Joined: May 16, 2008
From: Dogtown, USA
|Posted: 2009-06-22 5:46 pm  Permalink|
Based on my recent find of the "Tiki Archeology" DVD at Burbank's 8-Ball, I decided to make the drive out to Soap Plant in East Hollywood to see if any new Tiki/Mid-Century/Pop Culture books were out. If you're ever in the vicinity of Tiki-Ti, check this place out, it's in walking distance. It's like a Wal-Mart of pop culture and contains an art gallery showcasing the work of "low brow" artists (Shag, Coop, Mark Ryden, etc.) They have lots of tiki-related stuff. http://www.soapplant.com
Now usually I plan a visit to Tiki-Ti when making the drive out to the Eastside from SaMo, but this time I ventured further on Sunset towards Echo Park. (Actually "Eastside" is really east of the LA River which this is not, but that's the popular term these days). I first wanted to pay a visit to a bar steeped in Los Angeles neo-noir history, the Short Stop.
The Short Stop was a long-time hangout for the LAPD Rampart Division, but the police corruption scandals of the late 1990's made the place off limits. For those of you not familiar with the "Rampart Scandal", this is where officers of Rampart's CRASH (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) anti-gang unit were implicated in crimes like planting evidence, false arrests, stealing and dealing drugs, bank robbery, and carrying out hits for local gangs. If this sounds like the TV show "The Shield", that series was based on these events.
The Short Stop was purchased in the early 2000's by the lead singer of some popular alternative rock band (that I'm not familiar with). The Short Stop with its black bunker appearance still contains the wood gun lockers of the LAPD era, but is now a trendy watering hole for "hipsters" rapidly gentrifying this barrio area. Why should tiki fans care about this? Because with the Short Stop and all the other hipster bars of Silver Lake and Echo Park to drink at, that's hopefully less people waiting in line at Tiki-Ti. Also I'm thinking about doing a new post - "JOHN-O's Guide to the Eastside when Visiting Tiki-Ti".
Already buzzed from several G&T's at the Short Stop, I decided to bypass Tiki-Ti and go straight to Soap Plant. Checking out their tiki section, I saw nothing I haven't already seen before. The thing I did notice was what was missing. When was the last time you saw the "Book of Tiki" at any bookstore? With the neo-Tiki movement really picking up steam, this indispensable bible is now out of print. Afterward, I checked Amazon, and saw that "like new" copies are being sold by 3rd-parties for $170 each !! Anyone want to sell theirs ??
I did find one really cool book that was recently published (and the reason for posting on this thread). "Mid-Century Vegas, 1930s-1960s". This books presents a visual chronology of the original Las Vegas hotels & casinos using postcards from the era. Yes, I did a quick scan to see if I could find any pictures of the Aku Aku or Don the Beachcomber. Sadly no vintage tiki was to be found. Still a fun book showing a mid-century style that for the most no longer exists (just like tiki).
Afterward I had a chicken Mole burrito at Yuca's (2nd location) just down the street on Hollywood Blvd (east of Vermont).
[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2009-06-22 21:54 ]