Sunday, May 27, 2012

Locks of Love

I found this lock attached to a fence on Portobello Road this week, committing Hege (?) and Peter to a perpetual public declaration of their relationship -- well, until a maintenance man cuts it off, anyway.

Apparently this is a European thing, attaching padlocks in public places to represent couplehood. When I was in Italy, in 2007, I found nests of them adjacent to the Ponte Vecchio, hanging off railings like Spanish moss.

And last November I found a nascent growth of locks on a fence in Greenwich.

I never saw this when I lived in New York, but maybe I just wasn't paying attention!


  1. I've never seen anything like that and find it charming. My mind also starts thinking about being trapped in love ---

  2. I've seen these in Boston, although not as many as you've pictured here: just one or two, here and there.

    I chuckled at the title of your post since there is a charity called "Locks of Love" that collects long hair to make wigs for children with hair-loss, either due to cancer treatment or alopecia. You have to have a 10-inch braid or ponytail to donate, and I've known some women who have grown their hair long specifically for that purpose.

    Anyhow, I chuckled because my first thought was that you had grown your hair long to donate, but then I realized that unlikely. :-)

  3. Lorianne, that was my weak attempt at a pun -- but yeah, I am probably not a potential donor! :)

  4. I think this tradition may have started in Paris, although I have seen it elsewhere. I had a chuckle at your post title as I am in the midst of growing my hair in order to donate it to Locks of Love...

    If you see Sally or talk with her, please tell her Happy Birthday from me.

  5. I too have never seen this or heard of this tradtion. Either they feel like prisoners of love or maybe this sets them free? Kind of an odd tradition. Cool photos!

  6. I just got back from a trip to Italy and was catching up on your posts. This one especially struck me because I saw these everywhere in Italy. My close friend David picked me up from the airport last night and over a glass of wine at my house we were discussing this phenomenon. I told him about a whole wall of locks under Juliet's Balcony in Verona. I found it to be rather sad for some reason. After all, the fictional star-crossed lovers never made it to adulthood.