What do the Dalai Lama, A-Rod, Nelson Mandela, Placido Domingo, and countless tourists have in common? They all have keys to New York City. Well, kind of.
From now through June 27th, anyone can get a “Key to the City” in Times Square as part of Paul Ramirez Jonas’ public arts project. The free keys, handed out at a kiosk between 43rd and 44th streets, open 25 gates, doors, and cabinets throughout the five boroughs.
Door locations range from Bryant Park (visitors should go at night to get the best experience here—but we’re not telling!) to a private Buddhist garden on Staten Island. The key even gets you into a secret closet at Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s (symbolic) home on the upper east side.
Need more incentive to hoof it around the city in the heat? Anyone who uploads a photo to the Flickr page of themselves at every single site, wins a prize from DKNY and a book from the event’s production group, Creative Time.
Charlotte Savino is the online listings editor at Travel + Leisure.