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Tiki Central Forums Ľ Ľ General Tiki Ľ Ľ The Jungle-style Thread - Pop Culture Iconography of the Dark Continent
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The Jungle-style Thread - Pop Culture Iconography of the Dark Continent
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11197
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-12-09 12:56 am   Permalink

A picture request:
Did anyone photograph the cool A-frame and sign of the BEL-CONGO Motel right next to the Kona Lanes in Costa Mesa when it was still standing? It was "Belgian-Congo" tropics pop that would fit in here well, but I ignorantly neglected to photograph it because it was NOT TIKI!



[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-12-09 00:59 ]


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6189
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2009-12-09 02:46 am   Permalink

This is my back yard, I mean you grow up around these places & they just get taken for granted, until they are gone.
I drive by this location almost everyday, it is just a fancy generic strip mall now, but now I miss it, there was a great Googie style building right across the street, that is now a bank.

Never thought to take photos......


 
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TikiG
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 17, 2008
Posts: 1545
From: Riverside, California
Posted: 2009-12-09 07:52 am   Permalink

My neighborhood growing up was Brookhurst and Yorktown, Huntington Beach (1963-1977).

I remember the general area of Adams Ave. and Harbor Blvd very well. We used to grocery shop at Thriftimart at that corner (now Mesa Verde center). I learned to bowl at Kona Lanes. I went to the Edwards Cinema movie theater monthly (1st movie shown there was A Hard Days Night. Beatlemania at its OC peak.) The googie style building ATP talks about above - I think its the same building I'm thinking of - used to be a home-improvement/hardware/nursery center. Up and down that strip north and south of Adams Ave. were auto dealers, many with googie style showrooms, many A-frame buildings, tiki motels, etc. Costa Mesa in general was hugely a Polynesian vibe back then.

Back in the early to mid-1980s I moved back to Costa Mesa and lived in the apartment complex off of Harbor Blvd just south of Fair Dr.

This was the era of wholesale destruction of my beloved googie buildings. I took a compact VHS video camera around the area and taped all up and down Harbor Blvd., from Costa Mesa up to Disneyland. I'm sure I have footage of the motel Bigbro is requesting. I just need to find the damn tapes - needless to say that is going to take an effort to find the video tapes let alone the requested footage. The tapes may be destroyed or lost; I've moved many many times since then.

I'll start my search over the Christmas holiday and get back with everyone later.
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TikiG

tiki since '67!


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4354
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-12-09 12:21 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-12-09 00:56, bigbrotiki wrote:
A picture request:
Did anyone photograph the cool A-frame and sign of the BEL-CONGO Motel right next to the Kona Lanes in Costa Mesa when it was still standing?



Bigbro,

I have an old postcard from the Bel Congo Motel. A great A-frame but no Congo-themed items when it was first built. Did the sign change over time?





DC


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11197
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-12-09 4:34 pm   Permalink

Great postcard. I do not have the BOT handy, but besides the Bel Congo A-frame showing in profile underneath the Kona Lanes sign (on the bowling alley page), I also seem to remember the green sign peaking out somewhere...?

 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
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Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6189
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2009-12-09 5:24 pm   Permalink

I don't think this Motel was in the same area as Kona Lanes, it might of been across the street, a little further down Harbor Blvd.
I did find a news story about the Bel Congo from the 1970s here:
http://titanyearbook.com/archives/1976/1976-11-11.PDF ,look at X rated movie story.

I spent alot of time there as a youth, Edwards Cinema, Swensen's Ice Cream, Kona Lanes, Music Market,Ice Chalet,etc & there was no Motel there.
from the Postcard Picture it looks like it was in the area north of the 405.


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Atomic Tiki Punk
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Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6189
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2009-12-09 6:04 pm   Permalink

So I mapped this out, Kona Lanes was in the 2700 Block of Harbor Blvd. Off Mesa Verde & Harbor past Adams going south.
Bel Congo was at 20201 Harbor Blvd.

Address is not same area as Kona Lanes was, sorry Sven.


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6189
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2009-12-09 6:42 pm   Permalink

After further research I have found the Motel address to have been at 2665 Harbor Blvd, this puts the motel a half block south on Harbor from Kona Lanes, you would have been able to see a Motel sign from there, but still not in the same parking lot area as Kona Lanes/Ice Chalet on the other side of Mesa Verde ave.

The address on the above postcard may have been an even older location, I have found some info stating the motel was demolished in 1995
I am still researching this.


 
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Bora Boris
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Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2588
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2009-12-09 7:12 pm   Permalink

Atomic Tiki Punk itís not your fault and now you have the correct address. I have a boring matchbook for the Bel Congo that says the address is 2665 Harbor Blvd (Iíll scan that tomorrow) so yes the address had changed at some point, the Kona Lanes was at 2699 Harbor Blvd.



You can see the roof and part of the sign of the Bel Congo in this picture from The Book of Tiki pg 197 that it was across Mesa Verde Dr. East. The Bel Congo sign in the picture is cooler than the one on the post card.



I canít believe you donít remember it was next to the 7-11 on the corner. As a former Costa Mesan I suggest you lay low on the "I'm Mr. Costa Mesa" stuff for a few days.

Just for fun here is an aerial shot from 1994 - The Bel Congo is already gone but you can see where it was.



Now back to John-Oís Jungle-style Thread!
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6189
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2009-12-09 7:40 pm   Permalink

Thanks Bora Boris,
I would have added that it was where a Rents4less is now, which is right next to the 7/11 is today, just did not seem important.
My description in my previous post,nails the location, so do I get to stay in Costa Mesa for now?

I do have to say I don't remember the Bel Congo well, because there was a whole string of old school motels all the way down Harbor Blvd at the time, most of them a bit seedy.


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6189
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2009-12-09 8:06 pm   Permalink

Also my memory is a bit fuzzy due to a few Slam Dancing accidents in the 1970s

 
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Bora Boris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2588
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2009-12-09 8:25 pm   Permalink

Oh thatís fine and I think it was knocked down for being a Flea Bag Motel in the end. I remember in High School they would rent rooms to kids for parties and you canít tell from the post card but the pool was out front practically on Harbor Blvd. Nice!

Now that weíve moved into Orange County territory I remember when the original Safari Samís opened up in Huntington Beach there was thatch inside and Sam would wear a Pith helmet.



Back to Los Angeles County - how has the Safari Room in Mission Hills very close the former Lucky Tiki location not been mentioned? I havenít been (I suck) but I know PiPhiRho is a fan and I trust him.


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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2009-12-10 07:40 am   Permalink

Boris Boris,

BigBro mentioned the Safari Room previously on this thread. I plan to take interior pics on my next visit and will post here. It's the only themed Jungle/Safari bar/restaurant in So Ca that I'm aware of. There used to be a themed Korean bar in Cypress called the Jungle Bar but I think it closed several years ago.


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4354
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-12-10 12:18 pm   Permalink

How about a little swizzle sizzle action:

The in-famous Zulu Lulu set.



A cool swizzle from ebay - the Afrikoko Magic Drum Cocktail.





DC

[ This Message was edited by: Dustycajun 2009-12-10 17:48 ]


 
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bongofury
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1546
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2009-12-10 5:59 pm   Permalink

More movie madness...lots of "Africa" movies with Tikis, Tapa, Hawaiian Clothes, Shrunken Heads

Forbidden Jungle












This silly South Seas Jungle fun with African animals

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrRtIp3jylk

White Witch Doctor with Robert Mitchum and Susan Hayward




The Tiki on the left can also be seen in Bird Of Paradise & some episodes of Adventures In Paradise



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