Denizens of The Bronx: “Those Stairs Ain’t No @#$&%* Joke!”

Denizens of The Bronx: “Those Stairs Ain’t No @#$&%* Joke!”

Okay, maybe that is a slight paraphrasing but those who live in the much ballyhooed borough of New York City aren’t taking kind to tourist buses dropping DC stans at the curb so they can run up those fabled Joker steps like a scene in Rocky

Many Instagrammers are having their 15 seconds of fame just to say they did it. (And don’t hate. I’ve done something similar in San Francisco with my daughter and the “Full House” house, so there’s that off my bucket list.)

Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips have the steep climb of 132 steps in Joker between Shakespeare and Anderson Avenues in The Bronx’s Highbridge neighborhood into a veritable tourist destination. The problem? People actually live there and a morning commute is being delayed heavily by fans trying to duplicate the “Joker Dance.” 

The memes are everywhere. The residents are pissed. Yet, there they are… it’s even labeled on Google Maps! See the icon above it? That is reserved for religious sites. I know stans can be a little cultist, but damn!

google maps joker
And no, that isn’t photoshopped!

Some folk are in cosplay (arguably scaring the hell out of the children in the neighborhood. Some folk are giggling like grade school-aged kids traipsing up and down those stairs. Sure, that’s good for the cardio but again, folk call that place “home.”

Gothamist did a story on this craze and some local folk aren’t too keen on this happening:

“We hope it ends soon because we don’t need this,” said Jonathan Francis, a 29-year-old who has lived in the neighborhood his entire life. “We feel disrespected.”

gothamist flyer
Source: Jesse Vad/Gothamist

Don’t believe me: Here’s a flyer on a phone pole, arguably taking the place of some lost dog voucher. It reads:

“It is disrespectful to treat our community and residents as a photo opportunity.” 

If you lived there, you may grow tired of this mess. If you are a fan, you probably can’t wait to do the same thing. I mean, those were Arthur Fleck’s stairs pre-going bat-ess crazy!

What’s interesting is we may be getting to a compromise in The Bronx, as long as Joker continues to approach the $1 billion cinematic Promise Land. This advantageous tweet is from The Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr.

At’ta boy! Make that cheddar, Rubén. Represent!

Even the Twitter-cacophonous U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sees the love (kinda) in those stairs and what it might mean for the locals (she is one, by the way). According to the TMZ story previously linked:

“The Bronx is much safer now and I’m happy to say that,” AOC says. But she’d be happier if tourists didn’t take their selfie sticks to her home borough. “I think the way a lot of us feel is, listen, like, keep your Instagram posts outside of the Boogie Down. Like, this is for us.

Yeah, AOC. No, no it isn’t. Just ask the lady who answered the door at the Full House house. Evidently, I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know people lived there either.

full house house
Not me in the backpack, but I know the nerd who took that picture.



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I write for a living, among other things in the digital journalism and analytics universe. So I'm a little like a nerd unicorn. But no bronies. Move along.
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