A Brooklyn tour guide is taking his love for the borough — and its iconic pizza joints ? to the small screen.
Tony Muia, the 48-year-old behind the hit bus tour company A Slice Of Brooklyn, will have a show by the same name premiering on the Travel Channel this Wednesday. “I love Brooklyn, I’m proud of Brooklyn, and I want to show it off,” says Muia, whose family and staff, including Fat Sal, Cousin Paula, Frankie Pancakes and Uncle Louie, also appear on the show. “It really doesn’t get more Brooklyn than us.” Muia was working in the healthcare field and showing visiting friends and relatives around Brooklyn when he decided to make it a full-time gig in 2005. “At that time, Brooklyn wasn’t the tourist destination it is today,” he says. “It was still all about Manhattan. Now no one can stay away.” The company’s slogan is “Manhattan? FUHGEDDABOUDIT.” The cast of characters as well as the show’s plot lines, which includes family meetings at the famous Tommaso’s, are almost too good to be reality TV. But we can assure you that Tony and his family, who were all born and raised and have promised to never leave Brooklyn, are the real deal. “We’re not hipster Brooklyn, we’re not ‘Jersey Shore,’ we’re not ‘Mob Wives’” says Muia. “We’re a real New York family business, and that’s what the show is about.” The four-hour bus tour picks participants up in Manhattan and brings them to Grimaldi’s, where they skip the line and enjoy slices of the famous thin crust pie. Then they head to L&B Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst for Sicilian-style, with a tour of Brooklyn sights and clips from “Saturday Night Fever” and “Goodfellas” along the way. Adult tickets are $75 and children are $65, which includes two slices of pizza at each location. Other tours include a Christmas Light and Cannoli tour, which takes passengers by the best lights in Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge and ends at the famous Mona Lisa Pastry Shop & Cafe for cannoli and cappuccino. Although other copycat pizza tour companies have popped up in Brooklyn, Muia insists that unless you’re on his bus, you’re not getting the real experience. After all, he’s likely the only tour guide with a tattoo of the Verrazano Bridge on his forearm. “We are the soul of Brooklyn. We’ve lived it, we’ve experienced it,” he says. “You can’t get much closer to Brooklyn than us.”
To read the original article, please visit the New York Daily News