Three times a week, Real Bronx Tours takes riders — mainly white Europeans and Australians — on a trip that includes stops at food-pantry lines and a “pickpocket” park.
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.
“Do you feel like we’re on the Champs-Elysées?” she teased a couple from Paris.
As the bus idled across from historic St. Ann’s Episcopalian Church, Battaglia launched into a description of the crime, poverty and violence that plagued the South Bronx during the 1970s recession.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz slammed the guide as “the biggest fool on the planet.”
“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,” he said.
“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.”