Joker Tourism Floods Bronx Staircase

Visitors have been flocking to The Bronx to pay homage to the character “Joker.”

Podcast, article and photos by Juan Diego Ramirez

A short train ride away north of Manhattan into the South Bronx, a predominantly Latino and Black working-class neighborhood has become an overnight attraction. People in Highbridge are finding themselves split over what has become known as the “Joker Stairs” as fans of the new film flock to the location en masse.

Some local workers say that the influx of tourists have caused disruption to their daily lives.

Word of the location of this scene spread quickly through social media and fans from all over have started showing up. Ana De Leon, a resident of Highbridge finds this trend strange. “This is a form of transportation for me to get to the train, people coming here to take a picture it’s strange,” she says. De Leon, is divided on her opinion about the Joker Stairs. “I think it could be a good thing, because of a movie and where it was filmed everybody is interested in where we live it could be a good thing for the neighborhood,” she adds.

On social media, Joel Martinez, a comedian mostly commonly known as Mero the Kid from Showtime’s Desus & Mero, tweeted a sarcastic message to his followers telling them to show up with expensive electronics and cash at hand, as The Bronx suffers from high crime rates, according to the New York Police Department. In a viral video posted on social media, an angry man is seen throwing eggs at visitors. You can hear the man say, “Y’all not spending no money in my store, but come here to take a picture, Yankees Stadium is where the tourist go.”

A bodega near the infamous staircase was able to see some of the movie’s production

The Joker stairs have started a conversation among residents of the area. Ana De Leon says that tourist come to the neighborhood just to take pictures. “sometimes it could take away from the actual place we call home because they want to post it online and be apart of something,” she says. Arthur Fleck has transcended the screen and cause a rift in the real world. There are neighbors who welcome the change and others who oppose it. For now, this neighborhood in the Bronx will have to deal with the masses of Joker fans.

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