New York ‘Ghetto Tours’ Canceled After Neighborhood Backlash

John Fekner, Wikimedia

After protests from neighborhood residents and representatives, a New York company offering “ghetto tours” of New York has ceased all sightseeing offerings. According to news.com.au, Real Bronx Tours allowed outsiders to gawk at life in the South Bronx “from a safe distance,” taking them past housing projects and food pantry lines on three weekly tours.

The news outlet reports that Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito sent an open letter to the company owner saying they were “sickened by the despicable way” the borough was being portrayed and urging the company to stop profiting off of a tour itinerary that “misrepresents the Bronx as a haven for poverty and crime.”

The company has since ceased operations, and has even taken down their website. However, those looking to make a pilgrimage to the South Bronx still have tour options – including one offered by resident and anthropologist Elena Martinez, who proudly shows off the neighborhood that was once a microcosm for hip-hop music, fashion and art, through City Lore.