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New York's Obsession with Love Padlocks on Brooklyn Bridge

Love padlock on Brooklyn Bridge

An interesting habit has been forming on the Brooklyn Bridge, created by locals who live on either side or visitors strolling along the walkways. Taking a peek and you’ll notice small padlocks stuck on the bridges’ metal loops, fences and more. While walking along the other day, I got to wondering why something like this might happen on an otherwise pretty uniform and necessary structure. Where the heck are they all coming from and what is the meat of their existence?

It’s all about Love

The most common story about the origins of these locks can be traced back to Italy. In a popular novel, the idea of taking a locker room locker, affixing it to something permanent and throwing away the key, as a symbol for unwavering devotion. These little fixtures started popping up all over the world in places like France, Taiwan and eventually making its way to the U.S. Some officials get annoyed and worries the locks will hurt architecture and they remove the locks, but many stay right where they were left for month or even years, carved with initials or sporting heart doodles and dates.

Traditions unfolding in Brooklyn

A couple of years ago, probably some smart guy or gal who really wanted to impress their mate had the idea to affix a lock on the Brooklyn Bridge. While no one really know who it all got started, the trend grew into what it is today - an amazing and interesting statement on the idea of permanence and love. Or, just a way to piss-off local law enforcement. Either way, it’s certainly worth taking a walk along the bridge, especially on a sunny day, to see the locks and messages left behind by people from all over the world.