Residents of Rue Cremieux, a cobblestone street lined with pastel-colored houses in the 12th arrondissement in Paris, have a problem: the Instagrammers have taken over.
On Thursday, the BBC reported that Parisians who live on Rue Cremieux have asked Paris’ city council to erect a gate blocking off access to their street at peak hours. Apparently, the quaint block has become such a hot spot for travelers, influencers, or anyone else in pursuit of the perfect ‘gram, that residents have gotten fed up.
“We sit down to eat and just outside we have people taking photos, rappers who take two hours to film a video right beneath the window, or bachelorette parties who scream for an hour,” one resident told France Info (via the BBC). “Frankly, it’s exhausting.”
Indeed, a look at the Instagram photos tagged with the Rue Cremieux geolocation reveal —well, first of all —they show a really pretty street!
A scroll through the tagged photos does depict what the residents describe: an endless stream of selfies taken against pastel backgrounds, bridal parties and wistful subjects literally sitting on people’s front doorsteps, tourists smiling as they stand in the center of the street. Everyone doin’ it for the ‘gram.
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Every brunette needs a blond bestie 😉🌸 • • • • • • • • • #igdaily #bloggerlife #fashion #igdaily #blond #blondesofinstagram #bestiegoals #rideordie #bestfriend #myblond #girlfriend #allsmiles #pink #ruecremieux #photography#ootd #barbieskirt #love #fashionista #style #styleinspo #discoverunder10k #frompariswithlove
The hashtag #RueCremieux currently has 31.7 thousand tagged posts. Let the Parisians eat in peace!
The residents are proposing that the city construct a gate that would close off the street to foot and vehicle traffic at peak hours. That includes evenings and weekends, which indicates that it’s not just travelers coming to the street for pics. As well as sunrise and sunset, when ‘grammers apparently flock to the street to capture pics in the golden light.
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The bustling street of Rue Cremieux was once a hidden secret. Now the pastel candy coloured street near Bastille is an increasingly sought after haunt for photographers and filmmakers. We couldn’t help but notice the bemused residents and neighbours look on from their windows as tourists take pictures of the charming street. For many visiting Paris it is now a must see destination, But for them it is simply home. #paris #france #ruecremieux #photography #instagram #insta #travel #instatravel #blogging #blogger #blog #Bastille #instablog #pastel #monday
“Instagram destinations” have become a growing trend in the way people choose to travel. Conde Nast Traveler, New York Magazine, and others have reported how Instagram can blow up a unique travel spot, transforming a once off-the-beaten-path place, like Tulum, into a mecca for influencers.
This obviously has upsides for the local economy, but comes at the cost of fundamentally changing a place for the sake of and to the tastes of people who can afford to travel, and not necessarily locals.
It also supercharges one of the more vain tendencies of travel, that existed long before Instagram, but that social media has nonetheless exacerbated: traveling to a place for the sake of the photo, and not the experience.
People travel for all sorts of reasons – who’s to say whether it is “better” to travel for the keepsake, the moment, or whether the two are even mutually exclusive. Taking beautiful photos is also literally some people’s jobs, whether they’re “influencers,” artists, or a photographer for a fashion brand. The particularly Instagram brand of beautiful photos — pics taken not in a studio, but against an artistic public backdrop — has even in a sense allowed more people to gain attention, and potentially dollars, for photography, when they wouldn’t have necessarily been afforded a studio space.
But in the instance of Rue Cremieux, we see these phenomena magnified onto what one observing Instagram poster described as the transformation of the quaint block into a “bustling” travel destination, and the affect it has on neighbors.
Who does the street belong to: the residents, or the Instagrammers? It actually belongs to the city. Whether they’ll take the pleas of Rue Cremieux’s besieged residents into consideration will be up to them.
But we’re not particularly worried. Paris is, after all, filled with cobblestone streets and colors and nooks and crannies perfect for stumbling into in surprised awe — and maybe even taking a photo. Perhaps if Rue Cremieux is off limits, more travelers will walk around with their eyes wide open, ready to discover, and not just pursue, the location for the perfect pic.