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A neighbor describes the large, opulent parties on summer nights at Gatsby’s house and gardens. No expense has been spared, as servants have toiled during the week at cleaning and gardening and preparing the elaborate feast. The Rolls-Royce chauffeurs guests in and out of the city all weekend while the station wagon picks people up from the train station. The guests spend the day swimming, sunbathing and boating. In the evening, the crowded buffet tables offer tantalizing plates of hors d’oeuvres, meats and salads. From a bar with a brass rail, an array of traditional cocktails are served. By 7:00, a full orchestra is playing for the crowd. The fashionable guests mingle freely through the night, without even learning each other’s names. As the drinks flow, the party-goers become more animated, and eventually one woman mounts the stage to start the dancing.
2. Parisians are annoyed by the padlocks, which litter their bridges and monuments.
3. One night in 2010, thousands of locks suddenly disappeared without explanation.
4. The padlock craze apparently started from an Italian novel, which featured a Roman couple who attached an inscribed padlock to a bridge and threw the key in the Tiber.
5. The civic authorities are not cracking down on the padlocks, because the phenomenon is good for tourism.
6. The artist Loris Gréaud melted down some of the locks to create a sculpture.
7. Some of the bridges have become unstable because their grates have been weighed down by as many as 330 pounds of locks.
8. Master Lock is offering a virtual lock online to immortalize one’s love and save the cost of travel.
In Paris, the recent fad of immortalizing love on a padlock attached to a bridge or monument has created controversy for Parisians as a new form of graffiti. The phenomenon apparently started from a scene in an Italian teen novel and has spread worldwide, but particularly in Paris, as the destination city for couples. Visiting lovers inscribe their names on the padlock, attach it to a permanent fixture and throw the key in the river. Thousands of locks can be found around the city, and officials have been torn between not wanting to discourage tourism and preserving the integrity and beauty of their historical places. In some cases, the weight of the locks has compromised the stability of the bridges. Last year, an artist incorporated some of the padlocks into an installation. MasterLock, a padlock manufacturer, is now offering an online alternative to memorialize the bond without leaving home.
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