I know it seems romantic, a lock signifying your everlasting love fastened forever to a bridge in the City of Light—and sure, a few years ago it was quite a novel and charming idea. But now, dear tourists, much like the Real Housewives series, it’s just too much of a good thing. The delicate Pont des Arts has become a freakish glut of indistinguishable metal lumps, and worse, is now in mortal danger. Poor, lovely bridge. And what about all those keys you’re tossing into the Seine? Did you think about that, my tourist lovebirds? That can’t be good for the health of the river. But what do you care? It’s not like you live here; it’s just a photo op to you.
But now, my romantic tourist types, as if the Pont des Arts wasn’t enough of an outlet for your mania, you’ve descended upon the sweet, unassuming Pont de l’Archevêché, which is so densely encrusted with your love locks—locks on top of locks, locks fastened to other locks, huge bicycle locks (really?)—that you practically have to walk sideways to cross the bridge. It’s madness I tells ya, sheer madness.
I get it, my tourist friends, you read all about this tradition on that there interweb and you want to be able to say you did it, too. But you know, it is okay to have an original idea all your own. When you can clearly see there is not one centimeter of space to hang your lock, maybe it’s a sign this idea is played out. Been done to death. Like, so four years ago. It’s not that we don’t embrace your love; we love that you love. But perhaps, you could find some other way to show your undying devotion, something that doesn’t, say, damage historic structures and burden the city with maintenance costs. Something like, I dunno, a kiss in the Tuileries, or a pinky swear atop the Eiffel Tower. These are just ideas, folks; feel free to come up with your own. And please do it soon.
To sum up, dear travelers from other lands, kindly unlock your love and lift the weight of it from the shoulders of the Parisians. Save Paris’s frail, old bridges. That’s a much more loving act, don’t you think?Update: I received a huge response to this post, which went wildly viral—over 3000 views from readers around the world. I had no idea others felt the same. Inspired, I joined forces with blogger and friend, Lisa Taylor Huff, to create No Love Locks, a movement whose mission is to educate people to the destruction the trend is causing to historic structures, and to support efforts by the city to address the issue. Follow us on Facebook!
SIGN OUR PETITION TO BAN ‘LOVE LOCKS’