Friday, April 29, 2011

Romantic Gestures

She lives at Luxemburg Park. (Paris)

A few days ago (in paris)  I made it my business to mark off as many subway stops I exited or entered from on my subway map. That being my way of keeping track of which neighborhoods/districts I had seen. 

On a walk along the river I came across Pont des Arts, Paris' love bridge. Love Bridge: (Thanks to an Italian teen novel.) A place where people announce their love by initialing a padlock or bike lock, then locking it to the bridge or another lock when there isn't space. 

"When there isn't space," wasn't the issue with Paris's love bridge, I was thrown a little since I was half sure that Paris is referred to as the "city of love." And indeed there were padlocks, but there were no overlapping padlocks, not like there are in Rome at Ponte Milivio, Rome's love bridge. Which makes me think that the Italians are more about irrational or passionate love, (There are tons of bridges in Italy that say things like, "Paolo + Maria 4evr!!!" The walls of public restrooms at McDonald's are also covered with similar or explicit notes.) Do I think the French are out of love? No, perhaps the French are keeping their passionate irrational love to themselves. It's ours. Or It's tacky to announce things on locks. Ha!

Whelp I thought those things until I looked into it: "Paris' town hall declared the padlocks an eyesore, saying they 'posed a question about the preserving of heritage' and that 'in time these padlocks will be removed.'"-The Telegraph

While Rome's Love Bridge has padlocks locked upon padlocks.  They're uncountable. The city wanted to remove a considerable amount of them because of the possible long term damages as well, yet there was a huff from the Italians, a huff that lead to a compromise of a chain that persons can attach their locks to, that is hung across the bridge and rooted to land on each end. And sure there are rumors about the locks being "pruned," but I don't believe it.

Anyhow --- The fact that Rome left the padlocks reveals something in itself.

Other cities that host love bridges: Mount Huang, China, Brussels, Moscow, and Romeo & Juliet's hometown, Verona.

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