Commute Scenes: Tourist Photos Edition

I’m crushing the Capitol

In case you haven’t noticed or don’t live in the area, it’s PRIME TIME for tourists.

I love watching tourists. It’s also a requirement if you are a pedestrian or cyclist, because you never know what a tourist is going to do. One minute they are walking on the right side of the mall path, and the next blink of an eye they could be standing right in front of you. It can be quite disconcerting.

That said, tourists do some pretty fun things, one of them being the poses they do around the monuments. I get a kick out of riding around the National Mall and seeing people set up their photos.

We’re holding up the Washington Monument!
I’m holding up this sculpture with my nose!

You know, those pictures where they’re holding the monument in the palm of their hand, eating the Capitol, putting their foot on the Lincoln… you get the idea.

Look Mom, I’m carrying the Lincoln Memorial!

At first, I would come across these tourists and feel completely confused. What the heck are they doing? I know they’re not from around here, but really. What are they doing?? Then I figured it out and thought it looked like fun.

Felkerino and I decided we would try to do our own tourist photo, but in true bike commuting style, we set out to do it on our bicycles.

We used the two tourists below as our inspirations, as they are both putting their fingers on top of the Washington Monument. Yes, I know you can’t see the final product. Just trust me, it’s the Washington Monument.

Got my finger on the Washington Monument. And look at my red galoshes!
Yeah? I have MY finger on the Monument, too!

Our first commute photo attempts were not that successful. It’s hard work to yell directionals, ride, watch for traffic, and pose for photos. (That’s why all of our shots took place in the morning, which is a much calmer time around the monuments.)

Felkerino pierces the Monument

After a number of tries, we got our shot.

Felkerino puts his finger on top of the Monument. NICE!

Well done, Felkerino! It’s moments like these that I know why I married you.

Have you ever tried these shots? They may seem silly, but I think the tourists are on to something. They are great fun, and actually a bit tricky to pull off. Have any you’d like to share? I’d love to see them!

Hey, did you hear the news? It’s FRIDAY! Have a great weekend, all!


  1. Great stuff Mary….I first visited DC back in 79 when I was 11 years old and my parents had me doing the cumpulsory tourist photo holding up the Washingtom Monument. Doing it on a bike gives it a whole new meaning.


  2. Thanks everybody. We were so happy that we finally got a successful monument shot. @Andy: thanks for the laugh on the Danger Monuments idea! Who knows?!


  3. First I’d ever seen such a thing was visiting the Taj Mahal in India. They have photographers who specialize in setting up an 8×10 glossy shot as you pinch your fingers and “lift up” the Taj. Yep, we paid to pick up the Taj…like everyone else.


Comments & questions welcome - moderated for trolls and spam.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s