On an archived version of its website, the Real Bronx Tours company sounds like it offers tourists a legitimate, non-touristy cultural experience. "Real Bronx Tours will take you on a three hour journey into this diverse and mysterious borough called the Bronx," it says.
"Sites on this tour will include: Yankee Stadium, Mott Haven Historic District, Bronx Zoo, Bronx Museum, South Bronx, Arthur Avenue (Little Italy), Grand Concourse and a ride through a real New York City 'GHETTO.'"
It's that last part--the promise of a ride through a "ghetto," that has left some people very offended.
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The New York Post rode on the tour, and said that the tour guide "pointed out a housing project," though the Post did not indicate whether or not the tour guide did so in a mocking tone. The Post also claims that a long line formed for food at a nearby church pantry at one point while the tour bus was stopped.
The Bronx borough president, Ruben Diaz Jr., and City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito are angry about the tour and wrote an open letter to the company saying: “We are sickened by the despicable way in which you portray the great borough to tourists.”
Is the tour legitimately that offensive, or are politicians just having a knee-jerk reaction? For what it's worth, the New York Times found some positive reviews about the tour on Trip Advisor: "This tour really gives you a treat. It exposes you to a different part of the city. We had Lynn as our tour guide and she ROCKED it. Thank you for a great tour.”