By Talia Avakian
December 20, 2018

Hotel guests, locals, and travelers who happen to be in New York this winter can step into the Dream Downtown hotel for a quick fortune reading.

The hotel creates an annual lobby installation each year, drawing inspiration from the famed holiday windows displayed across department stores in the city, with an interactive treat for those who happen to stop in.

Visitors who head into the hotel’s lobby will soon find themselves greeted by a whimsical and giant oracle called "Mother Nature" situated in a winter wonderland forest waiting to answer questions about the future. 

The display was created in partnership with theory11, a magic collective made up of some of the best in the business and the minds behind the popular "The Magician" performance held at the NoMad Hotel.

To get their fortune read, visitors can head to the installation each day between 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. and tap on the screen in front of the display to hold down a button and ask the oracle a question of their choice. The response appears on the screen minutes later to let you know what your future holds.

The installation utilizes projection mapping and an iPad, though it’s the moment of awe and excitement (when getting a fortune that seems incredibly accurate) that the creators at theory11 feel is the most memorable aspect of the machine.

“As magicians, we are always leaning on technology and the latest and greatest to demonstrate to people things that they think are impossible to make them dream a bit,” Jonathan Bayme, theory11’s CEO, told Travel + Leisure.

“If I told you how it was done, the secret is often the most disappointing part,” Bayme said. Instead, he finds it's his role as a magician to utilize this technology and keep visitors wondering the exact same thing.

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“We as magicians think about weird stuff that’s often not considered possible and figure out a way to appear to make that thing possible, which often relies on technology that people don’t know about or doesn't necessarily exist yet, but the end goal is always to create that moment of wonder,” Bayme added.

If you're looking to experience these moments of wonder yourself, the installation is currently open at the hotel through the end of February (though it may remain in the lobby longer depending on its popularity), while budding magicians can also check out theory11's website to see hundreds of original trick performances and learn how to do these tricks themselves. 

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