While on our post-school, pre-Nova Scotia trip to Paris my son and I walked over to Notre Dam Cathedral. Our route took us across the Pont de L’Archêveché which is one of the love lock afflicted bridges.
Love locks attached to bridges and other public spaces are much like an invasive species. Have a look… don’t they collectively look like some strange barnacle or clinging mussel?
This is happening in a number of cities but Paris in particular, has been invaded. Sweethearts write their names on padlocks and attach them to public places – mainly bridges – and throw the key into the water. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s when padlocks began appearing on public structures. Most don’t realize what they think is traditional isn’t at all but is a relatively new phenomenon and a destructive one at that.
The tradition started roughly a hundred years ago with a sad Serbian tale of two ill-fated lovers, Nada and Relja. Relja jilted Nada who never got over her heartbreak and died alone. The young women from her town wanted to protect their own love and started to affix locks to all the places where Nada and Relja met while in love.
The locks on the Pont de L’Archêveché obscure the original ironwork and architecture of the bridges and the weight of the metal locks is threatening the integrity of the structure. Parisian officials have started to remove sections of the ironwork to protect the structure of the bridges. Unfortunately it seems they will be replacing the original gorgeous iron with transparent panels to which no locks can be affixed.
There is an item from the BBC about the lock removal undertaking here.
Am I alone in feeling like bridge parties and bridge nights should come back? Let me just make a case… you get together regularly with friends to play cards, you have a cocktail, eat some little sandwiches with the crusts cut off, eat some delicious squares and have coffee. Where is the downside to that?
OK, so the only drawback to the whole scenario might be the actual bridge part, but let’s say you substitute any card game instead. Poker, Hearts, Euchre or if you’re from Nova Scotia you could play Forty Fives aka Auction.
A lot of my Mom’s cookbook (which I’ve written about before here) is dedicated to squares. Those lovely, tasty little bites that we were never allowed to sample other than the edges that she cut off so as to have a prettier presentation for bridge night. I have fond memories of Mrs. Bishop’s Squares, Honeymoon Squares and Pineapple Orange Squares but the granddaddy, the most favourite of all squares were these Cream Cheese Brownies with Maraschino cherries.
I think there’s a reason why book clubs have become so popular – they have replaced the card party. Right here I’m starting a social movement to bring back the card party.
You can find out a whole lot about a person by how they handle a rough game of cribbage.
Cream Cheese Brownies
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup Maraschino cherries chopped
Beat cheese and egg well. Blend in sugar and flour. Stir in cherries. Set aside.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
Beat the eggs well, add the sugar, flour and salt. Melt the butter and mix in the cocoa. Add to batter and stir. Spread about 2/3 of this mixture in an 8 x 8 inch pan. Carefully spread the cheese mixture on top. Cover with the rest of the chocolate mixture note the cheese mixture will not be completely covered. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.