Locks of Love
Paris. Ah, the city of romance.
Sure, like most major cities, it suffers from dirty sidewalks, petty crime, graffiti, and homelessness… but that can’t overpower the air of passion, creativity, intimacy and pride emanating from its buildings and people alike. Perhaps the “Paris is for lovers” seed has been so deeply rooted in our minds that we see walk through the city wearing a pair of rose colored glasses, or perhaps the city really does have that special je ne sais quoi… or maybe I’ve just watched “Amélie” one too many times. Who knows!
I definitely know a few folks who don’t particularly care for Paris, but, as for me, its idiosyncrasies and roughness around the edges only add to its shabby chic charm. And what more charming spot to visit than the Pont des Arts, an arched metal pedestrian bridge that crosses the Seine.
In recent years it’s become something of a symbol of romance for traveling couples… a mecca for lovers, if you will. Legend has it that those who “lock up” their love and toss the key into the river will enjoy a lifelong commitment to one another. By now the metal bridge is buried underneath a thick layer of “love locks”, each sealed with its own unique tale of romance.
The locks are literally all over. Lamp posts, railings, grates… you name it. Just for the record, we didn’t have a go at locking up our love. We did, however, have a fun time perusing the variety of names, quotes, shapes and dates included on each lock.
The bridge doesn’t just symbolize love in the romantic sense. If you’re familiar with the film “Amélie” (one of my personal all-time faves), you might recall that it was here, upon the Pont des Arts, that the mysteriously fabulous protagonist experiences a deep sense of harmony and an overwhelming urge to help mankind. It’s here that she makes the decision to commit small acts of kindness to help those around her.
It’s with this understanding of romance that I felt myself drawn to the bridge… what better spot to leave behind a little random act of flowers.
I didn’t hear back from the flowers, but I hope that, in their own little way, they helped to add to the enigma of Paris. Perhaps they convinced a tourist or two that Paris really is the city of romance :)