dimanche 26 septembre 2010

Heart Of Brass

A flurry of tiny metal trinkets adorn the Pont des Arts bridge where couples come bearing their lovers name upon an engraved lock. 'Love Padlocks', it would seem, are now somewhat of a trend, not just here in Paris but all over Europe.

Students in Hungary clamp their charms to a wrought-iron fence in a narrow street linking the mosque in the city's main square and the magnificent medieval cathedral either as a symbol of the struggle to complete the study program or a symbol of their commitment to one another. Similarly in Latvia, where newly-weds adorn the bridge with their tokens of devotion and then consequently throw the key into the lake. It's even stirred some sort of social communities. Take Germany, for example, where after locks began branding the Hohenzollern bridge's metal frame, the bridges operated threatened to remove them but was forced to relent in the face of public opposition.

So, with a multitude of Europeans now proclaiming their love in a more rigid man made material, is this an analogy for a more set and solid relationship? Not so in Paris, it would appear, where many of the little charms have their own codes to release them should one of the party wish to take back the token of love and perhaps, even reuse the same sentiment. It's the 21st century, we can't just lock down love on the first strike, right?

Fundamentally, the locks are a quirky and kitsch site as one strolls towards the Rive Gauche here in gay Paris but for me, a lock [primarily, the throwing away the key scenario] conjures up images of a prison cell and a long stint in the same secured environment and I'm not quite sure that's the sentiment I want hanging over me or my suitors. A far more touching story in my opinion [be it fictional] is that the same bridge is also, used in the final episode of Sex and The City where Carrie is swept off her feet [it's taken like 7 series!] by her Big romance.

For now, I'm going to say I'm an advocate for the conservative code keeper, after all it took Miss Bradshaw a whole anthology of episodes to bag Big. Under lock and key seems a little foreboding to me and when it comes to matters of the heart, I'd much rather be classy than brassy...

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