“Ghetto” tour lets you gawk at New York’s poor

A Bronx bus company offers foreign tourists a chance to gape at inner city projects

Topics: AlterNet, bronx, New York City, Grand Concourse, Ghetto Bus Tour,

"Ghetto" tour lets you gawk at New York's poorReuters/Eric Thayer
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNet A Bronx bus company is offering tours billed as a “a ride through a real New York City ‘GHETTO,’” the New York Post reports.

The company, Real Bronx Tours, has taken largely white foreign tourists around the Bronx. The tour guide was caught mocking the Bronx by Post reporter Candice Giove.

“Last week, on the first stop of the $45 tour, guide Lynn Battaglia, from Pittsburgh, pointed out a housing project. She then mocked the Grand Concourse, modeled after a Parisian boulevard,” reports Giove.“‘Do you feel like we’re on the Champs-Elysées?’ she teased a couple from Paris.”

The tour also included a drive near a food pantry at a church. Battaglia wondered out loud, “I don’t know what that line’s about, but every Wednesday we see it. We see them go in with empty carts, and we see them come out with carts full.”

The tour guide warned of the dangers of going to a park in the Bronx and also gave inaccurate information about the origin of the word “pig” to describe a police officer. While Battaglia claimed the word came from the Bronx, in reality it originated in London.

The Bronx borough president harshly criticized the guide and the tour.

The guide is “the biggest fool on the planet,” said Ruben Diaz, the borough president. “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 and to view them as they are some sort of entertainment is pretty disgusting.”

Alex Kane is a staff reporter at Mondoweiss and the World editor at AlterNet. His work has also appeared in The Daily Beast, the Electronic Intifada, Extra! and Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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