A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 23, 2014
Love-locking (Love Lock or Love Padlock)

"Love-locking” is when someone puts a lock (called a “love lock” or “love padlock") on a pole—such as a pole on a bridge or in a train station—and throws away the key. The Italian novel Ho Voglia Di Te (I Want You) (2006) by Federico Moccia—made into a 2007 film—popularized the tradition by showing love locks on the Ponte Milvio (Milvian Bridge) over the Tiber in northern Rome, Italy.

“Love-locking” became popular on New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge starting in 2009. However, the locks are destructive to the bridge and the practice is discouraged by the city’s Department of Transportation.


Wikipedia: Love lock
A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love. Typically the sweethearts’ names or initials are inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolise unbreakable love. Since the 2000s, love locks have proliferated at an increasing number of locations worldwide.

History
The history of love padlocks dates back at least 100 years to a melancholy Serbian tale of World War I, with an attribution for the bridge Most Ljubavi (lit. the Bridge of Love) in spa town of Vrnjačka Banja. A local schoolmistress named Nada, who was from Vrnjačka Banja, fell in love with a Serbian officer named Relja. After they committed to each other Relja went to war in Greece where he fell in love with a local woman from Corfu. As a consequence, Relja and Nada broke off their engagement. Nada never recovered from that devastating blow, and after some time she died due to heartbreak from her unfortunate love. As young girls from Vrnjačka Banja wanted to protect their own loves, they started writing down their names, together with the names of their loved ones, on padlocks and affixing them to the railings of the bridge where Nada and Relja used to meet. In rest of Europe, love padlocks started appearing in the early 2000s. The reasons love padlocks started to appear vary between locations, and in many instances are unsourced. However, in Rome, the ritual of affixing love padlocks to the bridge Ponte Milvio can be attributed to the 2006 book I Want You by Italian author Federico Moccia, who made it into a film-adaptation in 2007.

Wikipedia: Ponte Milvio
The Milvian (or Mulvian) Bridge (Italian: Ponte Molle or Ponte Milvio, Latin: Pons Milvius or Pons Mulvius) is a bridge over the Tiber in northern Rome, Italy. It was an economically and strategically important bridge in the era of the Roman Empire and was the site of the famous Battle of Milvian Bridge.
(...)
Recent history
In 2000s, the bridge began attracting couples, who use a lamppost on the bridge to attach love padlocks as a token of love. The ritual involves the couple locking the padlock to the lamppost, then throwing the key behind them into the Tiber. The ritual was invented by author Federico Moccia for his popular book and movie “I Want You”.

After April 13, 2007, couples had to stop this habit because that day the lamppost, due to the weight of all padlocks, partially collapsed. However, couples decided to attach their padlocks elsewhere. In fact, all around the bridge, road posts and even garbage bins have been used to place these love padlocks. As an online replacement, a web site has been created allowing couples to use virtual padlocks. From July 2007, for people in love, it’s possible to attach padlocks again thanks to steel columns put by the mayor. Similar Love padlocks traditions have appeared in other places of Italy and Europe.

OCLC WorldCat record
Ho voglia di te
Author: Federico Moccia
Publisher: Milano : Feltrinelli, 2006.
Series: I canguri / [Feltrinelli].
Edition/Format: Book : Italian

The Internet Movie Database
Ho voglia di te (2007)
106 min - Comedy | Drama | Romance - 9 March 2007 (Italy)
4.0 Your rating:  -/10 Ratings: 4.0/10 from 885 users
Reviews: 2 user | 6 critic
A man gets a second chance at true love.
Director: Luis Prieto
Writers: Teresa Ciabatti, Federico Moccia
Stars: Riccardo Scamarcio, Laura Chiatti, Katy Louise Saunders

Twitter
sugarpond
‏@sugarpond
http://twitpic.com/p42n0 - It is starting! Love locks on the Brooklyn Bridge
9:18 AM - 11 Nov 2009

Twitter
sugarpond
‏@sugarpond
I’ve been noticing these love locks all over the brooklyn bridge lately… http://bit.ly/3HaEAf
4:05 PM - 18 Nov 2009

Gothamist
Will Love Locks Take Over The Brooklyn Bridge?
Jen Carlson in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 27, 2010 10:11 am
A tradition dating back to… 2004, has now reached Brooklyn by way of Italy. That year a movie called Tre Metri Sopra il Cielo (based on a 1992 novel by Federico Moccia) hit the big screen and included a scene where a couple secured their love (via a lock) to a bridge, and then tossed the keys into the river below. In Italy this has plagued the Ponte Milvio, and now it seems to have made its way over to the Brooklyn Bridge.

According to the Brooklyn Paper there are quite a few signs of the tradition secured to the bridge—as well as benches, supports and pillars—dating back to 2007 (see for yourselves). The locks (which include names and a date) are illegal, as is fastening anything to the bridge, but the paper wonders if the law is enforced by the Department of Transportation.

YouTube
Ho Voglia Di Te - Ponte Milvio scene
TOOOLus TOOOLus
Published on Sep 8, 2013
This is the scene in the goofy 2007 Italian romance film “Ho Voglia Di Te” (I Want You) that is said to have inspired the trend of Love Locks all around the world.

Contrary to common misinformation, Love Locks were NOT inspired by the 2004 film, Tre Metri Sopra il Cielo (Three Steps Over Heaven)... which was the previous film in this same story line and which featured many of the same actors.

WABC-TV (New York, NY)
NEW YORK CITY TRYING TO DISCOURAGE COUPLES FROM PUTTING ‘LOVE LOCKS’ ON BRIDGES
By Tim Fleischer
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
NEW YORK (WABC) --
It’s a modern-day version of carving your initials in a tree: couples placing padlocks on bridges.

In fact, they’re called ‘love locks’.

It happens around the world, including on the Brooklyn Bridge. But because of safety issues, the DOT hopes you won’t lock into the idea.

“People write love stuff on it and put hearts on it,” said bridge walker Nina Flournoy.

The Blaze
This Romantic Gesture Is Apparently Damaging the Brooklyn Bridge and Costing the City Millions
May. 23, 2014 9:43am Zach Noble
It’s the modern version of carving your sweetheart’s name on a tree — and it’s apparently damaging bridges.

The practice is called “love-locking,” and the idea is pretty cute and simple: take a padlock, etch or write a romantic note on it, and clamp it onto a bridge or other solid architectural feature. Throw away the key and voila!, you’ve got a seemingly permanent marker of your affection.

Some favorite sites for love-lockers are the Ponts des Arts in Paris (above) and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City (below).

The problem: thousands of metal padlocks weigh a lot, and they’re creating an eyesore and the risk of corrosion, according to the folks behind the Brooklyn Bridge’s Facebook page.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Friday, May 23, 2014 • Permalink