When I (Em) was in Paris a few months ago, I couldn’t figure out why the bridge behind Notre Dame was covered in thousands of tiny padlocks (plus a few bike locks). They weren’t there when Lo and I visited back in 2004. A quick bit of Googling (thanks to “wee-fee,” as the French call wifi) and I learned that they were “love locks” — a fairly recent tradition wherein couples celebrate their love (and, perhaps, hope to ensure its survival) by affixing a padlock to a romantic bridge and tossing the key into the river below. They might also attach a ribbon to the padlock, or simply adorn it with their initials. When I was there, enterprising young salespeople were selling new padlocks at each end of the bridge in case you were moved to do the same.
For his latest project “Shooting Tourists,” professional photographer Alan Powdrill turns the camera on picture taking (and video recording) tourists. He explains: The idea started with a visit to Rome, an amazing place definitely not short of holiday makers, all after that elusive shot that will make it’s [sic] mark on thier [sic] memory hard…
A kinder and gentler traffic in Times Square.
Finally catching up to many European cities who have made their city centers “pedestrian only” for years, New York City’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg has closed Broadway to vehicular traffic between 47th and 42nd Streets straight through the middle of Times Square in New York City. Bloomberg says that clearing both Times Square and Herald Square (from 35th to 33rd Streets on Broadway) of motorized vehicles will lower the number of pedestrian accidents and cut down on pollution.