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Apparently if foreigners are looking to witness a “real ghetto” from a safe distance, all they have to do is pay $45 per person to take a bus tour through the Bronx.
Real Bronx Tours, so they are called, are taking mainly White Europeans and Australians on a tour of the Bronx. They are even being provided with stops at a food-pantry line, “pickpocket” park, and housing projects for photo opportunities .
According to an unnamed individual who took the tour, one of the guides, Lynn Battaglia (pictured above), from Pittsburgh, made fun at impoverished areas, describing the South Bronx, in particular, as a crime-ridden borough infested with poverty and violence, which has plagued the area since the 1970s. I don’t know whether to be mad at the person who decided to take the tour or the guide…. hmmm lets try BOTH!
At one point during the tour, Battaglia allegedly told the tourists in front of pantry line, “I don’t know what that line’s about, but every Wednesday we see it.” She continued by saying “We see them go in with empty carts, and we see them come out with carts full.”
It gets even worse… The bus then reportedly stopped in front of St. Mary’s Park, where she reportedly told the foreigners, “If it were 1980, and you said to me, ‘Lynn, I want to die.’ My answer would be, ‘You’re in the right neighborhood,’” suggesting that the park is unsafe.
Battaglia allegedly took it a step further by blaming the borough for coming up with the term “pig” to describe police, “The policeman, his name is Patty, and he would walk up and down that street, and if he ran into an alcoholic, he’d beat them mercilessly. So they’d call him ‘Patty the Pig,’” she said.
Little does she know, but “Pig” actually originated in London in 1811!
The borough President Ruben Diaz is angered about the tours and referred to its guide as “the biggest fool on the planet.” Diaz also had this to say: “They should tell people about the Bronx that we all know, and that’s the Bronx that’s had the lowest crime rate since 1963 last year.” Diaz can’t stand the thought of having “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 though they are some sort of entertainment is pretty disgusting.”
Meanwhile, Real Bronx Tours failed to provide a comment to the New York Post when contacted.