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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Tiki History - The Tahitian Village in Downey, CA
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Tiki History - The Tahitian Village in Downey, CA
bongofury
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1544
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2004-05-28 09:04 am   Permalink

Sabu......go to www.bookfinder.com several copies there. Your trip sounds pretty exotic. We spent 3 weeks in Brazil in 98. Beautiful country. Would like to see more of South America.

Here you are Tangaroa.....





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Tangaroa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1558
Posted: 2004-05-28 10:36 am   Permalink

Thanks for the scan! A common shot - but oh well....

 
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TIKIBOSKO
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 323
Posted: 2004-11-29 9:28 pm   Permalink

Aloha everyone,

I recently came across some Tahitian Village demolition photos and thought I’d post them here so all could see the final stages of a mid-century Tiki temple. These where shot during an Urban Archeology mission there to see if anything could be salvaged from the wrecking ball. We’d been keeping an eye on the place and had contacted the owners with no luck, when word came it was finally being torn down I immediately drove down to see what if anything could be rescued.




The first photo shows a shot from the center of the courtyard looking out towards Lakewood Blvd, the building on the left is the back of the old shops and off in the distance the old sign. The second photo is the pool area (foreground) as you can see it’s now filled with dirt to prevent skaters and lower maintenance, looks like some of the palm trees had been thru a fire or two over the years when the place a was crack hotel hang out.




Although material from some of the buildings was being salvaged and sent down south, they had started knocking down sections of it with the heavy equipment, so areas were under two stories of rubble. A homeless guy (who was living there) became my native guide, he led me through the piles to where “giant” Tikis were, but alas they were hopelessly buried under tons of garbage. He had no clue; the guy was lining his nest with huge file cabinets and a lot of useless office junk, ironically just a few feet away from his home I found four vintage Herman Miller chairs?
Just about all that was left of its Polynesian Pop glory days was the Tiki lined bridge leading to a long gone restaurant, I liberated its doomed idols with my chainsaw.
A few weeks later all that was left were the original palm trees, thankfully they aren’t ripped out of the ground but get a second chance at life in front of some mall store where no one will ever appreciate their pedigree.

My very best Alohas,

Bosko



 
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Tiki Diablo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1904
From: socal
Posted: 2004-11-30 3:17 pm   Permalink

Ah, the curse of TIKI. Nothing lasts forever in our tropical dream. Cool that you got something out of there though, Bosko.

 
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Tangaroa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1558
Posted: 2004-11-30 6:41 pm   Permalink

Man - that's just tragic...

 
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Tiki-Kate
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 21, 2003
Posts: 1700
From: Yucaipa, CA
Posted: 2006-12-17 7:24 pm   Permalink

I was looking through all the stuff under my bar this evening and found this ashtray which was one of my first tiki finds.






 
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fullflava
Member

Joined: Apr 18, 2007
Posts: 1
Posted: 2007-04-18 01:09 am   Permalink

Ah, Tweakin' Village.

I remember that place well. Back in the 70's it was a popular hangout among the singles and swinger crowds in the area. More or less a shitty dive bar that served Polynesian drinks that was populated by people coming home from discos or hooking up with their mistresses, paramours etc. The hotel itself was full of character and Don Ho-style chintzy tiki torches and the like.

The place was definitely full of character. Had it been situated near Disneyland, it owuld have been a prime tourist attraction for the Tiki set, but out near Downey, Lakewood and Norwalk? Shit, they were just asking for trouble there with all the aerospace workers.

By the midd-80's the place had gone even further downill. No longer just a respite for one night stands for suburbanites, it became more and more a den for drug dealing and using. Increasingly it became a haven for crack dealers and speed freaks who needed a place to load up and disappear for a while.

During the early 90's it was at its worst. Dealers wandered around the courtyard openly using and selling. Low end hookers were everywhere.

One night some of us decided to drop acid and rent a room there to check out the weirdness up close.

The pool was green, people were lighting fires in the trashcans and low end pimps were everywhere. Even the low grade hallucinations could not take away the fact that you were hanging out in the epicenter of the southeast Los Angeles crack community.

[ This Message was edited by: fullflava 2007-04-18 01:13 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11153
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-04-18 07:34 am   Permalink

Sounds like the history of Tiki Devolution in a nut shell.

 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1788
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2007-08-31 5:54 pm   Permalink

Here's a matchbook from the Tahitian Village. I like how the street map for the location is made to look like Bamboo.





_________________
"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11153
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-09-02 12:56 am   Permalink

That bamboo kinda reminds me of the graphic use of bamboo in the opening pages of "Kon Tiki".

It is too bad that no color photo of that amazing sign has surfaced so far, I would love to see it lit up!



I am using the Tahitian Village complex as an an example for the devolution of Tiki in TIKI MODERN:



The restaurant at the end became "La Zona Rosa", a hispanic disco.


 
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TIKIBOSKO
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 323
Posted: 2007-09-04 1:48 pm   Permalink

Hey Sven didn't I show you this postcard when you came by?
It's not the greatest but a night shot none the less.



Bosko


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11153
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-09-04 2:32 pm   Permalink

No, that's great! The Tiki is clearly visible, the torches going!
Only thing better would be a shot at dusk, when it just came on, but the sky would still have some rendition, and that would also show the impressive scale of this sucker, like the B&W one does. Didn't the sign companies ever record their work? They're all gone now, of course...


 
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Tiki Lee's
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 23, 2003
Posts: 794
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2007-09-05 11:43 pm   Permalink

I grew up just a few blocks from this place, and was always entranced by the Tiki's glowing eyes. I've been hooked ever since! I've got a quick drive-by I shot on video around here somewhere...
Anyway, here's a close-up scan of a matchbook I have from there


My Mom & Dad always used to go dancing there on Friday nights back in the 60's, and they never took me! Waaaah!
_________________


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4305
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2008-03-30 10:58 am   Permalink

I found a postcard from the Tahitian Village Motel showing the interior courtyard and pool area. You've got to love the young ladies at the pool. Nothing like high heels and bikinis!



Check out the Tiki lurking in the back



I would sure want to stay there if I was a Business Man of the era.


It's a shame to see another on bite the dust.



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11153
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-03-30 4:25 pm   Permalink

Mahalo again, DC. This is a good example of a postcard that is cool, but didn't make it into my books because of a lack of concentrated Tiki visuals. Yet it also demonstrates how Tiki Central can show more and carve out the qualities of more hidden material: The ability to zoom into details, and showing the back captions of the postcard ads the necessary dimension to the photo. The limited space in books often does not allow for such things, because one trades in a chance for another, stronger visual.

Here is another thread that I could ad in situ photos to if I would have the time...eventually I will.


 
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