By John Tagliabue
New York Times
September 15, 2009
AMSTERDAM -- People of this free-spirited Dutch city, known for its
legal prostitution and easy marijuana, have found another pastime that
flirts with convention and the law: picking locks.
On a recent Wednesday evening, Jos Weyers sat hunched over a magnifying
glass studying the contours of a key that was taking shape as he filed
away at it. Across the table, Jos Meyer sat picking at a standard
front-door lock with a set of tools that looked for all the world like a
collection of slender dental instruments, painted black.
Mr. Weyers, 39, is among 100 or so members of a club in the Netherlands
called Toool, for The Open Organization of Lockpickers, that is
dedicated to picking locks for fun. The movement has been growing over
the last five years, with a chapter now in Eindhoven, in the east of the
country, and foreign branches in several places, including Germany and
the United States.
About 15 of the members, including Mr. Weyers, met recently around a
long rectangular table piled high with boxes of locks in an artists.
cooperative on the east side of Amsterdam. Ms. Meyer (Jos is a unisex
name in Dutch) is not a member, but her friend Marco Zuiderveld has been
for the last six years, and she accompanies him occasionally to the
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