It is a great feeling to be traveling mindlessly down the streets of suburban Southern California one minute and in a split second be transported to the arid climes of the Mideast. Standing sentry over Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa, CA, the Ali Baba Motel is the stuff of myth and legend, making every visitor feel like the chicest Sheik (or Sheba) of Araby!
|Ali Baba Motel - Costa Mesa, CA|
Mr. Tiny, the Sheik of Failure at self-portraiture
The gleaming golden dome and the mini minarets remind drivers that California is still the land of fruits and nuts (dates and pistachios, naturally), famous for it's brilliant, if altogether anachronistic, architecture.
|A view of the oasis pool through the geometric, Islamic-style screen.|
Spaces like this help me dream of really awesome 60's soirees
that are equal parts I Dream of Jeannie and The Party.
Like many of its mid-century, themed counterparts, the Ali Baba has definitely seen better days and more prestigious clientele. Odds are that plenty of pipe smoking occurs on the premises but I think one would be hard pressed to find a proper hookah. Moreover, I'm pretty convinced that it is the official hideout of the original forty thieves. Nevertheless, we can dream of the Ali Baba's glory days; if I found a magic lamp it is more than likely that I'd commit one wish to seeing the Sultan's Suite (there certainly has to be a deluxe room called the "Sultan's Suite," doesn't there?) as it was in 1965.
|This is how Mr. Tiny sees himself at the Ali Baba Motel.|
Just the hookah, the harem, and the Sheik of Araby.
"The Sheik of Araby" - Spike Jones & His City Slickers