Saturday, March 11, 2006

People with a lot of time on their hands
N.J. Tour Showcases 'Sopranos' Sites

KEARNY, N.J. (AP) -- As the tour bus curves out of the Lincoln Tunnel into New Jersey, Marc Baron prepares his guests for what they're about to see: what Tony Soprano sees during the opening credits of "The Sopranos."

"Get your cameras ready," he tells the group of 51 people as they pass the glorious Manhattan skyline. "Welcome to New Jersey."

One of the biggest stars in "The Sopranos" - which returns to HBO this Sunday after a nearly two-year hiatus - is New Jersey itself.

The state will be in the spotlight when the first of 12 new episodes airs this weekend.

A New York company has capitalized on the show's popularity, offering a four-hour "Sopranos"-themed tour of northern New Jersey. For $40 a head, fans visit the real home of the Bada Bing (a strip club called Satin Dolls) on Route 17 in Lodi and the fake storefront of Satriale's, where Tony and his crew often talk shop, in Kearny…

The company called On Location Tours, which also runs bus tours of "Sex and the City" sites in Manhattan, has taken about 20,000 fans around Jersey since the trips to the Garden State began about five years ago, said company owner Georgette Blau...

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”


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