The Pont des Arts (Arts Bridge) used to be my favorite bridge in Paris. It has everything you want for a “favorite bridge.” First it is pedestrian, and it also happens to have one of the best view you can imagine from a bridge in Paris.
If you look upstream, you see the Île de la Cité and Notre Dame.
If you look downstream, you see the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, a bit of the Grand Palais, and I’m forgetting a thing or two.
If you look on the right bank, you have the Louvre right in front of you.
And finally if you look on the left bank, you have the Institut de France which houses the French Academy.
It’s also pretty central.
In other words, it had everything to be the perfect bridge in Paris.
Even on a rainy day it looked good as you can see on this picture taken a few years ago (source: wikimedia)
However, you may have noticed that I used the past a few times in the previous lines, especially when I mentioned the bridge’s qualities and my feeling about it. Because, truth is that today I think it’s one of the ugliest bridge in Paris, and I really really hate it!
What happened you may wonder?
I know that Paris is not the only victim of this new trend, but I simply can’t understand what’s going through these people’s mind (egoism? stupidity? I’d say both) when they decide to do that.
I mean, yes, if one couple places a lock in a place that is meaningful to them, I could sort of understand, but starting with the second couple that does it, it’s not original anymore and it is already lame. And when it is the ten thousandth couple that does it, what is the point? What does it mean?
It has no symbolical value anymore, it definitely has no aesthetic value, it’s just stupid and senseless simulacrum. It’s devoid of any meaning, of any link to reality, there isn’t even any symbolism attached to it. They do it because other people did it, other people who did it because other people before them did it, and it goes on ad nauseam. I’m even sure that now some clueless idiots think it’s some sort of “tradition”.
The result being that now the Pont des Arts and all the views around it have been defaced by this stupid new habit, and the worst part is that now, nobody can do anything about it, except totally remodeling the bridge. A thing I’m sure the city of Paris will have to do sooner or later.
And some people wonder why I hate tourists so much, especially in Paris.