It's almost here! That one day a year when we're supposed to prove to the ones we love that we do indeed love them. The other 364 days, well, forget it. Valentine's Day. Le sigh.
Let's talk about love. Here in Paris, there's a tradition that dates back years – about 7 or so to be exact. It's not really a thing to do in Paris, but lovers come and put locks onto various bridges, leaving behind an arguably unsightly mess of locks on some of the city's once-beautiful bridges. The so-called "love locks" – you've heard of them.
Once the Pont des Arts, a bridge over the river by the Louvre, started to fall apart over a year ago, activists launched a movement No Love Locks. Easy to remember. But we won't bore you here. Our own Bryan wrote about it for CNN a while back if you want more information on the campaign, which we support wholeheartedly. Lisa and Lisa are doing some great stuff.
The takeaway message, for the moment, is that things are getting worse. Love locks are taking over, and No Love Locks is calling for #NoLoveLocksDay this February 14th. Use that hashtag everywhere – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Emails, smoke signals, daily conversation, term papers. Just anywhere you can.
More bridges and monuments have locks on them and we feel like we're dealing with everyone's love everywhere. We feel the same in a seedy gay bar after a Saturday night, but at least they can get rid of that love with buckets of bleach. These locks don't go away so easily – or at all, really.
Until now! Meet our friends at F*ck Love Paris, yet another movement designed to take action directly against the lovers who have chained their love to our precious city. Aside from their wonton use of the f-word, we are getting a kick out of these two.
“Paris is like the blackhole of disgustingly happy couples. And like the Parisian dogs, they leave their shit everywhere: those f*cking love-locks.” -- F*ck Love Paris's website
Simply pay a small fee on their website and they'll go cut three locks for you and dispose of them. It's an extra 25 cents for an ecological disposal, so please be sure to ask – otherwise they throw it in the river (sad face!). They'll also record the cutting and send you a video.
For $1, $5, or $8 depending on the size of the lock you want cut, it's a real deal, and a great way to celebrate a true Anti-Valentine's Day while showing people that we don't love vandalism. And yes, people have actually signed up and paid good money for this service. Check out their site for some of the videos.
While not a permanent solution to the love locks fiasco, knowing that your lock could be hacked off at any moment might just be the deterrent tourists need to abstain. Or at least we can all hope.
Between the oysters, Champagne, chocolate, and numerous hotel rooms, we're pretty sure there are other ways people can indulge in and express their love in Paris. Let's start celebrating love – gay, straight, and everything in between – in better, more constructive ways, shall we?