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New Art Project Unlocks 5 Boroughs: Where’s Your Key to the City?

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Where’s your key? A tourist probably has it. As part of his new, interactive art project, artist Paul Ramirez Jonas is handing out “Keys to the City” — along with directions to locations across the metropolis that are ready to be “unlocked” — at a kiosk in Times Square. The project started yesterday and will go until June 27.

Participating locations include the Brooklyn Museum, PS 73 in the Bronx, Manhattan’s Bryant Park, Eddie’s Sweet Shop in Queens, and Staten Island’s John Holzka Community Garden, along with 15 others.

What awaits a key-bearer at a site to be unlocked? It has yet to be revealed, and the website is intriguingly ambiguous: “back doors, front gates, community gardens, graveyards, and museums that suggest that the city is a series of spaces that are either locked or unlocked.” Apparently, it only takes mystery and a sense of adventure to get a Manhattanite to take the Staten Island Ferry.

Some people are already on top of the city-wide project, though, and the folks at NYC the Tumblr have been documenting some of the key transactions. Here’s what one looks like:

Hey, even Bloomberg’s on board! He looks frazzled; he’s probably been searching for the key for some time now.

If you’ve got a moment to traverse past your neighborhood-to-work commute, go pick up your Key to the City. Otherwise someone in a fanny pack may discover the excitement beyond the closed doors at The Office of New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm before you do!

We’ll be on it this weekend and will report back.

[awerner@villagevoice.com]