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Chicago Exotica 2005
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 28, 2002
Posts: 725
From: Vallejo CA
Posted: 2005-07-16 1:28 pm   Permalink

Ah, I too am *finally* home, after my post-Exotica excursion to tropical Columbus Ohio!

Side note: I just can't take in how very odd it is that anything like the Kahiki once existed in Columbus. Wow. How totally weird. I had to work hard not to think about that while I was there, for fear of a fit of tragic weeping!! But my Columbus friends and I did lift a toast to Ohio's great lost Tiki Mecca...where, I was told, my best friend Dottie collected a total of three marriage proposals over the years.

Back to Exotica.

Formikahini, you rule!!! Thanks so much, Alice, for being such a kind and cheerful and fun last-minute roomie. In case there's some fool out there who doesn't know it, Alice is a peach. (And her friends are marvelous as well, natch!) Both she and James were kind enough to offer me hospitality at the veryyyy last minute, too. Thanks, guys, a lot. I knew no one else in town going in, but was made to feel most welcome.

I might add, Tikibars' "Aku Hall" is not only a fabulously detailed, truly memorable home bar. It also resides within one of the most elegantly comfortable bachelor pads I've ever seen. Much less been lucky enough to crash at. Thanks again, James.

And to all the other TCers I haven't met before or haven't seen in ages--so wonderful to see you! Verntiki, Turbogod, PoweroftheTiki, you guys are the greatest and made my trip so much more fun. Esqui and Lisette, you are so dear and nice and I love your stuff! Still sorry I didn't buy your great Tiki Bob painting, but...sigh...the damned budget was already tight. And Bree, it is always a pleasure to see your lovely face and enjoy chatting with you. Mr and Mrs Johnny Dollar, you guys are so much fun and I hope we meet again!

I thought the event as a whole was extremely well-done, and it blew me away how helpful the Carters were with my last minute reorganization. That kind of personal attention from folks who must've already been SO busy is simply amazing. Thanks for everything and all praise.

Needless to say, the local Tiki spots were a blast. I especially love Hala Kahiki and hope to enjoy a 'Passionate Rummie" there again someday . Not to mention a giant roast pig buffet at Chef Shangri-La! Unparalleled hospitality from all the venues, matter of fact.

Last but not least, I am VERY relieved and happy to hear that pain-in-the-butt Dennis decided NOT to follow T.S. Cindy and spared New Orleans and Purple Jade. Here's to ALL the stupid hurricanes this season seems determined to produce fizzling off harmlessly into the ocean somewhere! Enough already.

On the plane coming back, a California blonde behind me was burbling loudly about weather issues. "All my friends back East ask me 'how can you stand the earthquakes??'--well, I just tell them, 'hey, at least we don't have earthquake SEASON every year!"

Even though I AM sitting next to a large piece of vintage unreinforced masonry at the moment, still, she has a point I guess...my sympathies and best wishes, therefore, to any/all Pensacolans-and-vicinity here on TC.

xox tikivixen

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2002
Posts: 2765
From: The Coast of Kauai
Posted: 2005-07-16 4:28 pm   Permalink

Sorry to miss the party and to have sent Duke and Amy half assed packaged donations to the raffle only to be crushed by a 600 lb gorilla known as USPS.

I have to agree with Tikivixen regarding Formikahini. A real nice person to chat with. Hope all is well with you Alice! Hey I ran into Patrick at Oasis.

Look like you all had a hoot. Yea!


Stoke & Flow

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 488
From: The fly-over states
Posted: 2005-07-17 11:06 am   Permalink

Finally had a little time to sort through pictures. Here are a few:

Trader Vic's

TipsyMcStagger & friend

Amy & Melanie

Set up for TV spot

Pop Nation film crew

Inside Hala Kahiki

Outside Hala Kahiki

King performs in the garden

Mom and Dad Tiki

Windy City Islanders

Atomic Mama

Tiki Diablo

Jon Rauhouse

Kaiser George and Neanderthal Johnny Rabb

Aloha attire contest



Fire dance

Duke with raffle prize

More of the King

The Chef's Susan with Duke

Haole Kats

Mr and Mrs. Jeff Central

King with the kids

King gets everyone involved

Duke and Eddie

If you want to see more there are some at


Check out Tiki Quest at http://www.pegboardchicago.com/TCintro.html
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[ This Message was edited by: boutiki 2005-07-17 13:10 ]

[ This Message was edited by: boutiki 2005-08-24 11:07 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 09, 2003
Posts: 650
From: Just up the road from Chef Shangri-La
Posted: 2005-07-21 08:07 am   Permalink

We finally got some pics to share......

BaMbOoLoDgE...where the South Pacific meets the Great White North!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1323
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2005-07-23 12:37 pm   Permalink

I am finally finding the time to post my entry to this post. The Chicago Exotica weekend was a very fun one. Much thanks to Duke and Amy for organizing the event, and also for picking a hotel (the Write Inn) that was near some landmark architectural locations. I spent several hours on this trip doing walking tours of Oak Park and experiencing Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio, Wright's Unity Temple, Ernest Hemingway's birthplace, and several other places, and it was very nice to be able to top off those activities by then going to Exotica and sharing mai-tais with friends.

It was good to once again see several of the DC/MD group on-board, and to meet several familiar faces and new friends too. I have now seen King Kukulele perform in six different states, and Formikahini, who must share of the identical DNA gene material as myself, somehow ends up attending the same events that I do.

Thursday's night at Trader Vics was fun, and I enjoyed the music and the hula line dances. I wasn't quite used to drinking mai-tais in plain glassware, but I soon discovered that by ordering and drinking a Samoan fogcutter drink, one could then fit not one, nor two, but three of the stronger mai-tais into the now empty but still hefty ceramic fogcutter mug. After that was consumed, I repeated the experiment to see if the same could be done with the Navy Grog -- I was not disappointed, as the answer to my scientific tiki query proved to be 'Yes.' The drinks at Deliahs later that evening were also very good - I do remember asking the bartender to make them extra strong. Somehow, for the taxi drive home, I ended up in the front shotgun navigating seat, where it was shown that ones 'giving the driver directions home' skills, just like actual driving skills, can be greatly affected by the consumption of alcohol. Our cab full of people ended up with an unexpected nighttime tour of many of the lesser known streets of the Oak Park suburb, except for JDTiki, who had evidently taken the tour before and bailed out halfway.

The following day I woke up and went with Jeff Central and wife to the Science and Industry Museum to view toy robots, and the Bodyworks human anatomy display, where I was sobered by the comparison display of healthy and unhealthy liver organs, shown side-by-side. I survived that, and later made it to Hala Kahiki, which was a nice, relaxed event. Here a couple of pictures taken there.

Profiles in Courage - Moai, Esqui, and Lisette

Johnny $, taking advice from a plastic parrot

And here are some other pictures, taken from the rest of the weekend.

PowerofTiki, Turbogod, tikibars, and tikivixen

King, Duke, and Eddie on stage

Empty stage at the end of the night

Haole Kats at Chef Shagri-La's

Bre-elle and Witco

And finally, a non-Exotica photo - and tiki where you don't expect to find tiki. This is a photo of the sales desk at the small store located inside the Ernest Hemingway Museum (located across the street from the Write Inn)

and a close-up of above

After Exotica, I took a week of vacation in Wisconsin - I will be posting tiki-related pictures from that portion of my trip in other venues.


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Haole Kat
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2004
Posts: 271
From: St Petersburg, FL
Posted: 2005-07-23 1:01 pm   Permalink

Thanks to everyone for sharing your photos and recollections of Exotica. I know I had a great time checking out music and chatting with other TC'ers. (Tikivixen, TurboGod, Powerofthetiki, Formikahini, Tiki Diablo, Tikibars, King Kuku, Lake Surfer, Jeff Central, Bamboolodge, Finkdaddy...I'm forgetting someone here...it was great to meet all of you!) When things settle down around here, I'll be sure to get some photos up.

The event went amazing smoothly from our standpoint...getting to and from the stage with our equipment was waaaay easier than we expected..many thanks to the organizers for that!

I think the biggest surprise for me was Southern Culture On The Skids...to quote one of my childhood idols...theeeey're grrrreat! We got our paws on 4 of their discs and every one of them kicks butt! Check 'em out if you haven't already.


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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 3070
From: Columbus, Ohiya
Posted: 2005-08-07 10:34 am   Permalink

Undead King

p.s. to king k: sorry about the ZAZZ razz

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