Entries from June 2006

June 21, 2006

My Travels: House of Tiki

Filed under: Los Angeles,My Travels,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:27 pm
House of Tiki in Costa Mesa
House of Tiki in Costa Mesa

While we were down in Newport Beach for our cartoon adventure this weekend, we popped into House of Tiki in nearby Costa Mesa. House of Tiki is a pretty nice little shop, full of new merchandise, including aloha wear, housewares, tiki mugs, and of course, lots of tikis. They had some really swell beachcomber fedoras, which are hard to come by. If you’re in the neighborhood, check it out!

June 20, 2006

Hawaiian Eye Soundtrack on CD

Filed under: Music,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 6:17 pm
Hawaiian Eye soundtrack
Hawaiian Eye soundtrack

The soundtrack from Hawaiian Eye, which was released as an LP in the ’60s, was recently released on CD. The television show aired from 1959-1963, and starred Anthony Eisley, Robert Conrad, Connie Stevens and Poncie Ponce — Connie typically had a song she performed at some point in the middle of each episode. It was a detective show set in Honolulu (the Honolulu Village Hotel, to be exact); in black & white, it predated Hawaii 5-0 by a few years. If you ever have a chance to catch an episode, don’t miss it. Here’s the track listing from the CD:

1. Hawaiian Eye
2. Deep Night
3. Let’s Do It (From The Musical Comedy “Paris”) (Vocal By Connie Stevens)
4. Steele On The Prowl
5. Soft Green Seas
6. Rumba Rhapsody
7. Cabbie Kim
8. What Is This Thing Called Love? (From The Musical Comedy “Wake Up And Dream”)
9. You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me (Vocal By Robert Conrad)
10. Cricket’s Corner
11. When My Dream Boat Comes Home (Vocal By Poncie Ponce)
12. Lopaka’s Beat
13. Hawaiian Eye

My Travels: Cartoon Caper in Balboa

Filed under: Los Angeles,My Travels,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 5:37 pm
Scooby Doo: A Tiki Scare is No Fair
Scooby Doo: A Tiki Scare is No Fair

This weekend, my friend Chris Nichols threw his annual costume bash — past years’ parties have been full of pirates, or hobos, but this year the theme was the Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the early ’70s with teens solving spooky mysteries when they’re not playing in groovy bands — Scooby Doo, Josie & the Pussycats, Captain Caveman, etc. The image above comes from an episode of Scooby Doo titled “A Tiki Scare is No Fair,” tikigap recently posted some keen screenshots of the episode. While this weekend’s event wasn’t tiki themed, it took place in Balboa (in Newport Beach), and there were a few tiki surprises lurking in the shadows.

Hanford & Humuhumu as Hanna-Barbera teens
Hanford & Humuhumu
as Hanna-Barbera teens
Kevin doing the rowboat
Kevin doing
the rowboat

Hanford and I had a great time getting dressed up as early-’70s teens (well, what Hanna-Barbera wanted little kids to think good teens were, at least). Hanford busted out his old glasses, and I went to work on the ol’ sewing machine. My normal dress isn’t really all that far off from a cartoon character as it is, so it took a little effort to make sure I didn’t just look like I was headed out to any old party. There were some really far out costumes once we got there – lots of wigs, lots of neck scarves, lots of bright color, and a heavy use of aloha wear.

Sharkee Waters
Sharkee Waters
Kamehameha marker at Balboa Saloon
Kamehameha at
Balboa Saloon

Party guests had received dossiers with the lowdown on some scary happenings at the Balboa Fun Zone, an old amusement park in Balboa. A sea monster had been terrorizing the place, and it was up to us to make it stop. We met at the Balboa Saloon, and it was a little rough for the first folks who arrived — the locals didn’t quite know what to think. The Balboa Saloon has a couple touches of Hawaii, including a King Kamehameha point-of-interest marker, and a bamboo hut at the back complete with tapa cloth-covered tabletop. Seated at the hut was the first of several suspicious characters of the evening, a crusty old sea dog named Sharkee Waters. We then made our way nextdoor to the amusement park, where there were other suspicious characters — a grumpy janitor, a shady magician, there were even ghosts! (who turned out to be our friends Mary-Margaret & Cary Stratton). We went on a scary dark ride, the ferris wheel, and had a great time. (Hanford has a really cool video he took while we were on the ferris wheel, hopefully he’ll post it soon.)

Tiki Boat at Balboa
Tiki Boat at Balboa

There’s a ferry landing to go to Balboa Island from the amusement partk, and there was an interesting tiki-themed boat available for rental that was docked right next to the landing. We got a pretty good look at it as we boarded the ferry for a quick jaunt across the water as part of our crazy chase scene for the evening — it didn’t look as promising close-up. Here’s a view of how lovely the amusement park looks from the water at night:

Balboa Fun Zone & Pavilion
Balboa Fun Zone & Pavilion
Chris organizes the teens
Chris organizes the teens

At the end of our chase, we were getting closer to tracking down the sea monster — our host, Chris, organized us in one final effort to corner him. We all gathered in the bar of the Balboa Pavilion, right next to the Fun Zone, and he fell right into our trap. We had him now, and he was about to be revealed. Who could he be? Sharkee Waters? Nope, he was there in the room with us. The janitor? Nope, he was there, too. The magician? No, again. The ghosts? Nope, nope, nope. Who could it possibly be? WHO COULD IT BE????

The sea monster!
The sea monster! WHO IS HE???

The exciting conclusion comes after the jump:

June 13, 2006

Fish-friendly Pufferfish Lamp

Filed under: Art,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:52 pm
TP pufferfish light, by atomictonytiki
TP pufferfish light, by atomictonytiki

While I’ve never made a pufferfish lamp myself, I’ve known enough people who have to have learned that it can be a somewhat messy, smelly, even bloody, undertaking — but is generally worthwhile. But if you’re squeamish, animal-rights-oriented, or just have an abundance of “nasty thick recycled toilet paper,” as was the case for atomictonytiki, you can make your very own faux pufferfish. Atomictonytiki posted this on Tiki Central way back in 2003, but I think it’s worth some fresh attention. He made his using the aforementioned TP, wire, glue, and toothpicks. Convincing or no, I think it’s quite lovely in its own right.

Denver: Mysterious Island of the Tiki Finks

Filed under: Denver,Events,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:33 am
Mysterious Island of the Tiki Finks flyer
Mysterious Island of the Tiki Finks flyer

The Tiki Finks are hosting a very special tiki event this summer — the Mysterious Island of the Tiki Finks. The event takes place at their 1956 midcentury-modern home, complete with outdoor tiki bar. The festivities will include performances by a ukulele player and a Javanese gavelan, croquet, and most of all, specialty cocktails served up by the hosts, along with plenty of island-inspired food. There’s no cover charge for the event, but of course it’s always a good idea to donate a little green to the hosts to help them cover costs. It all happens June 24, from 4pm to 10ish, at 1415 S. Cherry St. in Denver. The event is open to all tiki-lovers, as the Denver tikiphiles are eager to connect with like-minded folks in their area. Be sure to wear your aloha wear, and bring a tiki mug to drink from!

June 12, 2006

Falernum Controversy: The Good Doc Weighs In

Filed under: History,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 8:38 pm
Falernum taste test at Hukilau 2004, photo by James Teitelbaum
Falernum taste test at Hukilau 2004, photo by James Teitelbaum

In my social circle, occasionally with the right people in the conversation, you can drop one little word — “falernum” — and kick back and watch the fireworks. Sure it’s a bit dorky, but it’s very endearing and even heartening to see such passion over a little-known liqueur. Here it is in a nutshell: Falernum is called for in a number of classic tiki drinks, Falernum has been produced over the years by a number of different outfits with a lot of variation in recipes, and Falernum stopped being available in the United States sometime in the ’90s. In its place, DaVinci syrups made a non-alcoholic Falernum syrup to mimic the now-rare ingredent for use in restaurants. Today, we have access to a couple of very different Falernum liqueurs, each having its own believers in it being the One True Falernum.

The Falernum that seems most tightly tied to the oldest Falernum recipe is Velvet Falernum, which has a light, crisp flavor. In the other corner is Fee Brothers Falernum, which aims to taste more like a later Falernum brand, Sazerac, and has a heavier, more syrupy taste. Some argue that Velvet Falernum is the most true to original Falernum, while others argue that it doesn’t matter, because the richer, syrupier Sazerac Falernum was more likely to be used when developing the recipes for the classic tiki drinks.

I got to taste four different Falernums (Velvet Falernum, DaVinci Falernum Syrup, Sazerac Falernum, and Fee Brothers Falernum) at the 2004 Hukilau, as pictured above in a photo by James Teitelbaum. Personally, I love the flavor of Velvet Falernum. It’s bright and tasty, and stands up well when sipped straight. But, at the end of the day, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically the right Falernum to use in a cocktail.

Ted Haigh, a.k.a. Dr. Cocktail, author of the book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, is just the guy you want to weigh in on the topic. He openly admits that he’s not impartial on the topic, but he’s a voice I trust. Today, he’s done just that with an excellent article at Martini Republic that fills in some history, revisits the controversy, and ultimately casts his own judgement on the whole affair.

Not that it’ll settle anything.

Hawaiian Isle – 1966

Filed under: Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,History,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:36 am
Hawaiian Isle - 1966, from Mai Tai Online
Hawaiian Isle – 1966, from Mai Tai Online

John Trivisonno has shared one of his family’s home movies in the video section of his site, Mai Tai Online. It’s from a trip to the Hawaiian Isle Motel in Miami Beach in 1966, when he was just 1-1/2 years old. It’s a great step back into time, with a glimpse of the great big tiki at the entrance, the nifty Hawaiian Isle sign — and a long, steady look at some lovely hula dancers, courtesy of John’s dad.

Tiki Philately: Kiwi Postage

Filed under: Australia & New Zealand,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:17 am
1930s New Zealand stamp
1930s New Zealand stamp

Bay Park Buzzy has posted a series of images of lovely stamps from New Zealand, dating from 1915 through the 1980s, featuring Maori imagery. Images depicted in the stamps include tikis, war clubs, tattoos, and moments in Maori history.

Artists Paint Tiki Mugs for DvA Gallery’s Gala Event

Filed under: Art,Chicago,Events,Music,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:48 am
Painted Tiki Mug for DvA Gallery show, by Mr. G
Painted Tiki Mug for DvA Gallery show, by Mr. G

As I reported back in April, DvA Gallery is celebrating their 2nd anniversary with their Gala-Tiki event. Over 30 artists have contributed — of particular interest is a series of tiki mugs hand-painted by artists, including Flounder, Dave Krys, Derek Yaniger, The Pizz, Squid, Mitch O’Connell, Tiki Tony, and the above beaut by Mr. G. There will be hula dancers on hand (with leis!), the Cocktail Preachers are performing, and it’s all free to the public. Additionally, Flounder is making prints of his painting from this show available at a shockingly affordable $30. The Gala starts this Saturday at 4pm and goes to 11pm. DvA Gallery is at 2568 N. Lincoln Ave. Happy Anniversary, DvA Gallery!

June 5, 2006

Papua New Guinea Tikis at Stanford University

Filed under: Art,My Travels,San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:57 pm
Tiki "Thinker" at Stanford University
Tiki "Thinker" at Stanford University

While making plans to visit the Rodin sculpture garden at Stanford University a couple weeks back, I made a startling discovery… the Cantor Arts Center, which manages the Rodin sculptures, also has a second, separate sculpture garden on the other side of campus — and this one is all art from Papua New Guinea.

In 1994, several artists from Papua New Guinea were brought to Stanford to create carvings on-site. The sculptures are all clustered in a wooded area at the corner of Santa Teresa and Lomita. At the center are a cluster of poles carved from trees that are 20-30 feet tall, surrounded by still-untouched trees. There are two large slit drums on the ground, ready to be thumped. To one side, there are some painted poles, and some great tikis. To the south is a large, striking carving with bird wings outstretched, and to the north are a variety of lovely stone carvings.

The Cantor Arts Center museum also has a small collection of Oceanic art, but the real treasure is this somewhat-hidden sculpture garden. Just a short ways down the road from Stanford, right on El Camino Real, is the Palo Alto Trader Vic’s; while this Trader Vic’s pales in comparison to other TVs, it does house an impressive private collection of Papua New Guinea tikis and art, making a visit to both spots in one trip work well.

I’ve been a couple times now, and naturally, I’ve taken a bunch of pictures. You can see them at Humuhumu’s Life in Photos, or in a thread at Tiki Central.

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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