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Mar '10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

Flexing in honor of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael

Flexing in honor of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael

SUBMITTED BY: Romeo Vasquez Flores   LOCATION: Costa Rica (2010)

It’s Tacky Tourist Doctrine that if you give tourists a goofy costume, they’ll put it on regardless of how ridiculous it may be.  Costa Rica’s InBioParque nature preserve gives kids and adults the opportunity to squeeze into Green Sea Turtle shells, a tribute to the magnificent creatures who nest at Tortuguero National Park.

Romeo notes that the shells are artificial and that no Green Sea Turtles were harmed for the benefit of a TTP photo-op.  The costume, however, is a tight squeeze:

The Turtle Girdle

The Turtle Girdle

The turtle shell costumes are chained down, just in case any rogue tourists try to sneak past the gates in disguise.  Romeo really immersed himself in the role, seeing what it felt like to retract his head in and out of the shell.

This pose can’t be great for your back or posture. Any chiropractors in the house?

(Romeo Vasquez Flores is a Costa Rican native who loves to act like a tourist in his own backyard.)

Oct '09

Spain Week: Winnie the Knockoff Pooh

Winnie the WHAT?

Winnie the WHAT?

SUBMITTED BY: Laura Molta   LOCATION: Madrid, Spain (2009)

The tentacles of the Disney legal department infamously have no boundaries, so it was shocking to see this rogue Winnie the Pooh operating so brazenly in the open.

We respect the rights of mascots to have oxygen, but the extremely large eye holes (filled with emptiness) make this bear look like a soulless zombie.

But we’re more enthralled with the pathetic branding. If you’re gonna steal a character, why not just own up to it?  Just keep the “H.”

Laura’s impressions are almost like haiku:

Poo… the don’t sue me version of Pooh?
Poo… the Spanish spelling of Pooh?
Poo… wait, that’s not how you spell it?

Beavis and Butthead fans throughout the Iberian peninsula are cackling right now: “Heh, heh, heh, Winnie the POO.. Heh. Heh. POO, it says POO! Heh. Hehe.”

Even more fodder for the mascot gossip columnists: It appears that Poo is involved in an intimate relationship with Madrid’s purse-carrying Spiderman!

Finishing Up The Act: Pooh helps Spidey with his zipper.

Finishing Up The Act: Pooh helps Spidey with his zipper.

(Laura Molta, who once ran into Natalie Portman in the Costa Rican rainforest, is a prolific TV producer and documentary filmmaker.)

Jul '09

Meet the Curators

Darren unintentionally frightens tribal villagers in the South Pacific Appearing to be the size of Godzilla, Darren finds it tough to blend in.

DARREN GARNICK’s fascination with tacky tourist culture peaked in the early 1990s when he was stunned to find “No Fat Chicks” t-shirts in the same Jordanian marketplace as King Hussein carpets. Along with TTP co-founder Peter Koziell, he has chased daredevils for the documentary, “Hell Drivers: America’s Original Crash Test Dummies,” and trekked through the muddy jungles of Vanuatu, where he presented tribal leaders with complimentary PEZ dispensers. Darren has helped rescue a disoriented tree sloth and was once briefly detained by customs for trying to smuggle turkey jerky into Australia.  He also is widely regarded as a fashion icon, recently winning third runner-up honors in the Anne of Green Gables lookalike contest.

Pete chills out with a few radical nutcakes during the NH Presidential Primary

Pete chills out with a few radical nutcakes during the NH Primary.

PETER KOZIELL is a dynamic filmmaker, photojournalist and t-shirt designer with an addiction to Sour Patch Kids and Swiss milk chocolate (he despises the premium “healthy” dark stuff). You likely have seen his camera work on The Travel Channel’s “World’s Best Bathrooms” and “World’s Best RV Trailer Parks.”  He’s hiked with grizzlies in the Canadian Rockies, mingled with monkeys in Costa Rica and has a soft spot in his heart for downtown Tallahassee. Peter’s visionary pop culture films include “Totally Devoted: Adult Backstreet Boys Groupies,” and “Flintstone Tank Commander.”

Ilya models a Condoleezza Rice puppet head briefly hijacked from protesters at the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver

Ilya models a Condoleezza Rice puppet head briefly hijacked from protesters at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver

ILYA MIRMAN is a talented musician and photographer with an intimate knowledge of lasers, supercomputers and multicore programming. Although he is happiest shooting rock concerts, Ilya recently charmed a raucous Brooklyn crowd as a guest guitarist for the infamous Guns ‘N Roses tribute band, Mr. Brownstone. He is a zealous political junkie, collaborating with TTP co-founder Darren Garnick on high-profile photography projects and cherishing the opportunity to debate and mock loony protesters whenever possible. Ilya also confesses an inexplicable passion for street grates.


Special thanks to talented graphic designer URSULA KANE for developing the Tacky Tourist pineapple logo!