Some things are just not ok…
Don’t get us wrong, we love pretty pastel coloured houses as much as the next person, but doing wedding shoots, dance moves, yoga poses and all around general nonsense for hours on end, outside the front door of a private Parisienne home is just not ok. There’s a time limit, at the very least.
You’ll find an endless array of beautiful streets around the world, but few make people swoon, “ooh” and “aaah” quite like the rues of Paris; and thanks to the gift and the curse of “geotagging” on social media, some dreamy Parisienne streets are garnering more attention than others. Tourists are flocking en masse to capture their perfect travel moment, and as France surpasses more than 1 billion annual visitors, it’s causing problems.
In fact, the residents of one of Paris’ famous cobbled streets, Rue Crémieux, are starting to get pretty pissed off. Hoards of Instagram crazed tourists are hanging around the adorable homes along the rue at all hours of the day and night, leaving no peace for residents from sun up, well beyond sun down.
Crowds have become so out of hand, local residents are hoping to get the street closed to all visitors during evenings, weekends and peak ‘magic’ photo times around sunrise and sunset. Yep, the street wants gates and no one living on it cares how “cuuuuuute” you think it is.
One resident even started an account titled ‘sh** people do on Rue Crémieux’, making a mockery of the lengths ‘influencers’ will go to satisfy their Instagram accounts. It’s a great follow, by the way.
This is not the first, and certainly won’t be the last time in which self(ie) obsessed travellers ruin a charming local spot. In fact, some places are trying to stop this rising trend before it even happens in the first place. Matera, a beautiful town in Southern Italy, which is part of the newly minted “culture capital of Europe” known as Basilicata, stated via its mayor that it doesn’t want any tourists at all.
There’s a fine line between capturing the charm of a destination and ruining what makes it worth traveling to in the first place. To quote Will Rogers, “land, they ain’t making it any more”. And to quote ourselves, “tourists, they may put up gates to keep them out”.