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Dec '12

Michelangelo’s David: New York’s REAL Naked Cowboy?

You just never know what you'll see on the streets of New York!

SUBMITTED BY: Laura Molta    LOCATION: New York, NY (2012)

Every Manhattan tourist is familiar with the infamous Naked Cowboy (and Naked Cowgirl) in Times Square.

But this mobile Gulliver-esque pose by King David must have been a stunning surprise!

(Laura Molta is an award-winning filmmaker and TV producer based in Boston.)

Jul '11

The New Yorker blesses Tacky Tourist Photos?

David Sipress' cartoon "A Family is Visiting Stonehenge" from the July 25, 2011 issue of the New Yorker. (Click on the cartoon if you want to buy a framed and matted copy on Somerset Velvet paper.)

Thanks to TTP reader and contributor Jessica Corona for alerting us to this historic gem.

Given that some of our followers have reduced glorious natural wonders to crass fart jokes and pick the noses of Hall of Fame basketball coaches and Lady Liberty, we understand why some might assume that Tacky Tourist Photos celebrates lowbrow humor. Or that taking silly tourist photos is a plebeian pastime.

But seeing imaginative tourist photo-ops unfold at Stonehenge — we’ll have to try that pose — immortalized in The New Yorker proves that intellectual people appreciate kitschy travel gags, too.

Is cartoonist David Sipress celebrating goofy tourist rituals or is he making fun of them — and us?

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.)


Jan '14

Counterfeit Elmo

Why are Sesame Street characters roaming the streets of New York at 10 p.m.?

SUBMITTED BY: Mike and Denise Reiss    LOCATION: Times Square, New York

We don’t know what time this picture was really taken, but it is a bit odd that Elmo works the night shift after most kids have gone to bed.

“At any one time there are four Elmos working Times Square,” Mike says.  “People are beginning to miss the crack dealers!”

Our sources indicate that the Muppet in this photo is not the creepy “Anti-Semitic Elmo” who has horrified tourists and is now in prison for trying to extort money from the Girl Scouts.

(Comedian Mike Reiss has been a writer/producer for “The Simpsons” and was co-creator of  “The Critic.”)

Mar '12

Tutu in Times Square

Why has this tutu-clad man volunteered to be a tourist spectacle? Click the pic to find out.

Q: What do you call a hairy shirtless guy in a tutu lying on his back in the middle of the street?

A: If you’re in Times Square, you call it Tuesday.

Brooklyn photographer Bob Carey got some quizzical stares from New York City Police, who asked him if he was “well” based on his dress.  You might think that this costume would be a yawner for the cops, who see far more ludicrous fashions displayed every day in His and Hers versions.

Carey is the mastermind and fashion model for “The Tutu Project,” a fundraising campaign to honor his wife Linda’s ongoing battles with breast cancer. He’s done similar shoots in forests, corn fields, amusement parks, beaches and even an Italian castle.

What? You mean you DON'T dress like this when you're strolling the beach? Click the pic to learn what's motivating the Golden Gate Tutu.

(Bob Carey is the author of the upcoming photography book “Ballerina.” You can follow his tutu-fueled exploits on his Facebook page.)

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.)

Dec '11

Cactus Jumpers

Just another leisurely airborne Sunday drive through the desert...

SUBMITTED BY: Lisa and John Sarick   LOCATION: Joshua Tree, California (2008)

This airborne antique convertible will never be confused with the Dukes of Hazzard‘s General Lee, but it’s where Lisa and John fell in love: Spin and Margie’s Desert Hideaway, “part boutique Inn, part Mexican hacienda and part artist’s palette.”

Not sure any of those yuppie adjectives are even necessary. Owners Mindy Kaufman and Drew Reese had us at “hello” with their snazzy graphics.

Click on the pic to take a spin with Spin & Margie at the entrance of Joshua Tree National Park.

Yes, graphic design and font choice is our number one criteria in choosing lodging.  But back to Lisa.

“I have been meaning to email this to you for-EVER!” she writes. “This is my husband John and me before we were married back when I would do silly things like this for him. He likes this stuff. He hasn’t gotten me into an Old Tyme Photo yet though!”

Hey Lisa, thanks for thinking of us, and please don’t stop humoring your husband. Tacky Tourist poses are the secret to a long marriage!

(Lisa Sarick is a minister-mom-teacher-counselor from upstate New York who shares her adventures on her Harmony blog)

Oct '11

Occupy Wall Street… By The Balls

Touchy Subject: Nostalgically reaching for signs of Wall Street virility and hopes of a Bull market.

SUBMITTED BY: Aaron Whitehead   LOCATION: New York, NY (2011)

Legend has it that rubbing the brass balls of the Wall Street Bull statue, formally known as “Charging Bull,” will bring good luck to your portfolio.  Is it only a matter of time till the Occupy Wall Street mob attempts castration?

RAGING BULL -- A more dignified view of the Wall Street icon.

Sep '11

World’s Largest Chair?

Vermont's largest Basin Harbor Adirondack Chair resides on Lake Champlain. (Click the picture to learn how BHC chairs differ from regular Adirondacks).

SUBMITTED BY: Ursula K.   LOCATION: Lake Champlain, Vermont (2011)

Oh yes, there’s been a century-long battle to claim the World’s Largest Chair, a virtual arms race amongst fake oversized furniture makers.  Gardner, Massachusetts, aka “The Chair City,” has been making grown tourists look like Munchkins since at least 1910, based on this vintage postcard.

According to Roadside America, there are rival World’s Biggest Chairs in North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, Alabama, Mississippi and Italy.

But in Vermont, this Adirondack chair is Queen, serving as the perfect billboard to sell “mini” ones that will better fit your tush.

(Ursula K. is a prolific Tacky Tourist Photos contributor with a passion for fiberglass cows).

Aug '11

Cheeky Controversy

Whattya starin' at? Tourists feel no need for subtlety at Marilyn Monroe's famous "Seven Year Itch" scene recreated on Chicago's Magnificent Mile. (Photo credit: Michael Yen -- click pic for close-up view)

SUBMITTED BY: Various Artists   LOCATION: Chicago, Illinois (2011)

Is the 26-foot tribute to Marilyn Monroe a magnet for pop culture perverts or just harmless fun?

Our Tacky Tourist correspondents report there is plenty of evidence to support both scenarios.

“Although the sculpture itself isn’t anything groundbreaking and it would probably be better located in New York, it definitely causes a reaction,” says photographer Michael Yen, who analyzes tourists on a scale of Coy-to-Crude on his Facebook page. “I like the statue because it does that.”

“It was interesting to see people boldly go up and take it all in or decide to stay in front of the statue and not take a peek — and then perhaps go and take a peek anyway,” he adds.

Yen reports that he saw some fellow visitors pretending to lick Marilyn’s feet, noting it “gives people a free pass to act however they want.”

Some gregarious tourists expressed just pure joy about the giant fiberglass actress invading the Windy City.

Photo by Dan Eidsmoe (Click for larger image)

Others, like Casual Briefcase Guy, acted like Marilyn’s legs were just another thing to lean on, like a lamp post or telephone pole.

Photo by Fredy Peralta (Click for larger image).

Nothing bonds a couple closer together than wrapping around a gorgeous calf.

Photo by Ewa Malcher (Click for larger image)

And if you’ve been married for a really long time, you have to look down and pretend not to notice things like this.

Photo by Dan Eidsmoe (Click for larger image)

Photographer Dan Eidsmoe says he doesn’t think Marilyn’s sex appeal stretches well at 26 feet. “The attraction will wear off rather quickly,” he predicts. “The face and hair of the statue are very plastic looking.  Have you ever eaten at a Big Boy restaurant?”

Plastic or not, foot fetishists will be very disappointed by the World’s Grimiest Pedicure. As an aside, check out the diamond-studded flip-flops on the three-legged woman to the right of this kid’s Crocs.

Photo by John Picken (Click for larger image).

(Marilyn Monroe is supposed to be towering over Chicago until the spring of 2012. She replaces the American Gothic couple in Tribune Towers Plaza.)

Aug '11

First Dates

Getting to know each other at the Pirates of Nassau Museum (Click pic for visiting info)

SUBMITTED BY: Kaeli Conforti   LOCATION: Nassau, Bahamas (2011)

Young women just dig guys in silk ruffled shirts and unscrupulous morals.

But an honest gorilla looking for love? — Forget it!

King Kong fails to impress his date at the Empire State Building. (Madame Tussauds Wax Museum/Manhattan 2011)

(Kaeli Conforti is a New York City travel writer with a weakness for wax museums).

Aug '11

Immigrant Barbie

Coming to America in Style! (Click on the picture to learn more about the real Ellis Island experience)

SUBMITTED BY: Peggy Dillon and Adrienne Lopes   LOCATION: Ellis Island, New York (2010)

A brilliant exercise in historical product placement, Mattel and Ellis Island have teamed up to let you explore your ethnic heritage through cocktail dresses and itsy bitsy pairs of shoes.

“Wouldn’t Barbie have had a pink boat, complete with a hair salon and huge closet for her massive wardrobe?”  Peggy asks rhetorically.

When it comes to crossing the Atlantic on a steamship, it’s the only way to travel!

Explore Your Barbie Heritage: Dolls of the World

(Click here to buy your very own Ellis Island Barbie. Tacky Tourist Photos is not affiliated with Mattel or Barbie, but we strongly believe in the product.)


Aug '11

The Deodorant Police

Al takes a nosedive into his exclusive sweat test on Beyonce's armpit at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

SUBMITTED BY: Al Kaufman   LOCATION: New York, NY (2011)

Beyonce’s “Heat” perfume was so hot that it was banned from the British airwaves.

Maybe it’s time for the diva to launch her own deodorant?

(Al Kaufman is an Atlanta music writer who avoids using the term “diva,” yet is pining for a Destiny’s Child reunion tour.)

Jul '11

Can you spot the authentic French citizen?

How Americans can blend in with Paris society so that the locals don't hate them.

SUBMITTED BY: Mark “Pierre” Z.    LOCATION: Paris, France

You might mistake the above Parisian street scene with a photo from a 6th grade social studies book. This is what French people do in their cultured capital: smoke and wear funny hats on their way to the boulangerie.

But wait!  Something is amiss!  That French woman on the right is an obvious imposter. Everyone knows that the French are die-hard Dallas Cowboys fans and wouldn’t be caught dead in New York Giants gear.

(Mark Z. is a worldly attorney who smoked his first and last cigarette for this photo shoot).

May '11

Picking Miss Liberty

Emma Lazarus Would Be Proud: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free and I will decongest them."

SUBMITTED BY: Wendy Keefe   LOCATION: Liberty Island, New York (2011)

As Tacky Tourist Photos has dutifully documented, it is a proud American tradition to pick the noses of our heroes.

Years ago, elementary school children needed to be taken by helicopter to scrape out the nasal passages of Miss Liberty.  But today, thanks to a copper facial replica inside the Statue of Liberty pedestal, giddy youngsters like Madeleine, 9, and Christopher, 7, have unrestricted access to her gorgeous nostrils!

(According to NPR, the U.S. Postal Service recently screwed up on the portrayal of Miss Liberty’s nose on the first class “Forever” postage stamp).