Tag Archives: lenny kravitz

Paris, the Walmart of Love?

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Des Arts Bridge

Des Arts Bridge

After reading recently how we Americans waste too much time playing video games and social networking, I decided to step away from the Candy Crush, with my hands visible at all times, long enough to attempt to hash out an article.  The truth is, I have been procrastinating (i.e. trying to beat the next level) on writing this particular post.  You see, I love Paris (for proof, go here, here and here!).-– even with all the escargot eating (although the Nutella crepe eating ain’t half bad), having to bag my own groceries (it is good to be useful, even when you are the one paying the money), the one waiter haughtily thinking it necessary to inform Teen Steak Tartar was in fact ‘raw meat’ (possibly Teen’s quip “oh, just slap it on the grill, then” was not well timed), Parisians mostly preferring kids be seen and not heard (ok, secretly, I envied that part – see aforementioned quip).  Nonetheless, I love Paris in all its’ facets (especially the Parisian Grandma who “photo-bombed” Teen & Pre-Teen) which is why it pains me to offer this slight criticism of the beautiful city.

Last year on Valentine’s Day, I shared a discovery made during a trip to Italy concerning the Love Locks (We Got to Let Love Rule).  In essence, it is the practice of “locking your love” with a padlock onto a romantic bridge and throwing the key into the river below, thus sealing your everlasting love.  (For more information on rules of engagement and origins of the Love Lock ritual, go here!).

Therefore, it was no surprise to again see Love Locks adorning bridges during a subsequent trip to Paris – all those bridges over the River Seine to choose from! However, coming upon the Love Lock operation on the Des Arts Bridge felt like (I am sorry to say) the Walmart of Love (even though it is completely criminal and not a little bit gross to put those two words together in a sentence).

The whole deal is becoming like a one-stop shopping for the love masses (with a better dress code). Locks can be purchased for a discounted price from dueling street vendors right there on the bridge (after waiting in line, of course). And no longer is the ritual just for the hopeless romantics, but all are welcome – bffs, mom’s and daughters, people who just met for the first time over a latte.  The amount of locks weighing down the bridge is, in a word, outrageous!  Observe. (I swear that really isn’t Pre-Teen kicking the Locks of Love, honest.)

(Video by Teen)

Well, right then and there, Teen, Pre-Teen and I decided if Love Locks were going to be taken to this extreme, clearly, some guidelines needed to be established – a list of DO’s and DON’Ts  as it were. I think you will see what I mean…

Here are  6 of our suggestions!

1.  DON’T use a combination lock to express your devotion.  A key lock says forever, a combo lock says 6 months, tops.

Love Locks

2.  DON’T lock your love onto another’s lock.  Seriously, do you really want the success of your relationship hinged on the backs of several others?  That is like depending on Bieber to stop getting arrested and taking up valuable news time.

Love Locks of Paris

3.  DO make sure your key, when thrown, actually makes it into the water (Teen and Pre-Teen wanted to help out this unfortunate, doomed couple by scooting their key over the edge and into the river, but I told them you can’t mess with providence).

Lost key

4.  DON’T accidentally throw your car, home or hotel keys into the water instead of the keys to your Love Lock – clearly an omen no relationship could survive.

5.  DO, if you are locking your love to a bridge in celebration of a momentous event or anniversary, get the largest lock you can find – because, yes indeed, size matters.

Big Love Locks

6.  DO make sure your lock has a good view.  After all, it is for eternity…or until the next bolt cutter comes around.

Love Locks on Des Arts Bridge

In the wonderful words of Lenny Kravitz – “We Got to Let Love Rule

Only, maybe, with a few guidelines – just to keep the beautiful ritual from becoming any more Walmart-esque, like people showing up in pajamas, or worse yet, locking their love amidst a parade of body parts never meant to see the light of day.

That rumble you hear is Napoleon turning over in his (very large/could fit 20 men) tomb

Happy Valentines Day!

More Paris Posts:

A Paris Perspective:  The Monuments

A Paris Perspective: The City

A Paris Perspective: The River and Bridges

More Travel Posts:

Sweet Spot Travels

“We Got to Let Love Rule”

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Accademia Bridge

The Love Locks – Venice, Italy

I think I may have mentioned we were in Italy last November (I promise to shut up about it after this post, maybe).  But one day, walking across the Accademia Bridge in Venice, my sons and I noticed rows of padlocks lining the hand rail up and down the bridge. We were intrigued (‘cause what is cooler than a bunch of unexplained hardware on a historic landmark?) On closer inspection, we discovered the locks were inscribed with names and sentiments of love – which I found adorable, and my boys found just plain embarrassing for the poor schmucks involved.  As we began to notice these locks secured on other historic bridges around Venice, including the famous Rialto Bridge, our curiosity grew.

And thus, through deep investigation (aka google search) we were able to solve the mystery of what we found out was called The Love Locks.

So, this Valentine’s day, if you want to say I Love You Italian-style, here is how it is done.

Accademia Bridge - Venice, Italy

Accademia Bridge – Venice, Italy

1.  Choose a romantic and/or historic bridge as depicted in the 2006 novel responsible for the current craze, “I Want You” by Italian author Federico Moccia. The preferred romantic locations seem to be in Italy – Rome, Venice, and Florence – although bridges in other countries such as Ireland, Germany, France, Canada and Russia seem to qualify as well due to the locks massively appearing.  Heck, a bridge anywhere will probably do the trick.

The Love Locks

2.  Get a padlock. Go fancy by engraving it with the name/initials of you and your lover and maybe some gooey sentiments.  Or do a poor man’s version by hand writing names and message of everlasting amour on your padlock (sharpie , nail polish, whatever is handy).  Then lock the padlock onto a historic/romantic bridge and throw the padlock key into the canal or body of water while thus swearing eternal love and devotion to one another.

But pay heed to #3…

The Love Locks2

3.  Seriously, here is the most important part, so don’t zone out yet.

Once you have put your lock into place and thrown the key into the water, run like Willie Nelson from the IRS!  You see, the truth is, putting the locks on the historic bridges is, in many places illegal due to the fact that they are considered by some to be an eyesore and also damage the old stone on the famous bridges as the locks begin to rust.  Getting caught locking your love to a bridge could be accompanied by a heavy fine, and in some cases, jail time (um, you have seen Midnight Express, right?).  All in the name of love.

However, don’t despair because…

The Love Locks3

While it is true that your padlock of eternal love could end up victim to massive bolt cutters in the night by authorities cleaning up and protecting the historic bridge (making the whole eternal thing a little less everlasting), there is still hope.  In true love Italian-style, authorities have in some places near or on the preferred historic bridges begun to install fences or special bars on which to hang the locks of love legally, without damaging the bridges.

You know what they say (or, well,  Lenny Kravitz says it – which is good enough for me),

“We Got to Let Love Rule!”

Happy Valentines Day from Sweet Spot!

Other Valentines Day Posts: True Love By Way of a Kitty Dance and a Bucking Horse.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

Today’s Best Moment: Monday, March 26

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I took my kids to see The Hunger Games.

But oh, we didn’t just see the movie.  We discussed casting, disagreed on plot changes, analyzed adjusted content, evaluated screenplay adaptation, laughed at The Hunger Pains parody,  fought over  necessity of added scenes, pondered future installments, reviewed overall success, and considered Lenny’s gold eyeliner.

The movie was good.  The after part was the best.