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Locks of Love

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Cliché blog post title aside...about 42 million tourists flock to the city of Paris, the city of love, each year for a variety of reasons: for the extraordinary architecture as described in my last post, for the wonderfully rich French food, for boutiques that line boulevards and contribute to the city's fashionable reputation, and for the general romantic atmosphere of the city--from an evening in front of the Eiffel Tower to placing a padlock on a bridge and throwing the key into the Seine.

The love lock phenomena itself is worth noting. The trend began to garner attention and adoption in the early 2000s within Europe and throughout much of Asia. Today, love lock bridges appear throughout Asia (China, Japan, South Korea), in Russia, throughout Europe (France, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, UK), in Canada and Australia and Uruguay, and throughout the United States (Napa, San Diego, throughout Utah, and in Hawaii).

I feel as though the Paris love lock bridge has become the most well known. As you approach the bridge, the gold locks make the crossway glimmer in the sunlight. The bridge itself seems to be made of gold. Then as you cross the Seine, you can watch couples work together to pick a special place to attach their lock, they crouch together and work together to fasten the decorated padlock to the bridge, and then they take a photo, they preserve the moment.

I hope to one day to return to the lock bridge with my own lock, though that may sound incredibly cheesy. In the meantime however, I enjoyed watching the couples who had traveled from Germany, from the US, from Latin America in order to partake in this permanent gesture of love (which is probably safer than a tattoo). The particular couple photographed above I believe capture quite a bit of the essence of the the love lock bridge and Paris' reputation as a city of love. For these two men, maybe their love is not legally recognized in their hometown, maybe they cannot exchange rings in a church. But, their love is real nonetheless and they hope to symbolize that with a padlock.

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