Joker Has Created a New Tourist Attraction. Locals Aren't Happy

Fans are flocking to the Bronx to re-create a scene on the 'Joker stairs'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2019 8:05 AM CDT
'Joker Stairs' Is NYC's New Tourist Hot Spot
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Joaquin Phoenix in a scene from the film "Joker."   (Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

Joker is no joke at the box office, setting a record in previews and taking in nearly $250 million in the US so far. It only makes sense, then, that the film would serve as some sort of meme generator, and thanks to one pivotal scene, people are flocking to a New York City neighborhood to create them. In the movie, Joaquin Phoenix dances down a city staircase to Gary Glitter's stadium-friendly "Rock and Roll Part 2," and CNN reports that fans have located exactly where that staircase is: in the Highbridge section of the Bronx, at West 167th Street. The site has become what Fox News calls the city's newest "surprise tourist attraction," and Instagram and Twitter are reaping the benefits as people post images and video of their reenactments online.

Not everyone is dancing in celebration, however, with Time Out New York noting warnings about everything from the steepness of the staircase to the reputed roughness of the area where it's located. "I've literally fallen down these stairs before," one online commenter tells the magazine, while another cautions: "If you wanna get robbed then sure. I grew up there all my life and if you ain't from there, don't know people from there then don't be chillin in the hood." Others are sniffing at interlopers flooding the area and then ditching it. "If you're coming here don't just take a picture on our steps, buy something from a local business to support the community," one local requests. (Read more the Joker stories.)

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