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Oct '16


The bronze Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli statue on the Milwaukee Riverwalk.

SUBMITTED BY: Dan Epstein  LOCATION: Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2016)

If you were alive in the 1970s, there’s no more irresistible photo-op than the statue of “Happy Days” icon Fonzie, the cooler-than-cool motorcycle mechanic who could snap his fingers and make any woman in the room fawn all over him – and fix a broken juke box or pinball machine (what are those things, dad?) with the soft bang of his fist.

Actor Henry Winkler told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he gets sent pics every week of fans posing with the statue (one Victoria’s Secret model photographed herself giving him a hug.)

And Winkler himself can’t resist the photo-op. Here’s an August 2016 snapshot from his Twitter feed:

(Dan Epstein, the author of “Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging ’70s,” is forever stuck in 1976.)

May '16

Bigfoot or King Kong?

SUBMITTED BY: Bobbi Kraham  LOCATION: Jama (Manabi Province), Ecuador (2016)

On first glance, this roadside sculpture in Jama, Ecuador, appears to be King Kong, based on its damsel-in-distress design. A staircase inside the ape lets travelers climb up to the head and look out his mouth or squeeze inside his clenched hand. However, upon further research by the Tacky Tourist Photos staff, this is more likely a representation of the “Mapinguari,” the Bigfoot of the Amazon.

Damsel in Distress

“I’m not a fan of monster movies, but how could I NOT take this picture?” says Bobbi.

Wideshot of the Mapinguari Photo-Op in Jama, Ecuador

According to local folklore, the Mapinguari will seek revenge on humans who do not respect the nature of the Amazon Rainforest. If you ever run into one of these creatures, keep your distance.  The New York Times says they are “stinky, hairy and mean.”

(Maryland’s Bobbi Kraham recently visited Ecuador with an international relief agency providing aid after an earthquake.)


Feb '16

What’s the Difference Between a Male and a Female Pineapple?

Silly photo-ops at the Helemano Pineapple Plantation in Hawaii

SUBMITTED BY: Brian Henderson and Nancy Wong    LOCATION: Helemano Plantation, Hawaii (2016)

We are NOT by any means experts in fruit anatomy. But modesty aside, we can’t figure out why the pineapple on the right needs to wear a bra.

Here’s another hole-in-the-head photo-op at the wonderfully kitschy Helemano Plantation:

Must be difficult to adjust the shutter speed with those nails!

(Photojournalist Brian Henderson is one of the most prolific contributors to Tacky Tourist Photos, previously sharing gems from the South of the Border rest stop on I-95, Uganda’s Imaginary Equator Line, and the absolutely scrumptious Golden Gate Bridge.)

Jan '16

Channeling the Harlem Globetrotters… in the Stone Age

What Fred Flintstone would look like spinning a basketball.

SUBMITTED BY: Ben Cole    LOCATION: Los Angeles, California (2015)

The “Levitated Mass” sculpture by Michael Heizer is a photo-op magnet at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Most goofballs pose with two arms pretending to hold up the floating boulder.

But Ben wanted to put his own unique spin on the place.

Get it? Unique SPIN?

We pride ourselves on subtlety here at Tacky Tourist Photos.

(Ben Cole is Tacky Tourist Photo correspondent from Colorado. He previously posed as “Tourist Shish Kebab” at Glenwood Caverns.)

Nov '15

Endangered Gum Wall

Art Preparation: Judy and Mosey get their gum ready for permanent display.

SUBMITTED BY: Judy Cohen and Mosey Brown   LOCATION: Seattle, Washington (2015)

With Seattle city officials announcing they will steam clean the infamous Market Theater Gum Wall at Pike Place next week, getting rid of an estimated one million pieces of Already-Been-Chewed (ABC) gum, we decided to pay homage to the site before it disappears forever.

According to The Atlantic, this Gum Wall is the world’s “second-germiest tourist attraction” behind the slobbered-over Blarney Stone in Ireland.

Springing into action at the request of TTP, Judy Cohen and Mosey Brown shared some mother-son bonding at the colorful saliva monument today on their way home from school.

“I respect the cultural significance of the Wall, but it’s still utterly revolting,” said Brown, a high school freshman.

Mosey Brown's modeling shoot by the Market Theater Gum Wall.

Cohen revealed that unlike the one million visitors before them, they chose to continue chewing their gum.

“Gum is made of chemicals, sugar, additives. Things that aren’t good for us. I can’t imagine it’s good for brick,” Pike Place spokeswoman Emily Crawford told The Seattle Times.

Here’s a wideshot of the majestic rubbery mural:

Seattle's Market Theater Gum Wall captured on November 6, 2015 (Photo courtesy of Judy Cohen.)

(Have your own creative pose with the Gum Wall? Post your favorite pics on the Tacky Tourist Photos Facebook page!)



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Nov '15

Selfie Central

Globetrotter David Meerman Scott outside the "Selfie Bar" in Moscow

SUBMITTED BY: David Meerman Scott   LOCATION: Moscow, Russia (2015)

Sometimes you just can’t resist the obvious!

(David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR, is widely regarded as a Social Media Pharaoh)


Sep '15

OUCH: Do Not Head Lose

Watch your head, silly Westerner!

SUBMITTED BY: Chris Kilham    LOCATION: Thailand (2015)

This shop owner’s English grammar may not be perfect, but his or her heart is in the right place.

(Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter, author and educator who teaches a popular ethnobotany course at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.)

Mar '15

American Gothic Reimagined

Recreating the iconic Grant Wood painting "American Gothic" at the original American Gothic House.

SUBMITTED BY: Thomas Schmeh and Tan Chau Qun  LOCATION: Eldon, Iowa

Only two roles to choose from: Somebody’s gotta play the wife!

Here’s the original for comparison:

No need to bring your own pitchfork. The American Gothic House Center, which celebrates the life of artist Grant Wood, provides tourists with complimentary props.

(Thomas Schmeh is the director of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa.)



Jan '15

Opening Act at the Whaling Museum

Comedian Eugene Mirman was reportedly scouting locations at the New Bedford Whaling Museum for a yet-to-be-titled romantic comedy based on a young whaling ship captain falling in love with a feisty Greenpeace telemarketer.

SUBMITTED BY: Eugene Mirman  LOCATION: New Bedford, Massachusetts (2015)

Move aside, ventriloquism — taxidermy humor is the next big thing in standup comedy.

However, the seal’s not laughing. As if his forced deer-in-the-headlights facial expression isn’t sad enough, he’s forever stuck as the opening act at a whale museum.

(Eugene Mirman is the founding director of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival and the alterego of “Gene” on the animated Fox comedy, “Bob’s Burgers.”)

Jan '15

Screaming For Legos

WHAT A SCREAM - Lego artist Nathan Sawaya recreated Edvard Munch's "The Scream" in plastic bricks.

SUBMITTED BY: Kaden Garnick   LOCATION: Boston, Massachusetts (2015)

At Lego artist Nathan Sawaya‘s “Art of the Brick” exhibit, it’s much easier to channel “The Scream” than the Mona Lisa.

Or is Kaden simply paying tribute to actor Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone?”

(Kaden Garnick is a creative middle school student who loves Legos and Norwegian Expressionist art.)


Oct '14

Hands That Cut Through Stone

Balanced Rock Karate Chop

SUBMITTED BY: Jadelyn & Greig Nakamura  LOCATION: Arches National Park, Utah (2014)

Pretending to hold a famous landmark, such as the Liberty Bell or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, is one of the toughest photo-ops to pull off. Everything needs to be perfect. The camera angle, the palm arc, the wind conditions, everything. The slightest deviation can cause your Tacky Tourist Photo to look like this, causing tremendous embarrassment for generations to come.

So a lot of pressure was put on Greig to cup Balanced Rock, a popular rock formation in Utah’s storied Arches National Park. Positioned just an inch or two lower and Greig may have pulled this illusion off. (We know that he meant well, and that’s the only important thing). Instead, Greig inadvertently gives off a karate chop vibe, looking as if he is severing the boulder from it precarious perch.

It turns out that these natural stone formations are a lot more fragile than they appear. In 2013, two Utah Boy Scout leaders were caught toppling a 170 million-year-old rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park. They were caught primarily because they made a YouTube video of themselves destroying the rock formation while pushing the 1990 dance single “Wiggle It.” The leaders were subsequently thrown out of the Scouts for violating the “Leave No Trace” hiking motto.

Staying behind the fence, Greig wasn’t taking any chances.

(Greig Nakamura is a high-profile guidance counselor in the Hawaii public schools.)

Oct '14

Yellowstone Challenge: Who’s the Alpha Male?

L.L. Bean vs. REI: Battle of the Backpackers at Yellowstone

SUBMITTED BY: Steve Silberberg   LOCATION: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming(2014)

It’s every guy’s fantasy to grow a pair of antlers and bang heads with anyone who threatens his backpacking dominance.

We’ve never seen either of these guys lock antlers before, but we’re betting on the guy on the right.

The guy without the pair of purple Crocs.

Not Recommended Hiking Gear: Purple Crocs

(Steve Silberberg is the founder of Fitpacking, a weight loss and fitness backpacking adventure vacation company that doesn’t believe in starving its participants.)

Sep '14

Did he order the girly drink?

The Hotel Ranga Bar in South Iceland (Double click the skirt to learn more.)

SUBMITTED BY: Barrie and Ilya Mirman  LOCATION: South Iceland (2014)

Iceland is known as the Land of the Northern Lights, the Land of Few Vowels, and now…

The Land of No Pants!

(Tacky Tourist Photos co-founder Ilya Mirman is a rock-and-roll photographer specializing in heavy metal metal hair bands. Barrie is a frequent TTP contributor with a weakness for Drew Barrymore movies.)

Jul '14

This Preying Mantis Must Be a Yankees or Orioles Fan

Insects Take Over Las Vegas: Humans Surrender Quickly! (Photo by Ilya Mirman)

SUBMITTED BY: Darren Garnick   LOCATION: Downtown Container Park, Las Vegas (2014)

Angered by the juvenile petty behavior of David Price, this Mantis took out his rage on the first Tampa Bay Rays fan he could find.

(Darren Garnick is co-founding curator of Tacky Tourist Photos.)

Jul '14

Weird Al Yankovic Embraces Tacky Tourists (Kind of)

Look who’s now flying the Tacky Pride flag: “Weird Al” Yankovic along with Eric Stonestreet, Jack Black, Kristen Schaal, Margaret Cho and Aisha Tyler!

See for yourself: