Put a ring on it? How about a lock?
Love Locks, which have appeared all over the world from European bridges to a chain at Grant Park in South Milwaukee, are a collection of padlocks symbolically locked to a bridge, fence, chain or other public monument to represent a couple’s unbreakable bond. Sometimes couples carve their initials into the lock and then toss the key in a nearby body of water to further symbolize their everlasting love.
According to Cheryl Prondzinski, a group of students from South Milwaukee High School, including her daughter, started the local love lock chain circa 2014 after returning from a school trip to Paris where they first saw love locks.
"Over time, more and more started popping up in Grant Park. It’s just one of those word of mouth things that locals have known about for a while," says Prondzinski.
There is also a collection of Love Locks in De Pere, Wisconsin, along the cabling at Sunset Point on the Riverwalk.
Although the love locks are a positive symbol, they are not always appreciated and sometimes do harm to the original structure. Thousands of locks have been removed from bridges and public monuments in Australia, France, Germany, Italy and Ireland because they were scratching, weighing down or obstructing the aesthetic of the architecture.
The Grant Park chain of love locks appears harmless, but a recent thread on the Bay View Town Hall Facebook page included comments that it was an act of vandalism and could cost tax payers money if they need to be removed. There is also concern over the health ramifications of throwing keys into the lake after placing the lock.
"It’s a nice idea, but it could do more harm than good," says Michael, a South Milwaukee resident who wished to withhold his last name. "There's a line between art and vandalism, and you know it's been crossed when you see it."
What say you Milwaukee: Is this an act of art, love, vandalism or all of the above?
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.