By now, Joaquin Phoenix’s dance down a stair set in the Bronx is a bit of an iconic moment for comic book movie fans. Residents of the community in the New York City borough aren’t as thrilled with their neighborhood becoming a tourist destination. One man from the neighborhood decided to send a message by tossing some eggs at tourists that have descended on the staircase. The man’s video got uploaded to Twitter by someone else and now serves as an example of how some must view the steady stream of visitors. For those wondering, the staircase is on the corner of Shakespeare and Anderson in Highbridge. The video clearly showcases him yelling, “Y’all not spending no money in my store, but come and take pictures. Get the f*** out of here!” Then the eggs start flying.
Fans visiting has become such a topic that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has chimed in on the phenomenon. She represents New York’s 14th Congressional District and grew up in the Bronx. She told TMZ, “When I was growing up, everyone would tell us to stay away from those steps or go with a friend or whatever. The Bronx is much safer now and I’m happy to say that but I think the way a lot of us feel is ‘keep your Instagram posts outside of the Boogie Down. This is for us.’”
Lmao Keep Thinking Them was 167 Steps Is A Landmark For Tourist 😂😂. pic.twitter.com/Km6VYqLFmi— Kurohige. (@AddissonDaGr8) October 24, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez continued, “People have been doing that dance for a long time,” she says. She also suspects it will remain a tourist attraction, but says, “We got to own it though. We can’t let anyone take that away from us”
There is one thing she’s absolutely correct about, the steady throng of people flocking to the stair doesn’t look like it is going to stop any time soon. Instagrammers, amateur photographers, and models have been crowding the structure since the release of the movie. Residents in the area posted flyers near the stairs that read, "It is disrespectful to treat our community and residents as a photo opportunity for your social media or 'it' moment. This is real life, not a movie and we're not jokin'."
Local frustrations continue to mount over the increased presence of the visitors. Some of the Bronx’s local government is hoping that the increased foot traffic will boost local businesses. If the box office performance of the movie is any indication, maybe they have some hope.
Joker has already accrued more than $250 million at the domestic box office. With $700 million worldwide, the film has a shot of becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film of all-time. Warner Bros. must be thrilled because it is already the biggest release of the year for the studio.