Jason Henderson and Adam Foshko have authored California Tiki: A History of Polynesian Idols, Pineapple Cocktails and Coconut Palm Trees, a new paperback which "explore the state's midcentury fascination with all things Tiki":
After World War II, suburbs proliferated around California cities as returning soldiers traded in their uniforms for business suits. After-hours leisure activities took on an island-themed sensuality that bloomed from a new fascination with Polynesia and Hawaii. Movies and television shows filmed in Malibu and Burbank urged viewers to escape everyday life with the likes of Gidget and Hawaiian Eye. Restaurants like Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic's sprang up to answer the demand for wild cocktails and even wilder décor. The culture--a strange hodgepodge of idols, torches, lush greenery and colorful drinks--beckoned men and women to lose themselves in exotic music and surf tunes.
Available in paperback for $23.99. Read the rest
My friend Otto von Stroheim (who, with his wife Baby Doe, host Tiki Oasis, the world's largest tiki festival) shared some cool Disneyland news on Sunday:
Polynesian Pop is alive and healthy and growing and this is another sign of the future of Tiki Style: Disneyland has invested in Tiki and is installing another new Tiki section (after the HUGE success of Trader Sam's bars in Anaheim and Orlando)
The official announcement came Thursday on the Disney Parks Blog:
Calling all adventurers! There will soon be a new area of Adventureland to explore at Disneyland park.
The former Aladdin’s Oasis will soon be transformed to The Tropical Hideaway! This new experience will soon appear along the tropical shores nestled between the Jungle Cruise and “Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.” This one-of-a-kind destination will be a popular rest stop for Adventureland locals and weary explorers alike. Guests will be able to rub elbows with their favorite skippers in an exotic traders’ market, featuring all of the sights, sounds and flavors of the tropics
TimeOut Los Angeles reported on the surprise announcement (calling it "a simple but effective Adventureland bomb") and dug a little deeper into the the history of Polynesian Pop at that location in the Anaheim park:
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Sporting a name that's likely a nod to the adjacent Tiki Room’s theme song—“Welcome to our tropical hideaway, you lucky people, you”—the Tropical Hideaway will sit on the former grounds of Disney’s long-running restaurant, Tahitian Terrace, a Polynesian-inspired eatery that stood from 1962 to 1993 before transforming into a theater for a former Aladdin live show.
See sample pages from this book at Wink.
by Sven Kirsten
2015, 192 pages, 4.9 x 6.6 x 0.5 inches (softcover)
$10 Buy a copy on Amazon
This little pocket book packs a big punch full of tiki culture with flamboyant images and a fun history. The author Sven A. Kirsten is the go-to guy for everything tiki. He’s the author of the Book of Tiki, which this bite-sized edition pulls from. The book takes you through the origins of tiki in the South Pacific, explains how this island culture worked its way into mainstream Americana, and highlights some of the legends like Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic.
There’s something about Tikidom that’s just fun. The mugs, the artwork, the cocktails – it’s easy to get wrapped up in the tropical fantasy. Maybe it was growing up in grey and rainy Seattle that made me a sucker for tiki, but I can’t get enough and this book delivers. It’s filled cover to cover with photographs, illustrations, and incredible island imagery. So grab your favorite ceramic mug, pour yourself a Mai-Tai and enjoy this fantastic look at the stylish world of tiki. – JP LeRoux
Note: If you already have The Book of Tiki there won’t be anything new for you here, but I’d highly recommend picking up any of Sven’s other tiki books if you want to learn even more about the culture. Read the rest