Entries from December 2005

December 30, 2005

Stolen Tiki Alert: Polynesiac Tikis in Long Beach

Filed under: Art,Los Angeles,News,People,Stolen Tiki Alert,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 6:37 pm
Two Polynesiac tikis recently stolen in Long Beach
Two Polynesiac tikis recently stolen in Long Beach

Tiki carver and artist Polynesiac has learned that two of his tikis have been stolen from a store in Long Beach. The tikis had been put on consignment there, and were reportedly stolen along with many other items in the store. Each of the two tikis are about two feet tall and about 3/4 of a foot wide, and carved from Mexican fan palm. They are stained a dark color and sealed with a shiny clear coat. The two tikis are pictured above — on the left is “Tangaroa” and on the right is three different views of “Marquesan Tattoo.” If you see these tikis call Polynesiac (Jim) on his cell phone at (310) 971-5068.

December 28, 2005

Homemade Tiki Creations by ‘OnaTiki

Filed under: Art,People,San Diego,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:26 am
Tiki carved by 'OnaTiki
Tiki carved by ‘OnaTiki

San Diego tikiphile ‘OnaTiki shares a very impressive home tiki retreat (“bar” wouldn’t cover it) with his wife, Moki. ‘OnaTiki has applied his creative talents to a number of projects for their home, including many lamps of exactly the sort I mentioned earlier today. Tons of them — enough to stock a showroom, and all top-notch. He’s shared them, including some how-tos, in a Creating Tiki thread on Tiki Central. Other projects he has shared on his thread include trim pieces, flat panels, and palm-frond tikis. More recently he has thrown himself at carving tikis, with excellent early results. He had carved tikis before, but without proper tools, the projects were slow going; he recently invested in some new chisels, and he’s having a great time hacking away. Right now, he’s sharing progress photos on his latest carving project, an ornate log drum. Even only partway done, it’s looking like it will be a real showpiece. The drum is hollowed out, and he says it “sounds pretty good too.” Like most Creating Tiki threads, ‘OnaTiki has engaged in lots of helpful Q&A on his pieces, and there are lots of lovely and inspirational photos.

December 27, 2005

Chin Tiki Entry on SNWEB.ORG

Filed under: Detroit,History,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 8:26 pm
Chin Tiki advertisement, from SNWEB.ORG
Chin Tiki advertisement, from SNWEB.ORG

A website dedicated to Detroit Urban Archaeology, SNWEB.ORG, has a page dedicated to Chin Tiki. The page has a bit of background, latest information, the above advertisement, and lots of photos of the exterior that look pretty recent.

Lamps by Orchids of Hawaii

Filed under: History,Perfect Tiki Bar,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:54 pm
Orchids of Hawaii lamp, from the collection of tikijackelope
Orchids of Hawaii lamp, from the collection of tikijackelope

There’s an excellent thread on Tiki Central about Orchids of Hawaii lamps, thanks largely to tikijackalope, who travels to and photographs tiki bars nearly/perhaps as much as I do. Most are familiar with Orchids of Hawaii’s many mug designs, but OOH was also used by Polynesian restaurants for other elements of decor, most notably the lamps. OOH produced a broad variety of designs, many using bamboo, tapa, shells, and brightly colored resin panels. Tikijackalope has acquired many lamps, and has also posted scans of an old Orchids of Hawaii catalog showing some of the designs they had available. Another Tiki Central thread also has great OOH lamp images; recently, the Kahiki in Columbus, Ohio got rid of much of their remaining decor, including a number of lamps. Many of them have been posted on Tiki Central by tikiskip. Today, Orchids of Hawaii is no more, but similar designs can be purchased from Oceanic Arts in Whittier, California, and several crafty folks have made their own. Lamps of this sort are exactly the sort of light fixture I had in mind when I wrote my Perfect Tiki Bar: The Lighting article.

December 24, 2005

Perfect Tiki Bar: The Drinks

Filed under: Drinks,Perfect Tiki Bar,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:12 am
A tasty & delicious tropical drink, courtesy of Martiki
A tasty & delicious tropical drink,
courtesy of Martiki

The previous installment in my Perfect Tiki Bar series touched on the importance of lighting; today I’m going to try to tackle the primary raison d’etre of tiki bars — the drinks. I will not succeed, but perhaps a nice dent will be made.

First, some tropical drink fundamentals. Tropical drinks, by and large, use rum as their base liquor. This is becuase during the rise of the tropical drink, rum was inexpensive and widely available. Unlike other liquors like gin and scotch, it tends to not lend itself to straight sipping (though there are some rums that make good sipping rums). A few fruit juices, a few dashes of flavored syrups, and a little (or a lot) of rum, and the result was a drink that was inexpensive in materials (if not in labor), and uniquely tasty. It was a delicate art, and when made by the right hands, a tropical drink was divine — it’s no wonder the demand for them swept the nation.


December 21, 2005

Storytime with Aunt Bungy

Filed under: History,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 7:34 pm

The late, great Eli Hedley’s name has been mentioned here before, and can be seen liberally peppered throughout Critiki and Tiki Central. Eli Hedley, the Original Beachcomber, was a fascinating character, and is responsible for much of the beachcomber aesthetic that was popular in Southern California during and just before tiki’s heyday. Eli’s grandson is Bamboo Ben, who did the decor for the Kona Club in Oakland. Now, one of Eli’s four daughters (and one of Ben’s aunts), Bungy (yep — pronounced like “bungee cord”) has joined Tiki Central and has started relating her fascinating tales of growing up in the Hedley household:

My dad, Eli Hedley, Beachcomber ,Yes! that was his title for all the life I knew him! and Donn Beach (Beachcomber) were partners for about a year, in a tropical Shop at 595 La Cienaga Blvd during WW11 in Hollywood. They both wanted the name of “Beachcomber” so Hollywood was too small for them.. and Donn went to Hawaii! They remained old friends and finally saw each other in the 1970s, at the International Market Place on Waikiki, where Donn had an office in the Banyan Tree!!! We were invited to lunch, and had stir fry and tropical (non-alcoholic) drinks high above the crowds with the soft,balmy breezes cooling us!

Another tale she tells is about how the four girls went out to bring beach lumber home to build the family homestead on the beach in San Pedro:

The beach was not nice and sandy..it was rocky and the waves crashed on it at high tide! Two of us got in to the water and the other two would slide lumber out to us.. you see, we had to make the raft in the water..or we couldn’t launch out into the deep! We got banged around with the waves, knocked over, completely soaked… until we finally had put together this huge pile of lumber. Flo, my oldest sister, then said, “Grab a Paddle!” so we all got pieces of wood for paddles, jumped on the raft and paddled like mad through the waves. The current headed down towards our house, so paddleing wasn’t too hard. When we got right off our building site, Flo would say, “Wait”! and we all waited, tense! Ready for the word! it came!”Paddle” we paddled like mad, until the perfect wave caught the raft, and then, “Jump!” and we all jumped off and with hammers and nails.. swam the rest of the way into shore to gather up the raft.. and carry it up to the house so daddy could create another room!!

These stories are truly amazing, and if I didn’t know Ben personally, I would think they were made up. I have a feeling that the stories we’ve heard so far are just a glimmer of what Aunt Bungy has to share.

December 20, 2005

Traditional Tiki Artwork by Michael Uhlenkott

Filed under: Art,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:11 pm
Tiki artwork by Michael Uhlenkott
Tiki artwork by Michael Uhlenkott

Mr. Bali Hai recently posted an entry on his Eye of the Goof blog to the artwork of Michael Uhlenkott, courtesy of a tipoff from Mark Frauenfelder. Uhlenkott’s artwork is “informed by extensive research and travel throughout the South Seas” and it shows — his graphic illustrations show the influence of traditional art quite clearly. Gorgeous stuff.

December 19, 2005

Tiki New Year’s Eve 2006 Parties

Filed under: Chicago,Events,Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,Hawaii,Los Angeles,San Diego,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 1:38 am
Hanford Lemoore at the Reef Bar in Palm Springs for NYE 2005
Hanford Lemoore at the Reef Bar in
Palm Springs for NYE 2005

If you’re still pondering the right place to be for New Year’s Eve 2006, you’re running out of time! You can probably still get into these great events happening around the country:

San Diego NYE Tiki Weekend: Last year’s tiki event at the Caliente Tropics was hugely successful, but the hotel has gone seriously downhill in terms of tiki-friendliness this past year. Thanks to the organizational efforts of Monkeyman, this year’s big Tiki Central New Year’s event is happening in San Diego. A home bar tour is planned for daytime Saturday, and the main event is taking place with a Polynesian spectacular at the Bali Hai restaurant. Things will also be afoot on Sunday, with possibilities including brunch, bowling and trips to downtown San Diego. It’s sure to be a special evening. The number of tickets available for the Bali Hai is dwindling, if you’re interested, read the thread on Tiki Central for details on how to make reservations.

San Francisco Trader Vic’s: A special dinner event is planned for NYE, with a floor show by Spirit of Polynesia dance troupe, and a full multi-course prix fixe meal. This is where Hanford & I will be spending our NYE. For reservations, call Trader Vic’s at (415) 775-6300.

Forbidden World of Don Tiki in Waikiki: A special performance by Don Tiki in Hawaii, at the Pacific Beach Hotel Grand Ballroom. Tickets to the show are $80 and include two drinks; in addition a bar & buffet are available. Visit the Pacific Beach Hotel website (link below) for details.

Dave’s Birthday at the Purple Orchid in El Segundo: I haven’t seen an official announcement, but New Year’s Eve is the birthday of Dave, owner of the Purple Orchid in El Segundo (near Los Angeles). In years past, there’s been a great band booked, and birthday cake & appetizers for all. Contact the Purple Orchid for details at (310) 322-5829.

Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale: A group is getting together to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Mai Kai — if I lived in southern Florida, this would be a no-brainer. To make reservations, contact the Mai Kai at (954) 563-3272, if you’d like to be included in the Tiki Central group, read the thread on TC for details.

Chicago area, Trader Vic’s: New Year’s Eve is the last night that the Chicago Trader Vic’s will be open. It has the potential to be rather depressing, and not for the faint of heart, but it also might be special to be there for the final night.

Chicago area, Chef Shangri-La: Performances by the Windy City Islanders, a roast pig buffet for $18, full regular menu available, drink specials, and no cover — an unsually affordable tiki NYE event, and the bar and drinks at Chef Shangri-La are above par. Call (708) 442-7080 for reservations.

Chicago area, Tiki Terrace: This new bar & restaurant is having a New Year’s Eve event with a performance by the Cocktail Preachers, and a raffle featuring a tiki by Lake Surfer. Contact Tiki Terrace for details at (630) 788-0395.

If your part of the country isn’t listed here, don’t fret — simply look for a bar near you in Critiki, and give them a call. Many places will have something planned for the evening.

December 18, 2005

Monday Nights at San Francisco Trader Vic’s

Filed under: Events,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 7:51 pm
Salt & Pepper shakers and some menehune
Salt & Pepper shakers and some menehune

A few months ago, when we decided to move to the Bay Area rather than settle in Los Angeles, I knew I would need replacement for my weekly Wednesday night at Tiki-Ti. We started getting together with friends on Mondays at the San Francisco Trader Vic’s. It’s been a ton of fun — like Tiki-Ti, some weeks it’s a smaller group (four people), and some weeks we’ve gotten quite a crowd. Regardless, we can always count on there being somebody there to share a drink with. Mondays work great because it’s a quieter night, there’s always room in the bar, parking is available on the street right out front, and most importantly the drinks are always spot-on because Martin & Lars work that night. One thing Trader Vic’s has that Tiki-Ti lacked is delicious food! This new Trader Vic’s opened to lackluster reviews a year ago, but I can personally say that things are very much improved, particularly the drinks. Trader Vic’s runs two happy hours on Mondays, the first one ends at 6 p.m. and the second one starts at 10 p.m., but we tend to be there between those two times.

If you find yourself looking for something to brighten your Monday night in San Francisco, please come out and join us — we’re a very friendly crowd. You’ll find us sitting at the bar.

Kona Club Grand Opening, Missing Camera

Filed under: Events,San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 7:17 pm
Life-size bronze hula girl at Kona Club
Life-size bronze hula girl at Kona Club

Last night was the Grand Opening party for Kona Club in Oakland, and it did not disappoint. I was able to get some more photos, and have updated the entry for Kona Club in Critiki with them. There are still a few finishing touches to come (most notably, the tropical drink menu is not yet in place), but it already appears to be a very welcome presence in the neighborhood, if the crowd was any indication.

Sadly, Otto von Stroheim lost his camera at last night’s event. Losing a camera is no fun (I did it myself at Hukilau this year), but this is especially tragic, as the camera contains all the baby photos of his month-old son, Dashiell. Otto and his wife Baby Doe are understandably crushed, and are offering a reward for its return. Here’s the plea for help sent out by Baby Doe:

Otto was at the Kona Club on Saturday December 17th from about 10 pm to 1 am at some point between 11 pm and 12:30 our digital camera was misplaced along with a tan VooDoo Rum baseball cap, and a 128 MB card for our camera (may have been a 512 MB disc).

The cap and the camera were on the bar when he last saw them and the card was in a camera bag on the bar. He found the bag on the floor without the card.

The two discs contained ALL of the photos of our newborn baby! These are the ONLY photos we have of the first month of his life!

We are offering a REWARD for the return of the 2 discs!! Please help.

Our camera is a silver digital Canon that was banged up with a couple good sized dents on the body. The battery says ‘von Stroheim’ on it. Please send this e-mail to everyone you can think of that had been at the Kona Club that night.

If found please send to:
743 Haight Ave
Alameda CA 94501

Or call:

We are crossing our fingers that someone grabbed our camera by accident and is trying to figure out who it belongs to. We thank you all for your help.

Obviously, if there’s any way you can help get Otto & Baby Doe reconnected with their baby’s photos, it would be much appreciated.

Exhibit A

UPDATE: Otto’s camera was tracked down, thanks to photos from the event posted on Tiki Central. In several photos, the dilwad who took Otto’s camera is clearly seen wearing Otto’s pilfered hat. He was recognized, turns out he’s someone that a friend of Otto’s knows, and they were able to get the camera back. Sadly, all the images had been erased; Otto is trying to have the images restored. This jackass says he “accidentally” took the hat, the camera, and the extra card (while strangely deciding to leave the camera case behind). And, apparently, he decided to delete all photos on both cards without actually looking at them. Here’s a nice, clear picture of the guy — if you see him, don’t feel bad if you accidentally knock his drink over.

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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