New York – The humble bagel and lox, the quintessential Jewish breakfast, is having its moment in the spotlight as the centerpiece of a batch of several recently installed signs on the Brooklyn Bridge.
The signs, bearing the words “No Locks, Yes Lox, Fine $100,” are part of an ongoing campaign to discourage walkers on the iconic 133 year old span from leaving “love locks” on the bridge.
As reported by Gothamist, a 2004 Italian movie showed a couple securing a padlock to a bridge and tossing the keys into the river below as a symbol of their love. Since then, love locks have been appearing on bridges all over the world, with a profusion of locks sprouting all over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Department of Transportation employees scour the bridge several times each week to remove the debris. According to DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg, nearly 34,000 locks have been removed from the bridge, with the total cost for lock removal this year alone reaching $120,000. More than just an annoyance, an overhead light pole weighted down with locks snapped on the bridge in September, causing several hours worth of travel delays while repair crews fixed the damage.
The new lox signs, installed several weeks ago, warn passersby that anyone caught securing a lock to the bridge will be slapped with a $100 fine. The verbiage was the brainchild of former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz who also authorized signs on the Williamsburg Bridge saying “Leaving Brooklyn? Oy Vey!”
The now famous bagel was purchased from Leo’s Bagels, a Wall Street area eatery located near the Department of Transportation’s Water Street offices that produces traditional, hand rolled New York City bagels.
Ronnie Rahman, a manager at Leo’s Bagels, said that DOT representatives purchased the everything bagel, fully loaded with cream cheese and lox, for $11.75 and took it back to their offices to be photographed.
Seeing the bagel fills Rahman with pride every time he crosses the bridge.
“When you see your own stuff on a sign on the street, it feels great,” Rahman told VIN News.
Leo Bagel’s is capitalizing on its bridge-worthy bagel, taking to social media to spread the word about its part in the DOT effort with a tweet reading, “Thrilled to be featured in the #NYC DOT’s “Love Locks” campaign #BrooklynBridge (That’s OUR BAGEL!) @NYC_DOT #leosbagels #NoLocksYesLox.”