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Feb '13

Lumberjack Lore: Minnesota vs. Maine Bragging Rights

Welcome to Bangor, home to the University of Maine, Stephen King novels and Paul Bunyan.

SUBMITTED BY: Erik Paulsen  LOCATION: Bangor, Maine (1995)

The lumberjacks of northern and central Maine claim that legendary giant Paul Bunyan was born there.

The lumberjacks of Minnesota claim the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Bunyan’s birthplace.

Who’s right? Who cares. The more kitschy Paul Bunyan statues in the world, the better.

Bemidji, Minnesota has a rival Bunyan (with Babe the Blue Ox) overlooking the Mississippi River.

Here are the stats:


Minnesota: 18 feet
Maine: 31 feet


Minnesota: 5000 lbs
Maine: 3,700 lbs

Date of Construction:

Minnesota: 1937
Maine: 1959


Minnesota: Wood and Steel
Maine: Fiberglass

Number of Paul Bunyan Petting Zoos:

Minnesota: 1
Maine: 0

Winner: The Bunyan Zoo pushes Minnesota’s roadside attraction over the edge.

(According to their Chamber of Commerce, Kodak once recognized the Minnesota statue as the second most photographed icon in America. But that was way before the Apple Store.)

Feb '12

Look, Don’t Touch

Just another naked day in Times Square....

SUBMITTED BY: Erik Paulsen   LOCATION: Times Square, New York City (2012)

When posing for a Tacky Tourist Photo, it is usually customary to embrace the quirky statue or mascot as if you are best friends.

Yet, there is something rather skeevy about getting intimate with a Naked Cowboy you just met.

Enter the brilliance of Erik, who pensively looks to the heavens, so immersed in thought that he almost doesn’t even notice the scantily-clad gent in front of the Marriott.  There’s now a proven method to pose with people when getting too close would be embarrassing or downright unhygienic.

On a side note, TTP has been at the forefront of insightful Naked Cowboy coverage rivaling the New York Post, the NY Daily News and Gawker. We’ve faithfully covered the Naked Cowboy for President campaign, the legal battle with the Naked Cowgirl and her common bond with Lady Gaga.

We’re depending on Erik to covertly capture the next chapter.

(Erik Paulsen, not to be confused with the Minnesota Congressman, is a sports video editor and photojournalist who has covered the Stanley Cup and the Tour de France. He also is a militant vegan.)

Apr '11

Good Hands, Bad Manners

Baseball Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio gets a little frisky outside U.S. Cellular Field, a.k.a. "The Cell," a.k.a. New Comiskey Park, before a White Sox game.

SUBMITTED BY: Diane Garnick LOCATION: Chicago, Illinois (2010)

Luis Aparicio’s Hall of Fame plaque mentions his 1956 Rookie of the Year Award, his nine Gold Gloves at shortstop, his nine stolen base crowns and his career fielding records for double plays and assists.

But it says nothing about his love for the ladies.  By the way, Diane’s shirt reads: “Real women don’t date Yankees fans.”

(Diane Garnick, the “Princess of Perseverance,”  is a Sox-loving — Bosox and Chisox — investment strategist and author of the upcoming career advice book “I’m Smarter Than My Boss. Now What?” You can follow her travel hijinks on her Facebook page).

Check out these other fun TTP poses at famous sports statues:

Bobby Orr: NHL hockey legends falling from the sky!
Kirby Puckett: Roly Poly Bronzed Enthusiasm.
Tiger Woods: Before he got caught.
Shaq O’Neal: The Human Statue.
Red Auerbach: A new definition of the basketball pick.

Mar '11

Bewitched in Salem

SUBMITTED BY: Alexandra, Brian and Chloe Pecci   LOCATION: Salem, Massachusetts (2010)

TV Land commissioned a statue of the most gorgeous witch of all time, Elizabeth Montgomery, to celebrate the pop cultural significance of the 1960s comedy “Bewitched.”

The statue is controversial, even attracting the ire of vandals, because some say it is insensitive to mix a silly TV show with the serious horrors of the Salem Witch Trials.  We here at Tacky Tourist Photos would argue that those critics would have a point if the city was not already marketing itself as “The Witch City,” selling out its history as the ultimate Halloween party favor.

Some Bewitched fans have suggested that the TV Land network-sponsored statue would have been more appropriately placed in Westport, Connecticut, the suburb where Samantha and Darrin Stephens lived on the show.

Controversy aside, Alexandra Pecci, author of a new travel guide about Salem, likes the statue.

Bewitched was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid, and I always thought Darrin should lighten up!,” she says.  “Or better yet, spunky Samantha should have found a guy who accepted her talents!”

Pecci is referring to the countless squabbles between Darrin and Samantha about her not using her powers and trying to act like a “normal” housewife. She does not take into account the constant meddling and mental abuse of Darrin’s mother-in-law, Endora, who is always turning him into a frog.

TV Land has also commissioned or financially contributed to other pop culture shrines, including ones to:

* Fonzie (Henry Winkler) from “Happy Days” in Milwaukee.
* Mary Richards from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in Minneapolis.
* Andy (Andy Griffith) and Opie (Ron Howard) from “The Andy Griffith Show” in Raleigh, N.C.
* Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) from “The Honeymooners” in Manhattan.
* Bob Newhart in Chicago.

When the Mary Tyler Moore statue was dedicated in 2001, the actress tossed her hat in the air for countless photographers. About 1,000 Mary Richards-style hats were given out to the crowd to simultaneously toss them in the ultimate Tacky Tourist Photo-op. But no one threw the hats because they wanted to save them as souvenirs.

Astoundingly, the Mary Tyler Moore statue is considered controversial, too.

If you’ve posed with any of these TV Land statues, we’d love to hear from you!

(Alexandra Pecci is author of “Salem: A Guide to America’ Bewitching City,” now available at Amazon.com.)

Sep '10

Kirby Your Enthusiasm

Author Doug Mack with Baseball Hall of Fame legend Kirby Puckett.

SUBMITTED BY: Doug Mack   LOCATION: Minneapolis, Minnesota (2010)

Seeing your childhood idol cast in bronze summons all kinds of emotions.

As Doug posed with this statue of Kirby Puckett outside Target Field, a stranger walked by and shouted: “Make your butt look bigger! Then you’ll look exactly like him!”

Hey, Roly Poly Kirby’s butt was good enough to help the Twins win two World Series and play in 10 All-Star Games!

(Doug Mack is a travel writer currently on an ambitious quest to sneer at poet Robert Frost and take the Road Most Traveled through touristy Europe. Read about his latest adventures at his “Europe on Five Bad Ideas a Day” blog.)