- The Washington Times - Monday, May 20, 2013

A bus company that bills one of its tours as a real-life ride through an actual inner-city ghetto has been packing the seats, as tourists from Europe and Australia have flocked for the up-close-and-personal glimpse into one of America’s crime-ridden areas.

The Real Bronx Tours offers the trip three times a week, billing it as “a ride through a real New York City ‘GHETTO,’ ” complete with stops at food-pantry lines and “pickpocket” park, The New York Post reported.

The tour is $45, The Post said.

A sampling of stops: Tour guide Lynn Battaglia singles out a housing project, before idling nearby a historic church and citing crime and poverty statistics from the South Bronx in 1970, The Post reported. Then on to East 140th Street, where Ms. Battaglia gives a history of the word “pig” as a reference to police officer.

“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,” she said, in The Post. “So they’d call him ‘Patty the Pig.’ “

Other sources actually say the reference to cops as pigs began in London in 1811, The Post said.

Area politicians aren’t happy with the theme of the tour.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz called the guide “the biggest fool on the planet,” in The Post. “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. 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.”

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