When your home becomes a tourist attraction

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Have you ever seen a beautiful little stable house in London and thought “is it sure to be amazing to live there?”

If so, you are not the only one. But for people who actually live in these houses, social media photography has changed the meaning of living in picturesque places.

Alice Johnston is a long-term resident of Notting Hill (Notting Hill) near London. The block is painted in pastel with row houses and Julia Roberts/Hugh Grant (Julia Roberts)/Hugh Grant ( Hugh Grant) is famous for the location of the film of the same name.

Johnston is a journalist who has mixed feelings for her beloved “hood” on Instagram. She lives on Portobello Road, one of the most famous streets in the capital, and has witnessed all kinds of crazy behaviors committed in pursuit of perfect snapshots.

Once, when she and a friend were walking his French bulldog, a tourist asked if they could “borrow” the puppy to take a photo. The friend and the dog agreed, Instagrammer took a photo with the Frenchman in front of a bright blue door, and then paid £5 as a thank you.

Private life, public places

In that story, everyone had a great time.

But living in a place that some people think is a movie set may have a darker side.

“I was woken up by a French teenager taking a photo outside at 6 am on Easter Sunday,” Johnston said.

She shared another anecdote: “One time I was changing clothes after taking a shower, and an old man took pictures of (my window) with an iPad.”

Although the shutters were closed at the time, she was understandably disturbed by this experience.

Conflicts occur when private homes — and the people who live in them — become tourist attractions. In more rural areas, people can set up fences or other barriers to enter, but what should residents do when these private houses are located on public streets in some of the busiest cities in the world?

Different communities have adopted different approaches. In Hong Kong, a group of five interconnected residential areas nicknamed “Monster Tower” became a huge selfie spot after appearing in many Hollywood movies, including “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

This huge building is located in Quarry Bay, a relatively quiet neighborhood on the east side of Hong Kong Island, and most tourists will skip it.

Since there are public enterprises at the bottom, the residents of working-class communities cannot lock down buildings. Therefore, some people take matters into their own hands by posting slogans asking tourists to respect.

Monster Building Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

The symbol of Hong Kong Yichang Building, also known as Monster Building.

The Chinese and English signs erected by the residents of the building read “This is a private estate. Intruders are strictly prohibited from performing various activities (including but not limited to taking pictures, parties, using drones and yelling, etc.). We do not take any responsibility.” For any Property damage and/or personal injury caused by the accident. ”

However, many tourists ignore these signs, or just take them as suggestions, a quick glance at Instagram will reveal a large number of recent photos taken there.

Johnston said that a pale pink house near where she lives has become a very popular photo site, and residents have given up efforts to keep people away. Instead, they set up a donation box and asked people to donate to charities in exchange for taking pictures.

When your home becomes history

Chuck Henderson’s grandmother, Della, was a lover of architecture – so much so that she was able to commission the world-famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright to build it in California A house.

The Clinton Walker house in Carmel by the sea was completed in 1951 and handed over to Henderson and some of his relatives when Walker died. No one lives in it full-time, but different family members and their guests live there in turns.

Wright’s fans will come from all over the world, trying to get a glimpse of some of his masterpieces. Although some, such as the famous Fallingwater Villas in Pennsylvania, are open year-round attractions, some are still private residences.

Many people who own houses featured in construction textbooks have to add the cost of security measures to other expenses, such as utilities and homeowner insurance.

Henderson said: “About six or seven years ago, after we encountered some vandalism, we installed these security cameras.” However, the vandalism involved was not graffiti.

He explained: “We have the remnant wood of this big tree, and the original landscape architect used it as the core of the garden. Someone cut a gap from it. It looks clean, like someone using a chainsaw or something. The door between one of our carports and the main house has a pile of nautical cork discs on the rope net, which are the counterweight of the door. This has been absconded several times.”

Despite this, Henderson and his family had the last laugh at the cork thieves—the thieves were not designed by Wright and were of little value, if any.

“We let people walk directly to the sign of’Private property, no unauthorized entry’. Someone was dancing in our carport. We surprised some people as long as they did nothing wrong.”

Reach a compromise

When it comes to living in a place that is often photographed, some people try to combine the good with the bad.

Johnston tried to sympathize with travelers who came to her hometown, recalling how much she liked to take pictures of historical districts such as Paris’ Marais and Lisbon’s Alfama.

In fact, she recently found photos of herself hanging out at the Notting Hill Carnival as a teenager, a few years before she moved to the capital.

“I like to travel, so when people travel where I live, I have to understand very well. I feel lucky. It’s cool that people want to come to where I live.”

Henderson and his relatives reached some compromises to allow design lovers to explore the home while protecting their privacy. They occasionally rent it out to take photos, and the most recent was a promotional event for the eyewear brand Oliver Peoples.

In addition, they are open to the public one day each year to benefit the local Carmel Heritage Association. In 2021, 657 people came to buy tickets and visit.

Henderson said: “It’s a great pleasure for us to be able to share this house and see so many people happy and excited about it.” “And it allows us to tell people when it’s open. It’s for They offered a choice (to visit), we don’t have to be the Grinch.”

Photo of Portobello Road taken by Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

If you like to travel and want to see other options go to travel news

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