Bronx Residents Slam Seattle Publicist Patricia Vaccarino For Poor Journalism & Trashing Our Borough

"Up In the Bronx Where The People Are Fresh"

Yes, it happened again. An individual felt the need to not only trash talk about the Bronx but to publish their article as fact.

Meet Patricia Vaccarino, a Seattle publicist who thinks she’s an expert on all things Bronx yet she lives thousands of miles away and her only defense for the article was that she was here in November of last year.

During that time she says, “I was in the Bronx last November. I spent the day on Arthur Avenue and I didn’t see any cultural attractions except a whole lot of statues of St Francis of Assisi and bunches of guys standing around in big groups with their hands stuffed in their pockets.”

A commentator by the name of Joe responded by writing, “…if you were truly on Arthur Ave. and looking for cultural facilities you could not have helped but notice the Fermi Cultural Center which is at least a third of a city block in size and consists of one of the largest collection of Italian literature and artifacts this side of the Atlantic. And if you happened to be looking east away from the Fermi Center you would be looking in the direction of Fordham University one of the largest and more diverse Jesuit centers for learning. ”

So let me get this straight, she was in the middle of the most authentic Little Italy in New York City which has been written about countless times but she saw nothing positive to write about?

It shouldn’t be too surprising once she responded with that because after reading her poor attempt at journalism it becomes quite evident that she didn’t even bother to research her work. The article was clearly written by an individual who saw the Bronx through the lens of someone who experienced it in the 70s and 80s.

But enough about her and her sloppy, poor and dare I say unethical journalism – which Vaccarino excitedly tweeted about that she’s now a journalist with her first article.

I’m here to talk about how proud I am at this very moment of my fellow Bronxites who immediately set the record straight on such journalistic trash.

Jeffrey Guard, founder and creative director of The Bronx Art Exchange said,

“Pray tell, Ms. Vaccarino, what reality are you currently inhabiting. Your story is, at best, deeply offensive and lacks any in-depth research or actual facts.

“Please tell, all of us, when in fact you reportedly observed, “huge groups of gangstas hanging out on the streets look[ing] like happy tourists.” What street, when? And did you seriously just reference Mayor Ed Koch? You do know he hasn’t been mayor since 1989–right? Furthermore, Ms. Vaccarino, are you honestly suggesting that his assessment of the Bronx is still relevant, today in 2013?
… you seem to be wedded to the idea that the Bronx has to be something that it no longer is–I guess that’s because it makes for good copy and you were paid for writing bilge like this.But for you, that’s sad, because you’re honestly missing one of the most amazing organic transformations happening in NYC. Now that would have been a story worth reading.”

Olga Luz Tirado, Executive Director of the Bronx Tourism Council also chimed in and challenged Patricia Vaccarino to come back to the Bronx:

Patricia, I am deeply disappointed that someone who obviously has the capability to compose a series of words and turn them into an article, did so without first conducting the appropriate research. The fact of the matter is that The Bronx is up and coming, whether your limited time here suggests otherwise. Pray tell, what were you doing when you “spent a day” on Arthur Avenue?

Perhaps your jaded view of the borough prevented you from venturing out to the New York Botanical Gardens or some of the other wonderful places some of my fellow Bronx lovers mentioned in the comments section. 

That the Grand Concourse was fashioned after the Champs Elysee does not suggest that the architect intended the Concourse to look like Paris. Among many reasons, he was simply designing a boulevard that would be able to accommodate automobiles as well as horse and buggies. If you would have asked, one of us would have been happy to tell you. 

There are fine restaurants here and a lot of wonderful things to do and see. I personally invite you to come back to The Bronx, but really come back to The Bronx. I would think that a true professional who has done his or her due diligence would be less likely to spew erroneous information. ~ Olga Luz Tirado,Executive Director, The Bronx Tourism Council

This wasn’t the first piece written about the Bronx with such a negative and erroneous slant on our borough and it won’t be the last. What Patricia Vaccarino didn’t count on was that the Bronx has a voice and we defend our own – loudly.

Viewing your company’s website and press kit as well as your bio, one would be led to believe that as a successful publicist (or was that part simply just “spin” on your part to make you look good?), you would research extensively that which you would write about.

So Patricia, do come back to the Bronx. Perhaps you can stay at the Opera House Hotel smack dab in the heart of the South Bronx. The luxury boutique hotel, which opened in August, has received nothing but rave reviews from guests from all across the country and globe.

Folks like you who had a myopic view of a Bronx that no longer exists due to irresponsible journalism such as you decided to churn out.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.