Giveaway – Win a 1961 Hawaiian Islanders XL T-shirt!

Hello, loyal Tiki Chick readers! It is the famed(?) Mr. Baseball here. I’m excited to be guest blogging for the lovely Tiki Chick. Why would she turn over a blog to someone who doesn’t even know the ingredients of a simple Mai Tai — there’s rum in there, right? Simple: I have a gift for you! No, it’s not a limited edition Tiki Farm mug or even a Bamboo Ben shelf (look at me, talkin’ the talk!). You see, I enjoy classic baseball history — and not just because my team hasn’t won anything since 1908. I wear old-school stirrups when I play ball and wear vintage logos and designs when out in public. Catch me at the next tiki event that my lady drags — uh, I mean “brings” me to and you’ll probably see me checking box scores on my phone while wearing my 1914 Cubs hat.

Long story short, I ordered a 1961 Hawaiian Islanders t-shirt to go along with my collection.

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It’s not only an awesome logo for a forgotten minor league affiliate, but also somewhat tiki related! (The Tiki Chick says it’s Hawaiiana.) Unfortunately for me, I ordered the wrong size. It’s an XL, which due to my oddly small framed, yet 6’2 body, t-shirt Large and XL sizes sometimes run too big or too small. This one runs big. After a shipping/returns mixup, they told me to keep the shirt. Freakin’ sweet! I then offered it to The Tiki Chick as a prize for one of her readers.

So here’s the contest: Come up with a clever name for a new Hawaiian baseball team.

Or, if creativity isn’t your thing, tell The Tiki Chick that you are big and tall and that you would like the XL Hawaiian Islanders shirt. If you’re lucky, I’ll even throw in a baseball card of me, Mr. Baseball, in action! It captures what I do best: Struggling through a Cubs fantasy camp while trying to relive my glorious athletic youth with a bad shoulder and poor eating habits. Collect all…one!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment and we will choose the winner randomly after Tuesday, September 4. (Readers that submit Hawaiian baseball team names will be assigned an extra entry in the giveaway for incentive.)

Good Luck and Mahalo!

NOTE: If you love baseball too, check out other vintage shirts, uniforms and various other throwbacks at http://www.ebbets.com. Those people are amazing at what they do, and they have a ton of cool stuff.

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Tiki Festival Long Beach – Ohana by the Sea

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Last weekend was Tiki Oasis in San Diego, the biggest Southern California tiki event of the year, but again I wasn’t able to muster the forethought or finances. (In related news: We bought a house!) Coincidentally, August 18 & 19 also happened to be the 12th annual Tiki Beach Festival in Long Beach, which was free, closer and being attended by some good friends.

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The event featured an island marketplace, food stands and Polynesian dancing and music performances throughout the day. Also mentioned on the Tiki Festival web site were tiki carvers and canoe racing, but somehow we missed those. Parking in the Belmont Shore area is not fun, but we were able to snag a space in the Granada Beach lot (free for the festival) since people were starting to pack up by the time we arrived around 4ish.

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Hawaiian chef Sam Choy’s food truck, Pineapple Express, has just started roaming the streets of Los Angeles so it was fitting for it to be there. The truck was serving up ahi poke, loco moco, pineapple upside down cake and several other dishes.

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The rest of the “Aloha Food Court” had a good range of grub, from sausages and garlic fries to Hawaiian BBQ, authentic shave ice and malasadas (Portuguese doughnuts) from Dough Dough’s. The only bummer was several vendors ran out of food by late afternoon.

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I had prepared myself for the kind of price gouging we encounter at the L.A. County Fair, but was pleasantly surprised to find that spam musubi was just $2.50. It was a perfect mid-afternoon snack.

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This late summer heat wave was still in full force, so the best way to keep cool was with a frozen piña colada ($5). They were non-alcoholic, alas, but I did appreciate the effort they put into garnishing each drink.

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The sidewalk leading to the food court and stage was lined with booths for island-inspired jewelry, aloha shirts and Astroturf (?!). A few folks were selling handcarved tikis, while others displayed the common imported tiki masks similar to the ones I see at Terry’s Palms & Tikis at the fair.

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In my eyes the most interesting of the vendors was Bow-Tiki, which operates a vintage boutique that opened earlier this year in the East Village Arts District of Long Beach. I liked how they blend tiki with turn-of-the-century style.

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They had set up their space to look like a bazaar tent with bohemian rugs, antique storage trunks and tiki and nautical trinkets. Erin, one of the owners, told me it was sort of a mini version of their store.

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Their wares were a mix of vintage, handmade and new but retro-inspired attire. My favorites were the girly t-shirts from Japanese company Queen Bee. There were several cute designs, including mermaids, fish, cat-eye glasses and corsets.

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Around 7 p.m. we brought out our blanket and beach chairs on to the sand to relax while we waited for the sunset and the finale of the fire knife dancers.

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Next year, if we’re not at Tiki Oasis, we might just be back here.

Aloha from Hanalei – Ching Young Village Shops

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While we were in Kauai we did some souvenir shopping in Hanalei, stopping first at Ching Young Village. On the other side of the highway are the Hanalei Center shops, including Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art and the vintage store Yellowfish Trading Company. (That area is more picturesque as the boutiques are housed in restored historic buildings.)

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But Ching Young Village has its fair share of nice shops too, such as Hanalei Strings & Things (where Mr. Baseball bought me a uke!), Robin Savage Gifts & Gourmet, and the one I’m featuring in this post: Aloha from Hanalei.

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The New York Times travel section included it in a great article from a couple years ago about shopping on Kauai, “Hawaiiana, Beyond the Hula Doll.” Aloha from Hanalei has a cozy tiki hut vibe with bamboo, thatch and surfboards on the walls, plus a few tikis and run-of-the-mill tiki masks.

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You’ll find an interesting and varied selection of wares, from locally made soaps to Hawaiian salt and spices to vintage aloha shirts to framed Hawaiiana sheet music like “Drowsy Honolulu Moonlight.” Like several other stores we visited, they also stocked typical tiki items like salt and pepper shakers, magnets and figurines.

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The purple Ku on this tiki photo album was on the cusp of what I’d classify as an ugly tiki, but I liked the natural materials on the cover. I don’t recall seeing this particular tiki scrapbook before, but there are somewhat similar ones for sale on Amazon.

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I was also pleased to see they sell tiki postcards from Brad Parker a.k.a. Tiki Shark, who resides in Kailua-Kona. (I’ve mentioned his awesome “Monsters on Vacation” paintings on this blog before, and he just had another show at La Luz de Jesus gallery that I’ll be writing about at some point.)

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We were staying nearby in Princeville, so we had a few opportunities to hang out in Hanalei and do the tourist stroll. But if you have limited time on the North Shore, your two must-dos should be browsing at Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art and drinking at Tahiti Nui. (More on them soon.)

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Why did the wild chicken cross the road? To get to Havaiki!

Aloha from Hanalei
Ching Young Village
5-5190 Kuhio Hwy.
Hanalei, HI 96714
808-826-8970