape.

Just one request guys — keep it dark!

Tiki Napkins

Filed under: Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:46 am
Tiki Gardens Napkin -- from the collection of JonPez
Tiki Gardens napkin, from the collection of JonPez

Napkins are one of my favorite areas of ephemera. Their inherent limitations — low cost, limited colors, un-print-friendly materials — generally pushed designers into a more simple, graphic design, with heavy use of logos. These fragile and inherently disposable items didn’t last as well as postcards, and can be a bit harder to come by. JonPez has posted some of his napkins on Tiki Central, and there are some real beauts, including an interesting napkin with a “napkin sketch” of the exterior of the restaurant on it.

September 21, 2005

New Home for Humuhumu’s Photos

Filed under: My Travels,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:57 pm
Kon Tiki in Tucson
Kon Tiki in Tucson

Whew! Sorry I went AWOL there for a bit, I’ve just spent the past few days getting my 10,000+ photos moved to a new location. For those who haven’t seen my photo galleries before, there’s a fairly overwhelming amount of tiki. I’ve travelled all over the place looking for tiki (well, not all over, so far I’ve stuck to the United States), and my trusty rusty camera has been with me the whole way. Take a moment to check it out. Registered users are able to leave comments on photos — and please do!

September 18, 2005

Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo

Filed under: History,People,Scandinavia,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:03 am
Relaxing on the Kon-Tiki -- from the collection of Sweet Daddy Tiki
Relaxing on the Kon-Tiki — from the collection of Sweet Daddy Tiki

In the earlier part of the last century, Thor Heyerdahl amazed the world with his bizarre and daring journey across the Pacific Ocean on a balsa wood raft. Heyerdahl’s aim was to prove that it was feasible for a small group of people to drift on ocean currents from Peru all the way to the islands of the South Pacific. Astoundingly, he proved it was possible, and his tale became a bestselling book and an award winning documentary, helping to fuel America’s fascination with the South Pacific. Heyerdahl became arguably the most famous Norweigian, and a museum archiving his achievements was created in Oslo. The museum has a full-size replica of the original Kon-Tiki raft, and many exhibits detailing his exploits. Heyerdahl passed away a few years ago, but his museum is still there to tell his tales. Norway native Kong-Tiki has posted some photos from his visit to the museum.

September 17, 2005

Martiki Bartending at the New San Francisco Trader Vic’s

Filed under: News,People,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 2:39 pm

Martiki, creator of the legendary Foggy Grotto and Novato Grotto home tiki lounges, Elite Tiki Central Agent, co-organizer of the annual San Francisco Tiki Crawl, and all-around master mixologist, has recently started bartending at the new downtown San Francisco Trader Vic’s. Martiki started there three months ago, but his work perfecting the complicated concoctions began well before that Trader Vic’s had even opened for business — he has long been a devotee of the properly crafted cocktail. Despite having no professional bartending experience, Trader Vic’s quickly realized how perfect Martiki would be behind their bar. Upon hearing this exciting news, Book of Tiki author Sven Kirsten had this to say:

Never have thought it possible that the commercial and the underground side of Tiki would meet in such a beneficial way. Carving Tikis, making mugs, yeah, but becoming a Trader Vic’s bartender, all by your own dedication? That’s going all the way.

Martiki’s current schedule has him behind the bar Friday, Sunday and Monday from 4 p.m. to midnight, and Thursday during lunch. Stop in for the finest drinks you can get in San Francisco, and be sure to congratulate Trader Vic’s on their hiring coup.

September 16, 2005

New England Tikiphile Convergence

Filed under: Events,New England,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:02 pm

New England tikiphiles have reached the critical mass neccessary to get off their duffs and meet each other. Every once in a while, tiki lovers from an area realize that there are enough of them to meet up in person and enjoy some tiki as a group. New England is following in the footsteps of the now-thriving communities in Southern California, the Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, Florida and Washington D.C., where tikiphiles meet regularly, and many friendships have formed.

New England has a fair amount of tiki to choose from; the two places that have been considered for a gathering are Hu Ke Lau in Chicopee, MA, and Kowloon in Saugus, MA. A date has not yet been set, but the momentum looks like it will hopefully happen in the next few weeks. If you live in the New England area and are interested in meeting other tikiphiles, be sure to jump right on in — tikiphiles are a notoriously friendly bunch.

September 15, 2005

Exotica Greats at Hukilau

Filed under: Events,Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,Music,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 5:29 pm
Yma Sumac
Yma Sumac

This year’s Hukilau event in Ft. Lauderdale has a lineup of musicians that has Exotica fans all a-twitter. During Friday’s event at the Bahia Mar, Robert Drasnin will be performing (with Miss Formica Dinette). Drasnin, whose album Voodoo is considered one of the great classics of exotica, will be performing material from his new album Voodoo II — his first new exotica music in 40 years. Also in attendance that night: the incomparable Yma Sumac, whose astounding voice for some defines the very aesthetic of exotica. Ms. Sumac’s ability to attend has been in question for health reasons, but it now appears that she will be able to attend after all. Saturday night at the Mai Kai brings a special performance by the exotica troupe Waitiki — after dinner, they will be playing an entire set of Martin Denny music. Martin Denny’s daughter recently attended a performance by Waitiki, and said it was as if he were there playing himself. Hukilau takes place the second weekend of October in Ft. Lauderdale; tickets are still available but will likely sell out.


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

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