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Picking Locks of Love

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On a recent autumn day, a group of amateur lock pickers quietly swarmed the Brooklyn Bridge to remove 18 pounds of padlocks that couples regularly clip there as symbols of their romantic relationships' strength and longevity. Some practitioners of the so-called "locksport" believe that they pose a threat to the landmark, increasing the risk of rust and patination; if they don't remove them, then the Department of Transportation will before tossing them. The group planned to save the picked locks and display them as a sculpture. Other hobbyists worried that their probably illegal gesture makes them hard-hearted jerks. One Swedish tourist who'd come to attach her own lock asked: "Can you tell me where in New York it is safe to put my lock?" [New Yorker; photo via Curbed Flicker Pool/Wen Jie Zhou]