Need a little help with your holiday shopping? Here’s some gift ideas for the tiki lover on your list…
A tiki mug is an obvious choice, but which one? One of my favorites to debut this year was the latest signature mug from Psycho Suzi’s, The Martiki, which was designed by Tiki tOny and produced by Tiki Farm. As a rule, Tiki Farm doesn’t sell these locale-specific mugs on their web site, but lucky for you Psycho Suzi’s has an online gift shop! This was gifted to me by Mr. Baseball’s family and I must say it’s even better in person.
Also worth mentioning is the Tiki Temptress Classic Cocktails Set from Fluff designer Claudette Barjoud and Tiki Farm. If you’re looking for something more festive, the Tiki-Ti has just recently made their Santa-themed Kahuna Kalikimaka mug available for shipping (ordering details can be found on their Facebook page).
I had the pleasure of seeing (and purchasing) “The DVD of Tiki: Volume 1” when it screened at the Egyptian Theatre this summer. This 95-minute documentary by Jochen Hirschfeld chronicles how and why tiki bars became popular and then passé. As I said before, it’s really is a must-buy for anyone that’s into tiki. Order it at www.dvdoftiki.com — shipping is available all over the world.
Last month, Peter Moruzzi (Palm Springs Holiday, Havana Before Castro) released his latest book Mid-Century Dining: Discovering America’s Finest Mid-Century Restaurants. His tribute to white-tablecloth, Continental restaurants and classic steakhouses spotlights several restaurants in particular, including the Mai-Kai which also happens to be featured on the cover. (At the book signing party at La Luz de Jesus gallery, Moruzzi told me it’s a never-before-published illustration that had been framed in one of the back rooms of the Mai-Kai.) Sven Kirsten, author of The Book of Tiki and Tiki Modern, contributed many photographs to the book as well as the profile of the Mai-Kai and a chapter on “The Rise and Fall of the American Tiki Temple.”
James Teitelbaum (Tiki Road Trip) also has a new book this year entitled Destination Cocktails: The Traveler’s Guide to Superior Libations, compiling the world’s best bars including tiki spots like Smuggler’s Cove, PKNY, Mai-Kai and Tiki-Ti.
December is your chance for merry-making with Don Tiki, the Honolulu-based exotica music group. They will have three performances of their Hot Lava Holiday Show: December 15 at the Doris Duke Theatre in Honolulu, December 17 at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and December 20 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. For the geographically challenged, Don Tiki has a Hot Lava Holiday Show EP just recently posted on iTunes. It includes such tongue-in-cheek tunes as “Havana Gila” (yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking) and carol-infused “Silent Village” — especially appropriate as the band includes percussionist Lopaka Colón, whose father, Augie Colon, contributed jungle and bird calls on Martin Denny’s 1956 hit “Quiet Village.”
Our Christmas tree is being gradually tiki-fied as I’ve been collecting Polynesiac’s holiday tiki ornaments, which are hand casted and painted to look like carved wood. For 2012, he has a new design based on the “tiki babies” that fall from the flowers of the Tangaroa tree at the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. There are other awesome ornaments ranging in price from $12-$25, depending on the amount of hand-painting. Bonus: shipping is only $2 for the entire order. His Etsy shop has limited quantities, so act fast!