Archive for the ‘Florida retro vintage’ Category

This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Hukilau “- an annual event celebrating Hawaiian and Polynesian Pop culture while honoring a historic Tiki bar and location.” And what better place to celebrate than at the tiki-tastic Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Say Aloha to mid century tiki fun!

hukilau-tiki-mai-kai-festival-june-2011RetroRoadhusband and I are not able to attend this year’s Hukilau, but based on the rave reviews of the event and the Mai Kai (where the Hukilau has been held these last many years) we made a special trip to Florida’s east coast last year specifically to check out the Mai Kai, and we had a fabulous time! You can read all about our visit to The Mai Kai here.

Sneeky TikiThe Hukilau is named for the traditional festive feasts celebrated on the shores of Hawaii and meant to emphasize the spirit of family and community, or ‘ohana.


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Hooray! The rain has stopped and the sun is out – hope it’s the same type of lovely morning for all you RetroRoadap Readers. As promised here are some of the great Key West vintage signs and sights I discovered while walking around one sunny morning.

This first one has a special place in my heart, as it’s the sign for the hotel that RetroRoadhusband and I honeymooned at all those years ago (it now hangs in their lobby):

Eden House Hotel

A & B Lobster House Restaurant
A & B Lobster House Restaurant Vintage Sign

The Strand Theatre – alas now a Walgreens


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The wind she’s a blowin and the rain she’s a fallin here tonight at the beach version of RetroRoadmap HQ. What better time to remember what a warm spring night can be like – in Key West Florida for example!

Here are a few shots of the nifty neon you may see when you walk around Key West at night – tomorrow I’ll show you some daytime shots of some of the cool vintage signs I found down there too.

Tropic Cinema Tropic Cinema Marquee

Strand Theatre now (sigh) Walgreens Strand Theatre Walgreens (more…)

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I’m tres jealous of all the folks down in Florida – not only b/c of the weather, but because I would so love to go to the Floridiana Festival & Highwaymen Artist Show in St. Petersburg on Saturday 1/29. I’d much rather take a look at the vintage Florida souvenirs, art, kitsch, memorabilia, and historical artifacts, than checking the weather reports to see if snow will put the kibosh on my weekend plans!


The 10th edition of this popular kitschy Florida “antiques & collectibles” event returns to St. Petersburg for its 10th edition on Saturday, January 29, 2011, from 10 am to 5 pm at the historic Garden Club of St. Petersburg.

A celebration of Florida’s cultural and tourism legacies, this annual show features an abundance of old roadside attraction kitsch, as well as vintage Florida art and old tropical decor. It’s an antique show custom made for Floridians or wanna-bes! (That’s ME! Mod Betty, a Florida wanna be!!)


Featuring old Florida souvenirs and memorabilia for sale, spanning the range from alligator ashtrays, flamingo figurines, and citrus-shaped radios, to postcards and other fun ephemera from the Sunshine State’s old parks and hotels, the Floridiana Festival brings together premier exhibitors and collectors of vintage Floridiana, clamoring to be the first ones to discover some unique Florida finds.


Serious collectors will enjoy the selection of alligator memorabilia and souvenir sterling silver spoons and hotel china from Florida’s “golden age of souvenirs,” while more casual collectors of kitsch can find postcards of bathing beauties and old tourist attractions, alligator purses and other Florida fashion.

Kitsch rules at this show, definitely, but for decorators looking for some serious, vintage tropical furnishings, it’s also a hot spot to pick up some old rattan, tropical lamps, and beautiful wall art.


In addition to the abundance of Florida memorabilia for sale, other show highlights include:

-Meet and greet with The Florida Highwaymen artists from the 1950’s & 1960’s

– Lectures, slide presentation and book signings by Florida Authors…PLUS you just might meet some of the original mermaids who will be on hand to discuss their time at Weeki Wachee!

(Retro Roadmap loves Weekee Wacheeclick to read about our visit! )

The Garden Club of St. Petersburg is located at 500 Sunset Drive South, at the intersection of Park Street and 5th Avenue South in St. Petersburg, near the western end of Central Avenue close to the bridge over to Treasure Island.  Show admission is $6.00; children under three years are $3.00.  Free parking.

For info, contact Hula Hula Productions at (727) 421-0441 or visit www.hulahula.biz

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Now that the sun has finally come out and the snow has melted away, I guess I can share my final Florida vacation post, of the historic and lovely Columbia Restaurant, which has been delighting locals and visitors alike since 1905.

Columbia Restaurant In the Sunshine

The Columbia is located in a neighborhood of Tampa known as Ybor (EEE-BORE) City, which was founded in the 1880s as a neighborhood for immigrant cigar factory workers primarily from Spain, Cuba and Italy. Luckily for us Ybor City is also easily accessible from the highway that leads to the airport, and it was en route to that destination that we snuck in a final Retro Roadtrip meal before heading back to the snowy north.

Columbia Exterior

Still family owned and operated, the Columbia is open 365 days of the year and is Florida’s oldest restaurant. It began as a corner cafe in but later blossomed into an elegant dining destination with multiple dining rooms, with gorgeous tilework and stained glass. We were lucky enough to sit in the beautiful daylight filled Patio dining room, which was built in 1937 .

Patio Dining Room

As one account describes it:

It resembles a courtyard like the ones found in Andalucia, in the south of Spain, it is surrounded by a balcony, with a colorful mosaic-tiled fountain with the “Love and the Dolphin” statue in the middle. The statue is a replica of a sculpture found in the ruins of Pompeii. A large retractable glass skylight was installed, giving the room a wonderful bright and sunny look during the day, and an enchanted glow at night.

And indeed on a gloomy late morning, knowing we were heading back to unheard of amounts of snow, it was heartening to see the sun glimpse through the skylight, so we could pretend that it wasn’t as cold as it really was.


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I’m going to rely on Retro Roadmap pals Visual Ephemera Rick and Tiki Lounge Talk Chris who live  closer to Miami to give me the local skinny on the promising remodel of this mid-century modern motel, but for now I’ll just say thanks to Karen-Janine Cohen of the Biscayne Times for highlighting the newly remodeled New Yorker Motel at 6500 Biscayne Blvd.

This Miami Modern or “MiMo” motel is celebrating it’s grand re-opening this Saturday, as part of the MiMo Madness festival this Saturday!

https://i1.wp.com/www.biscaynetimes.com/images/stories/art_0310/Motel_2.jpgFrom The Biscayne Times:

The Motel New Yorker’s March 20 grand opening will get a boost as part of the “MiMo Madness” festival that same day. The annual event brings food, music, and entertainment to the Boulevard. (Owners)  Shirley Diaz and Walter Figueroa are even considering synchronized swimmers in their motel pool, a bit of fun to mark the end of a long and arduous process.

Diaz puts it this way: “We want to say: Look what a difference we’ve made in the neighborhood!”


Working from old pictures and documents, Diaz and Figueroa are painstakingly recreating the heyday of the New Yorker, built in 1953 and designed by vaunted MiMo architect Norman Giller. The original pink-and-green or gray-and-yellow bathroom tiles look like new. A variety of chairs, mirrors, and other reproduction period furniture is sprinkled throughout the rooms, which also boast flat-screen TVs and other contemporary amenities.

Hoping the best for The New Yorker, as well as owners Diaz and Figuero! Thanks for trying to make a difference in your neighborhood, something we all should aspire to, dontcha think?

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While we’re still on a bit of a Mid Century Modern jag here at Retro Roadmap I wanted to give my dear readers in the Sarasota Florida area a heads up on a modern home tour this Sunday, to benefit to Benefit Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, Inc.

Mod Realtor Martie Lieberman of  Modern Sarasota and I exchanged a couple of notes when I admitted to being smitten with a mod bungalow down in Venice (not that we can afford a Retro Vacation Location, but a gal can dream!) Martie specializes in Mid Century Modern and Current Century Modern homes in the Sarasota area, and also runs guided tours of Florida modern and mid-century architecture.

I am intrigued by the house above, known as the Rupp-Siebert House which Martie informs me

…is a 1960 house designed by William Rupp, who used to run Paul Rudolph’s office. The Rupp Seibert has gone through a number of mutations and was completely renovated and restored back to its original intent by Seibert Architects.  It is an authentic Sarasota School of Architecture mid-century modern architecture.”

The Rupp Seibert house will be open for this tour, so if your interested in mid-century mod architecture of the Sarasota School, check out Sunday’s tour!

Here’s a link to the official invite, and if you do go, tell ’em Retro Roadmap sent you!

Modern Sarasota Home tour 2010

March 14th, 11:00am – 4:00pm
to Benefit Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, Inc.

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