This colourful London neighbourhood doesn’t want to be on your Instagram
Residents of one of London's most photographed neighbourhoods have had enough with people using their homes as Instagram backdrops.
The sundae-style homes of Notting Hill in west London, all pistachio, raspberry and lemon-hues, are irresistible to Instagram users. If you search for the Notting Hill hashtag on Instagram, you'll find a whopping 1.2 million posts. Most are selfies taken in front of homes but some appear to be full-on photoshoots. Leaning on fences, crouching on curbs or sitting on doorsteps, people have been winding residents up the wrong way with their intrusive behaviour in the search of the perfect snap.
One resident of 40 years told The Times, "it’s got worse and worse. They’re sitting on my doorstep. They’re quite rude sometimes, they make a noise." While her neighbour complained that the area is becoming like "Disneyland" and said that she once discovered people having lunch on her doorstep.
This sort of intrusive and disruptive behaviour isn't unique to Notting Hill. Just this April, residents of Rue Crémieux in Paris appealed to the city to close the street to non-residents on evenings and weekends. "It’s become hell," the vice president of the street association told Franceinfo. "During the week it’s not bad because it’s just tourists and they are not too disruptive. But during the weekend, it’s 200 people outside our windows."
Across the water, San Francisco's famously crooked Lombard Street (which attracts two million visitors each year) is also suffering under the weight of its popularity and will soon introduce a $10 visitor toll to deter visitors from clogging the street. It's another "Insta-famous" spot but locals are concerned that visitors forget it's actually a residential street and not a tourist attraction.
Back in Britain, while tourists can't be stopped from taking photos on public roads, they are asked to be less intrusive, respect private property and never impose on residents' daily lives.