A New York City bus company that takes pride in providing passengers with authentic rides through a neighborhood has sparked the anger of residents. The Real Bronx Tours offers three weekly trips to tourists from places such as Europe and Asia, advertising them as "a ride through a real New York City ‘GHETTO,'" at $45 per tour. During the tour, guide Lynn Battaglia acknowledges project buildings and recites crime and poverty statistics from the South Bronx during the '70s; Battaglia even attempts to break down how police officers came to be known as "pigs" when the tour reaches East 140th Street.
Local politicians and people who live in the areas the tour passes through are furious, and rightfully so. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, who called Battaglia "the biggest fool on the planet," says the tours should include information such as the fact that the Bronx had its lowest crime rate since 1963 last year. "To have foreigners come and gawk at a long line of people who are less fortunate than they are and to make money off of that … is pretty disgusting," he added.
If you attempt to treat someone's neighborhood like the zoo, they're going to be pissed off. In this instance, they have every right to be. Furthermore, they're basically telling these "tourists" that the ghetto is something to marvel at; some source of amusement that they're cashing in on. The nerve of Real Bronx Tours to create this ghetto safari and act like everything's sweet.
As Diaz said, that's pretty disgusting.
[via Washington Times]