Even if you haven't seen Joker yet (and we've got a five-star review that suggests you should), you already know everyone's arguing about it. Celebration of violence? Indictment of same? Oscar-bound masterpiece? Scorsesean rip-off? All of these things? Undeniably it's entered the zeitgeist, especially for a scene of Joaquin Phoenix strutting down a set of steps.
You can actually visit these stairs: Joker brews an intentionally old-school NYC vibe (yeah, we know it's technically "Gotham"), and that means going to the Bronx, specifically the neighborhood of Highbridge. The passageway in the film connects two avenues, Shakespeare and Anderson, and runs along W 167th St. If you type "1170 Shakespeare Ave" into Google Maps, that'll get you pretty close.
Expect to wait your turn posing on those steps—the site has become something of an instant shrine for fans of the film. (Not long ago, they were tagged a "religious destination" online.) The last time a set of stairs got this famous, they figured prominently in the climax of a horror classic.
Local photographer Ray H. Mercado (whose Insta deserves a follow) has been taking some snaps at the steps and other Joker-related locations. Those shots have since gone viral; he's got a great eye. Go and take your own shots, but if at all possible, please try to not unleash a wave of clown-related citywide panic.
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