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Five things not to do on the Brooklyn Bridge

By Dana Varinsky

Keep it together, people! We're not sure why the Brooklyn Bridge has made everybody so crazy these days, but somehow those antique cables and that city view seem to be driving everyone a little out of their minds. Case in point: the 23-year-old French tourist who climbed it yesterday. So in case you need a refresher on the bridge's appropriate uses, here are five things you should never, ever do. 

1. Climb it: Yesterday, French tourist Yonathan Souid was taken into custody after climbing the bridge to take photos. Look, we all love a good skyline pic, and that Instagram post probably got a lot of likes, but climbing the Brooklyn Bridge is just a dumb move. Not only is it dangerous, it’s also a waste of NYPD’s time and resources. Not to mention the fact that you’ll definitely get arrested—Souid has been charged with reckless endangerment and criminal trespass.

2. Change the flags on top: In July, a German couple replaced the usual stars and stripes that fly atop the bridge’s two towers with white flags (though one of these alternate flags may have been more apt). As it turned out, the flags were actually bleached out versions of old glory. And the artists, Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke, had done this sort of stunt in Europe before. Doesn’t mean it’s cool, though.

3. Speed over it on your bike: Cycling over the Brooklyn Bridge is fun, but here’s a tip for getting the most out of that view: Don’t cycle across it at 50mph. The added bonus is that you probably won't mow down one of the hundreds of pedestrians trying to stroll cheerily over the bridge on a sunny afternoon, unaware that certain death awaits them in the form of a two-wheeled, helmeted psychopath in lemon yellow spandex.

4. Tie padlocks to it: Look, this ain’t Paris (not that you should do this there either). In May, couples were writing their names on padlocks, then clipping them to the railings as a symbol of their undying love. Yeah, yeah, permanence and romance and all that. But bridge officials cut them all off anyway, and the added weight is reportedly bad for the bridge’s structural safety. There are other ways to express your love, people. And that goes double for the jerks that throw the keys into the river once the lock's in place. Just don’t.

5. Tie trash to it: Apparently locks are heavy and hard to come by. An easy alternative? Trash! That’s right—various pieces of sentimental junk started appearing earlier this fall as well. If the strength of your love for your mom, boyfriend or even New York City is best summed up by the act of tying a piece of paper to a metal fence, you need to do some serious self-reflection. Oh, and in case you still think this is a fun idea, we devised a short FAQ for you. Spolier alert: the answer is no.


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