Entries from August 2006

August 5, 2006

Columbus: Hot Rod Hula Hop 2

Filed under: Events,Midwest U.S.,Music,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 8:08 pm
Hot Rod Hula Hop 2
Hot Rod Hula Hop 2

The Fraternal Order of Moai and Drifters Car Club of Columbus are throwing the second Hot Rod Hula Hop. It’s a two-day affair, starting Friday, August 18 with a “Feast of the Tiki Gods” at Tropical Bistro, with former Kahiki mixologist Jim tending the cash-only bar. A buffet-style luau dinner will be served, and the full menu will be available as well. Hawaiian guitarist Francis Llacuna will be performing, and “Sam” the Kahiki bar parrot will be on hand, as well. Tickets are $12 ($11 plus a $1 handling fee), and you’re encouraged to get yours quickly, as seating will be limited.

Saturday’s main event is happening at Largo’s Tavern, with five bands, three DJs, tiki carvings all around, vendors, cocktails, food and kustom rods galore. The lineup includes The Madeira, Fisherman (a huge favorite of mine), the CryptoKats, Knuckel Drager and the Crimson Cats. A custom event mug will be for sale at the event, which goes from noon until 2 a.m.

To learn more and get tickets, check out the Hot Rod Hula Hop website.

August 4, 2006

San Francisco: Poly Pop Exhibit Tour at SFO

Filed under: Events,History,San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 5:48 pm
Tiki exhibit at San Francisco Airport
Tiki exhibit at San Francisco Airport

San Francisco International Airport is currently showing a truly fantastic exhibit about Polynesian Pop, titled “Reflections of Paradise: Tiki Culture on the Mainland”:

Several periods of Pacific Island influence on mainland American pop-culture are documented through record albums, sheet music, restaurant menus, bar decor, and of course, Tiki mugs. From the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco that introduced many visitors to Hawaiian music and art, to the regular revival of tropical-themed bars and restaurants, this exhibition charts the ebbs and flows of a cultural influence that continues to offer fantasy and escapism to mainlanders everywhere. The show focuses on the Bay Area with an emphasis on Northern California King of Tiki Trader Vic including over thirty artifacts from the Trader Vic’s Restaurant collection.

The display is full of some beautiful pieces and images, much of them very rare. It’s a good sized display and very striking, downright gorgeous. I wish that it was a travelling exhibit — it so effectively communicates why Polynesian Pop is such an interesting and rich area of American history. Even if you’ve seen the pieces in photographs before, there’s nothing like seeing them in person.

Tomorrow at noon, there will be a free tour of the exhibit followed by a Q & A session with the exhibit’s curator, Jeff Stevens, and Otto von Stroheim. The exhibit is located in the main lobby area of the International Terminal, and is well before the security checkpoint (i.e., easily accessible to the non-ticket-holding public). Short term parking is easy and not too terribly expensive. The exhibit runs through September 2006.

New Feature: Critiki Has Photo Upload

Filed under: Critiki,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:47 pm
Tapa Punch Mug from Hilton Hawaiian Village, from the collection of Shani Thomson
Tapa Punch Mug from
Hilton Hawaiian Village,
from the collection of Shani Thomson

A huge improvement for Critiki: it now has built-in photo uploading. Critiki has a great archive of photos of locations, and images of collectibles; now it’s easier than ever before to add your own items to the archive. Each location now has a link to upload an image for that location; there are just a few restrictions: the photo must be one you took, it has to be at least 500 pixels wide or tall, and it’s gotta be free of people. Once the images are uploaded, they are held for review.

The images are the most effective part of Critiki — looking at a photograph or a postcard can transport you to a place you otherwise wouldn’t be able to see; scans of menus, matchbooks, swizzles and photos of mugs help complete the fantasy. There are a ton of fantastic images in there already, but there’s so much more that could be — please consider contributing from your own collection of images!

This is the first image added using the new system: it’s a Tapa Punch Mug from the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, and it comes from the collection of Shani Thomson.

August 3, 2006

Mogumbu Shrunken Head Swag Lamp

Filed under: Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:15 pm
DSK Designs Mogumbu lamp
DSK Designs Mogumbu lamp

After a three-year production break, Dave Krys has brought back his Mogumbu shrunken head swag lamp for a limited run. The lamp is hand-painted cast ceramic, a bit smaller than a human head, with twine stitching an long black hair, and looks nice & creepy whether it’s lit or not. It comes with 12 feet of cord and chain, a red lightbulb, an in-line switch, and ceiling hooks for hanging. He can also customize it with a shorter chain and a canopy to cover the junction box if you’d prefer a ceiling mount. He’ll be selling them soon on eBay, but is first offering them at $150 (their full selling price is $175) to Tiki Centralites.

Crazy Al’s Super Custom APE Mug

Filed under: Art,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:32 am
Crazy Al's Super Custom APE mug
Crazy Al’s Super Custom APE mug

Crazy Al has created this one-of-a-kind custom APE mug, with gorgeous hand-painted Fijian tapa cloth design fez. He says this is the first, and that there will be others, but no info about how many or when — just that they’ll all be different. They will be sold on eBay, but he hasn’t listed it yet (Crazy Al says, “it’s been a few years since i posted on ebay, so as soon as i figure out how to do it all over again, I’ll post when the auction will start”). If you’re ready for some serious eBay bidding warfare, keep an eye on the Tiki Central thread for details.

Fijian tapa designs on Crazy Al's super custom APE mug
Fijian tapa designs on Crazy Al’s super custom APE mug

Tiki Found in West Virginia

Filed under: Tiki,West Virginia — Humuhumu @ 11:21 am
Young's Cafeteria in West Virginia
Young’s Cafeteria in West Virginia

Tikitommy reported on Tiki Central a very unusual find — a bit of old tiki in West Virginia, a land that until now had been considered a historically tiki-free area.

The place is Young’s Cafeteria, a family restaurant (no bar) in Glen Dale, West Virginia. The restaurant itself is a more standard, family restaurant affair; the tiki room is in the back. Tikitommy reports:

This place is incredible, for it has a number of tikis on the walls, bamboo everywhere, the round hanging, netted lanterns, thatched, individual booths that are cozy and very retro. The place IS authentic retro, for it appears that it is has been that way for quite some time.

He doesn’t have any photos, but hopes to head back there soon with camera in hand. I did a little Googling and found some pictures of Young’s Cafeteria from a family’s visit there; they didn’t dine in the back room, but one of the photos gave the tantalizing glimpse seen here.

Much is still not known, especially the big questions: when was the tiki room created, and what inspired it?

August 2, 2006

Seattle: Tiki Art Now III

Filed under: Art,Events,Seattle,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:20 pm
It's All About the Tiki, by Thorsten Kasenkamm
It’s All About the Tiki, by Thorsten Kasenkamm

More details about the Tiki Art Now III event in Seattle I first posted about in April:

The show is at Seattle’s Roq la Rue Gallery, in the Belltown district (also home to ‘Ohana and the Lava Lounge), and runs from Friday, September 15 thorugh Monday, October 9. Artists include:

  • Shag
  • Lisa Petrucci
  • Bosko
  • Tim Biskup
  • Mr. G
  • Brian Barneclo
  • Wayne Coombs
  • Davey (Dave Wong)
  • Crazy Al Evans
  • Dawn Frasier
  • Thorsten Hasenkamm
  • Munktiki Paul & Stuckie
  • Tiki Tony
  • Heather Watts
  • Derek Yaniger

The opening event kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 15, and the evening will include a live performance from Seattle’s own Lushy, DJed music from Selector Lopaka, and a special mini-exhibit of vintage black velvet paintings by Burke Tyree. There will also be a limited edition mug created for the event by Munktiki, and Tiki Art Now posters and t-shirts, and a full-color catalog of the event with a forword from Tiki Art Now curator, Otto von Stroheim.

I’m hoping to make it up for this event — it looks like just the excuse I need to go hit my old stompin’ grounds.

Hanford Lemoore Adds Image Uploading to Tiki Central

Filed under: News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:25 am
I heart Hanford Lemoore
I ♥ Hanford Lemoore

Late last night (or early this morning, depending on your sleeping habits and which coast you’re on), Hanford Lemoore rolled out a very cool new feature on Tiki Central, one that’s already going over huge with Tiki Centralites. When creating a post, you can now upload images from your computer right onto Tiki Central, and Tiki Central gives you the BBCode you need to put the picture into your post — just copy and paste.

Previously, users had to find another service to host their images (usually the very-cruddy Shutterfly, which cuts the edges off of pictures, compresses them poorly, and gives a small image), and then figure out what the right URL was for the pictures (not always a straightforward thing), and then write out the BBCode to make the image work in the post. Not rocket science, but a major pain in the keister, especially for those who only have to do it once in a blue moon.

The change should make it much easier for folks to show off pictures of their latest creation, their latest cool thift store score, their latest trip to their favorite tiki outpost, or their latest novelty-album-that-attracts-traffic-from-porn-blogs. Mucho mahalos, Hanford!

August 1, 2006

New Trader Vic’s Concept: Mai Tai Bars

Filed under: Continental Europe,News,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 5:59 pm
Trader Vic's Mai Tai Bar
Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Bar

I learned on the Tiki Talk blog about Trader Vic’s intention of starting a new line of their restaurants, called Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Bars. They’re scaled-back versions of Trader Vic’s restaurants, featuring a large drink menu, but a very small food menu centered on appetizers, with a few sandwichy-type items. Most notably absent is the hallmark Chinese ovens; these suckers are large and not easy to install, work with, or design around, so while it feels sad to see a Chinese oven-less Trader Vic’s, it does make sense.

In theory, the scaled-back concept could also be installed in smaller locations, which would hopefully be a lower risk to the company and any franchise investors, and could weather the stormy restaurant business a bit better. Most intriguing to me: a smaller size means the decorating budget goes a lot further; sadly, the concept sketches on the Trader Vic’s website look disappointingly bland (although they indicate an intention to have some nice, big tikis at these Mai Tai Bars). A March 2006 article in Nation’s Restaurant News stated that the new Mai Tai Bars are aiming for a 50-50 ratio between food and beverage sales, vs. 60% food to 40% drinks at a typical Trader Vic’s.

As earlier reported on Humu Kon Tiki, Trader Vic’s Palo Alto relaunched its bar area as a “Mai Tai Bar,” which made no sense at the time — the changes to the space were laughably minimal, the only real change was the addition of a few boring items to the food menu (woodfired pizza?). While I’m still a bit puzzled by the Palo Alto remodel effort, it does make a bit more sense now if they were using it as a sort of test ground for the Mai Tai Bar concept, as an attempt to appeal to an after-work crowd.

Another interesting angle to all this: Palo Alto Trader Vic’s has had some pretty decent live music in the bar area, and it looks like this is another part of the new Mai Tai Bar concept.

The first official Mai Tai Bar has opened just outside of Estepona, Spain; no word yet on what it’s like. Any tiki-lovin’ Spaniards care to report?

Lots o’ Hukilau News

Filed under: Events,Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:28 pm
Postcard from the Yankee Clipper
Postcard from the Yankee Clipper

A bunch of important announcements about this year’s Hukilau:

Sunday Schedule Announced
Here are the activities for Sunday, Oct. 8, to take place at the Yankee Clipper’s Ballroom A from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.:

  • Sven Kirsten – Book of Tiki
  • Jeff Beachbum Berry – Grog Log/Intoxica/Taboo Table
  • Otto Von Stroheim – Tiki Art Now 1 & 2 and soon to com 3!/Tiki News
  • Charles Phoenix – Americana the Beautiful/Southern Californialand/ God Bless Americana/Southern California in the ’50s
  • Also meet Tiki artists Crazy Al, Basement Kahuna, Derek Yaniger, Pooch and Hukilau performers such as I Belli Di Waikiki as you have a chance to purchase CDs and merchandise
  • Storytime with Aunt Bungy! Bungy plans to have her new book Top of the Mast available, as well as reprints of the old Eli Hedley catalog.
  • Video from previous years’ Hukilau events, and a last chance to look at the Mai Kai photo exhibit

Also, due to the incredibly quick sell out of the Beachbum Berry Mixology seminar, a second, identical seminar has been added for Sunday, at 2 p.m. at the Yankee Clipper. Like the first seminar, seating is very limited, and tickets must be purchased separately.

Last Chance for Tickets at Discount Pricing
The scheduled ticket price increase that was set for August 1 has been pushed back — you now have until the end of the day this Thursday, August 3 to get tickets at the current discount pricing — the full pricing rolls out this Friday.

Mai Kai Nearing Sell-Out
There are only a few seats still available for the first seating of the dinner show at the Mai Kai, and the second seating is half-gone… remember that your Hukilau passes don’t get you a seat at the Mai Kai! You must call the Mai Kai to make your dinner reservations.

Yankee Clipper Rooms Available
The Bahia Cabana has completely sold out, but the Yankee Clipper (which is where much of Hukilau is taking place) still has rooms available. Yankee Clipper rooms cost a smidge more, but the discount available through the Hukilau can’t be beat, and it’s going to be far, far more comfortable in the gross Florida humidity. Besides, it’s right across the street, which means you’re practically at the Cabana anyhow, and won’t be missing out on any of the always-fabulous Cabana room parties.

We found the above postcard from the Yankee Clipper a few weeks ago at an antique mall, and we couldn’t pass it up.

To get your Hukilau tickets and learn how to make your hotel and Mai-Kai reservations, visit the Hukilau website.

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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