Blagden Alley NW
Blagden Alley NW Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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Sightseeing, July 2019

It’s too hot to spend time down on the unforgiving, shadeless Mall. Today is not the day to wander around whichever monument you’ve never visited or have only the faintest memory of. 

It’s not too hot, however, to hide in the shade of Blagden Alley NW and engage in another sort of sightseeing. There’s always a sight to see in front of Lisa Marie Thalhammer’s “LOVE” mural, a group of regulars say.

It’s also too hot for black leather pants, but that isn’t stopping the tall, blonde model who is, today, posing with, or for, a motorcycle. It takes a village to get whatever it is they’re after, and a photographer and a man charged with handling the vehicles accompany her.

It doesn’t take long before the spectacle draws a crowd. It’s at once elegant and ludicrous—the glamor of a professional photo shoot juxtaposed against the Sunday morning heat and people venturing out for the first time that day to get coffee and baked goods.

The model is now balanced precariously on the bike in a position entirely inappropriate for riding. Her feet are on the handlebars, for goodness sake. All eyes are on the photo shoot, and the trio is performing not just for future Instagram feeds or magazine pages, but for an in person audience, too. Inevitably, the phones come out to document the moment.

Will Warren writes Scene and Heard. If you know of a location worthy of being seen or heard, email him at

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