Fans flock to New York 'Joker' stairs

  • Sunday 27, October 2019 11:42 AM
  • Fans flock to New York 'Joker' stairs
Sharjah24 - Reuters: Orion is an aspiring actor from the New York borough of Queens. And so in a bid to boost his brand - he has nearly 7,000 followers Instagram - he decided to do a photoshoot on a steep flight of steps in an out-of-the-way Bronx borough neighborhood that is quickly becoming a cult-movie landmark.
This fall Orion and a stream of fellow visitors have flocked to the stairway, known as a "step street," to see the real-life backdrop from a memorable scene in "Joker," the hit movie that tells the backstory of Batman's deranged foe, the Joker.

The scene captures the moment that loner Arthur Fleck, played by Joaquin Phoenix, transforms into the Joker as he dances down the steps to Gary Glitter's anthem "Rock & Roll Part 2," his hair dyed a menacing green and his face painted like a clown.

Until recently not many tourists ventured into the Bronx, which has long sought to shake an unfair image as a crime-ridden backwater. The borough's biggest draws are the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Gardens and the New York Yankees, the perennial baseball powerhouse that makes its home about a mile south of the steps, located on West 167th Street between Anderson and Shakespeare avenues.

But since the release of "Joker," many New Yorkers and out-of-towners have traveled there to gawk, take selfies and, in the spirit of the Joker's choreography, to ham it up.

For longtime Bronx residents like security guard Raphael, step streets are a common feature in the borough's hilly landscape. And they welcome the attention.