Each day, unmarked buses come up to The Bronx to parade tourists through our neighborhoods for quick photo ops and then scoot them quickly back onto the bus onto their next destination.
One such destination is the 42nd Precinct in Melrose off 3rd Avenue and 160th Street where the exploitative film Fort Apache was filmed and each day hundreds of tourists descend like vultures and parasites picking off the carrion flesh of a rotting corpse.
That rotting corpse is the 40 year old image of a burning Bronx that still is alive in the global consciousness of our borough, one they seem to think is still alive and well.
We have come a long way since then but such tours are beyond offensive because they neglect the history, the decades between then where thousands of lives were lost in our neighborhoods through the subsequent drugs and violence; to the activists like Yolanda Garcia and Dr Evelina Lopez Antonetty, the Hell Lady of The Bronx who passed away much too soon and long before they could complete their life’s work of rebuilding our communities from within.
These “ghetto gawking” tours contribute NOTHING to our communities as they do not even spend a dime in our communities.
There’s so much to see and learn in The Bronx and this is not the way. We are not a zoological exhibition on display for you to come on a bus as if on safari but don’t interact with the local culture, it’s people or at the very least patronize a local business.
I’ve witnessed this on a daily basis for well over a decade but something just snapped yesterday morning and made me just hold up the camera and record them with reckless abandon. Some people became visibly uncomfortable as I recorded them and narrated what was going on and that was my intention: To turn the lens back on these clueless parasites.
If you’re coming to the Bronx, learn about our histories and people through local home grown Bronx tourists who won’t exploit our people like Bronx Historical Tours or ‘Loving The Bronx’ run by Nilka Martell.