Entries in the 'Critiki' Category

August 20, 2010

Critiki Now Has Larger Images

Filed under: Critiki,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:36 pm
New and Improved!

Critiki’s image galleries have been spiffed up… you can now click on an image to view it in glorious widescreen, with images up to 60% larger than before!

This has probably been the #1 feature request for Critiki, and boy am I happy to deliver. The galleries are also a bit easier to use, now that all the thumbnails are presented in one scrolling carousel at the bottom of the page.

You can see the new image galleries on individual location pages, on people’s profile pages, and of course in the Images section.

Try it out now:

  • One of the more photogenic tiki bars out there, the Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson, Arizona.
  • Critiki user Princess P. travels all over the world, and has shared some great pictures.
  • My personal favorite of the themed image galleries, Renderings.


August 4, 2008

Critiki Got a Makeover

Filed under: Critiki,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 7:44 pm
Critiki's New Look
Critiki’s New Look

I created Critiki way back in 2002, and while I’m pretty proud of how well the design stood up all these years, there was no denying that it was starting to look a bit dated. Plus, I have a lot more experience doing this stuff now, and all the little things I knew could be better bugged the heck out of me.

So, I finally took the time to sit down and redo the thing (there is a direct correlation between this and the absence of posts here during the past few weeks). Oh, man, it’s so much nicer to look at now. And nicer to use, too, I think.

Check out Critiki’s New Look

I literally cannot count the improvements I made, but most of them are on the back end, or are so subtle that you won’t notice them individually, but I hope that you can feel the improvements.

One improvement that is more obvious is how much easier it is now to browse through global destinations to find tiki in a given area. Instead of having to drill down all the way to obscure little towns and then back up again, now you can see the area on the Critiki Map as you browse, and it’ll tell you how many tiki locations are in the area.

Spain in Critiki
Spain in Critiki

Now that things are cleaned up a bit behind the scenes, I’ll be able to add some new features to Critiki. I have lots of ideas for new features, but what do you think? What do you wish Critiki could do?

February 20, 2008

Critiki Mobile

Filed under: Critiki,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:32 am
Critiki hits the road: Critiki Mobile
Critiki hits the road: Critiki Mobile

It’s not really quite finished — there are some more tweaks I want to make — but I think it’s close enough that I don’t feel right keeping it from the tiki-lovin’ travelin’ souls of the world.

Critiki Mobile: http://mobile.critiki.com

It’s primarily designed for the iPhone, because a) it’s a dead sexy piece of machinery, and b) it’s what I’ve got. My friend Rich helped me out by letting me poke around on his Treo, and it seems to work just dandy, but I haven’t a clue what issues might crop up on other devices.

It’s been a fun challenge as a designer and a UI programmer to create an interface that works in such a small space with limiting size and interaction constraints. I’m pretty pleased with what I was able to come up with. While he didn’t help me directly, I think I was able to channel some of the serious UI mojo of Hanford Lemoore. Anything I got right was likely inspired by my Hanford exposure, anything I got wrong is squarely on my shoulders.

Nearly everything you can do on the regular Critiki site, you can do on Critiki Mobile — you can search for tiki locations, read the descriptions, look at pictures, find other tiki places nearby, and of course you can take a gander at how locations have been rated. Now, you can even add your own critiki ratings while you’re still in the restaurant! Since it is a phone app, naturally dialing phone numbers takes just a touch, and it’s also hooked into the iPhone’s Google Maps app, which is just ridiculously convenient. Ooh de lally. It makes me want to hit the road.

I’ve also cleared a big ol’ backlog of wonderful photo submissions to Critiki over the past few months — easily a couple hundred new photos!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Critiki Mobile — as I mentioned, there are some tweaks I want to make (including some fantastic suggestions from my friend Jory), but I’d like to get feedback from a few users before I embark on some of the final fine-tuning. While the development will continue to be focused on the glorious, ovary-quaking iPhone experience, I’d also like to hear how it works (or more significantly, doesn’t work) on other mobile web-enabled devices.

January 26, 2007

New Critiki Feature: Nearest Locations

Filed under: Critiki,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 8:11 pm
New Critiki feature: Nearest Locations
New Critiki feature: Nearest Locations

I’m very pleased to announce a new Critiki feature I’ve wanted to have for a long time: Nearest Locations. Each location in Critiki now shows a list of the five closest open locations (as the crow flies, so be sure to factor in any lakes & rivers that may impede your Pursuit of Tiki). Aside from being a big help for the many folks who use Critiki for their travel plans, it’s just a fun way to bop around Critiki, checking out locations you might not have been aware of. It only includes locations that are open to the public — no home bars, or places that have gone out of business. Pictured here is an example of the locations listed on the page for the Bali Hai in Lynnfield, Mass.

Another little tweak I’ve made: if you’re logged into Critiki and looking at a location, you’ll see your own critiki of the location right under the location’s average critiki ratings. That means you don’t have to go into the critiki page to see whether you remembered to rate a place, and you can also see at a glance if your rating still holds true to how you feel about a place.

I hope you enjoy these changes, I think they add a lot to Critiki.

I must take a moment to thank the many people who have been contributing their images to Critiki. I’ve been really pleased with the amount of photos coming in — I have new ones about every other day or so. It sure makes a location’s page come alive, and I really appreciate the efforts of those who take the time to share their photos through Critiki. Mahalo!

January 5, 2007

Tiki Road Trip, 2nd Edition Coming in May

Filed under: Critiki,News,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:49 pm
Tiki Road Trip, 2nd Edition, by James Teitelbaum
Tiki Road Trip, 2nd Edition,
by James Teitelbaum

A newly updated 2nd edition of James Teitelbaum’s very popular Tiki Road Trip is due out in May of this year. The world of tiki has changed very much, mostly for the better, since James’ book originally came out in 2003, and fans of the book are very eager to get a more up-to-date version of their road bible. The new TRT features many revised and re-written entries, more photos, and a design that will make it a bit easier to find what you’re looking for.

I’ve pointed many, many people to Tiki Road Trip over the years, here on Humu Kon Tiki, on Tiki Central, and on Critiki. As a matter of fact, for the first year Critiki was available to the public, I required you to prove you owned Tiki Road Trip before you could access detailed information like addresses, maps, websites and phone numbers (now, this information is available to anyone who registers, for free, on Critiki). However — and this may shock some of you — I have never actually read Tiki Road Trip. I know! Can you believe it!?

The thing is, I’d love to. I own several copies of it. I’ve skimmed it a bit, but always very briefly, and very cautiously. You see, when I started work on Critiki in late 2002, James’ book hadn’t been announced yet. In the course of collecting information about tiki places for Critiki’s database, I realized how much effort had gone into the creation of James’ Tiki Bar Review Pages (Tiki Road Trip’s online ancestor). The last thing I wanted to do was poach someone else’s very hard work, and so even though it meant re-inventing the wheel a bit, I didn’t use any of the information he’d collected, only information I’d collected myself. I steered completely clear of the Tiki Bar Review Pages, though they’d been a great initial inspiration to me in my personal search for tiki when it was new to me. When I learned that James had a book coming out, I wasn’t sure what to do: I knew the power of what a good database-driven site could do, not just for my own travel plans, but for others’, but I also didn’t want to do anything that would steal James’ thunder. In the end, I decided I couldn’t shelf Critiki, I was far too excited about it, and I’d put far too much effort into constructing it. I gave James some advance notice that Critiki was underway, so he wouldn’t feel sideswiped, and when I launched Critiki, I did everything I could to encourage folks to support James’ book. Not that it needed my help — James’ book really sells itself.

James and I became dear friends — he came to visit me in Seattle, and he showed me the sights in Chicago — and naturally our shared passion for tiki travel has formed a strong bond. As time has marched on, I continue to update Critiki on a very regular basis, and there sits James’ book, with all my other tiki books, spine uncracked. It’s a very hard temptation to resist — after all, how could a book possibly be more up my alley?!? But, I can’t take the risk that James’ hard work would influence my own research. So, I don’t use it. It’s probably silly of me.

I can’t conclusively say what’s different about James’ book vs Critiki, beyond two pretty salient points: his is paper, and much more portable; and it’s James’ voice, not mine. Multiple voices & viewpoints always make the general understanding better. Even though I haven’t read it myself, I feel very, very comfortable recommending it, and it’s great news that a new edition is coming out.

This is going to be a banner year for tiki books: I’ve already mentioned Sven Kirsten’s new Tiki Modern book, and there are two more books on their way in the coming year: Sippin’ Safari by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, and another book that I don’t think has been announced yet, so I’m going to keep quiet about it. Tiki Road Trip is due in May 2007, from Santa Monica Press.

September 11, 2006

Critiki on Yahoo!’s The 9

Filed under: Critiki,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:37 pm
Critiki on Yahoo!'s The 9
Critiki on Yahoo!’s The 9

It’s been an exciting few days for my websites… this weekend, the How to Build a Tiki Bar post here on Humu Kon Tiki got a mention on Boing Boing (which is always a nice thing), and this morning, I woke up to the news that my tiki bar website, Critiki, made Yahoo!’s The 9. I actually had never heard of The 9, it’s a daily list of 9 sites that Yahoo! thinks are worth a mention, and they do so in a format that looks not unlike the TV Guide Channel. They show Critiki’s Spinning Globe of Tiki Goodness in the video, which is very cool, but for some reason they show pictures that are from Humu Kon Tiki instead of some of the actual photos in Critiki, which are generally as good or better. Go figure. They also didn’t spend enough time at either of those sites to actually get the tiki thing — they intro into the next site’s profile by saying something about watching sports at tiki bars (???). But I really shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, it’s a wonderful thing for Critiki to be introduced to a new audience. Of all my sites, it’s the one that’s closest to my heart.

Also, yesterday I got to meet some readers in the flesh, when they recognized me at a party. (It was such a treat to meet you!) That’s always extra-cool, and makes me feel less silly for having my picture on the site — it’s definitely worth it when readers are able to recognize me and come up and chat tiki with me.

September 3, 2006

Critiki: Big Critiki Maps Improvement, Little-Known Features Revealed

Filed under: Critiki,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 5:07 pm
Critiki Maps view of San Francisco
Critiki Maps view of San Francisco

I rolled out Critiki Maps a year ago this week — it was cool, but it didn’t work in many browsers, and it was slooooow. Now, I’ve just about completely re-coded it, and integrated the latest Google Maps API, and the improvement is stunning. It works across multiple browsers, and it’s much, much faster. If Critiki Maps haven’t worked for you in the past, give it a try again — it’s much more likely to work for you now.

Nearly 90% of the locations in Critiki are on the Critiki Maps; the few that are missing are the ones that I haven’t found accurate latitude & longitude information for (these are almost exclusively the ones that are out of business). Critiki Maps let you see all the tiki locations in an area, all on one map. Like Google Maps, you can drag the window around, and you can zoom in and out. Look for the “View on Critiki Map” link under the address on each location’s Critiki profile.

There are a whole slew of other little features in Critiki that you probably don’t know about…

Critiki's Book of Tiki listing for Bai Hai, San Diego
Critiki’s Book of Tiki
listing for Bai Hai,
San Diego

Book of Tiki Index
Did you ever wish the Book of Tiki had an index? Yeah, me too. That’s why I made one. With the blessing of BOT author Sven Kirsten, Critiki locations have an “In the Book of Tiki” section, detailing which pages of the BOT have references to that location. For instance, Critiki’s Book of Tiki information for the Bali Hai in San Diego can be seen at the right.

Tiki Central Search
Have you ever tried to search for “Kon Tiki” on Tiki Central? You’ll get a whole ton of information, but you might have to dig through talk about Thor Heyerdahl’s trip, or Stephen Crane’s Kon Tiki chain, or the Kon Tiki Hotel in Phoenix, or the Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson, or the other couple of dozen uses of the phrase “Kon Tiki.” For another angle, try going to the Critiki page for the location you want to know more about, and click “View discussions about this location at Tiki Central” to see a list of topics talking about that location. These links are lovingly hand-curated by Tiki Central moderator Tiki Wahine and myself, so you can be sure that each topic really has discussion about that location.

RSS Feed
The latest updates to Critiki can be viewed on one handy-dandy webpage — and thanks to lots of folks adding their own images to Critiki, updates are happening very frequently these days. If you’d like to keep abreast of the latest updates to Critiki, but don’t want to keep checking the page, you can subscribe to the Latest Updates RSS feed in your favorite RSS reader.

Browse by Rating
Which tiki bars have the best drinks? The worst food? The best music? The worst service? You can see it all under Browse by Rating.

Home Tiki Bars
Want to share your home tiki bar with the world? Or document it for posterity? There are a number of great home tiki bars in Critiki, and I’ll gladly add yours, too. Just send an email to humuhumu@critiki.com letting me know your bar’s name, and what city it’s in.

Nearby Geocaches
This last one is an Easter Egg of sorts. Go to a location — any location — that has latitude & longitude information. You’ll find the latitude & longitude under the location’s address. Float your cursor in the teeny space between the latitude and the longitude — you’ll see there’s a link hidden there. If you click it, it will take you to a page on Geocaching.org showing the closest geocaches to that tiki location.

August 7, 2006

Lots of New Images of Tiki in Critiki

Filed under: Critiki,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 9:55 am
by Mr. Bali Hai
by Mr. Bali Hai

Thanks to the new ability for anybody to add images to Critiki, there’s a lot of great new stuff to look at. A lot of this is a backlog of photos I’d taken recently, but about half of it is images submitted by tiki enthusiasts just like you. All told, 186 new images have been added to Critiki in the past few days, spanning across 31 different locations.

The onslaught of new images inspired Mr. Bali Hai, of Eye of the Goof, to create this clever bit of propaganda. Now you can’t resist! You must join your tiki brothers and sisters, and do your bit for the greater tiki good!

If you have photos or scans of stuff from your collection you’d like to contribute to Critiki, it’s sooper easy — just look for the link to “Add it to Critiki” on each location’s page.

UPDATE: I’ve been inspired to create on of my own:

Work to build a powerful Navy Grog
Work to build a powerful Navy Grog

August 4, 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.

January 26, 2006

Critiki Photo Count Crosses 1,000

Filed under: Critiki,Los Angeles,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:48 pm
Samoan Village Menu from the collection of the Los Angeles Public Library
Samoan Village Menu
from the collection of the
Los Angeles Public Library

Critiki now boasts more than 1,000 pictures, thanks to a recent influx of images. One exciting development comes courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library, which has provided images from their extensive menu collection for inclusion in Critiki. Many mahalos to the fine people at the LAPL for making it possible to share these images with tikiphiles. Another great addition has been dozens of swizzles from the collection of Andy Johnson. This, plus a smattering of contributions from other Critiki visitors, has pushed Critiki’s image count up to 1,050. If you have pictures you’ve taken or items in your collection that you’d like to share, you can submit your images to Critiki at the Critiki Photo Upload page. There are a few caveats (the image must be big enough, and it has to be yours and not someone else’s), but it’s overall a very painless Lose Weight Exercise. If you have already put your images up on a website, I can sometimes grab them from there, too (Shutterfly is a no-go — the images are too small).

If you’d like to keep up with the updates and additions to Critiki, there’s a handy-dandy RSS feed. Thanks so much to all who have contributed to the Critiki historic archive!

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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