Monday, June 28, 2010

The Seventh Date

After a week long hiatus and some media flurries, I met Saturday back to my regular dating self. Avi and I started chatting online way back in February and now that he'd moved back to the city of dreams we decided to get together, blogosphere and all. Thus, I bring you date seven!

The Time: Saturday, June 26th, 5: 50pm (I was on time! Victory!)
The Guy: Avi, 29.
The Place: Cabinet Magazine, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn
What Creative Time Says: A door lets you come in, a window lets you look in, and a cabinet lets you share.

I knew from the get go that Avi was quite the ambitious guy. He wasn't content playing backseat to the planning of this date, oh no. He suggested visiting a site, THEN grabbing dinner, THEN hanging in a park, all topped off with a secret underground party that I had to SWEAR not to blog about in Brooklyn. I was nervous (one never knows if you'll even hit it off over one drink, let alone an entire night!I brought bananagrams just in case) but my sense of adventure and the fact that I would be able to incorporate a tutu into the evening's attire made me dive right in!

We decided to meet right outside the gates to Cabinet magazine and I walked on my way from watching the US lose to Ghana in the world cup (was anyone else kinda excited for Ghana?!) in park slope. One of the things I love most about NYC is how the neighborhoods blend and change without you noticing when the switch occurred. I started walking in overly cute, kids playing in fire hydrants, gentrified but in a hipster co-op way Park Slope and ended up in industrialist-art town with unfilled pools and rockin' block parties area-whose-name-I-don't-know on Nevins by Union Street. Avi and I had near perfect timing, a fitting beginning for a date that clicked like.... well, a key opening a lock.

Before opening the cabinet placed on a metal grate, I wanted to explore the alley. The falling lines of rusted fire escape stairs, leading up to broken windows and green-metaled frames, was like a city-made kaleidoscope and I wanted to lay on the pavement and stare up all day long. Either that or spider-man crawl up the structures, banging them down in my parkouring feat! Sadly, I'm 5'1" and webs don't shoot out of my arms and I stayed content imagining the placement of potted plants in the nooks.

Avi, of course, was awarded the privilege of unlocking the ominous gray-black box perched inside the alleyway and I love the pictures of him doing so because he didn't yet allow me to photograph his face! (See guys, I CAN keep you a secret, all you have to do is ask!) Wonderful cotton-candy fairground music filled the air and the words "look up" lay inside the box. We immediately did so to find...a small black contraption waving bubble-less wands in the air. Oh well, we danced to the music regardless and strolled on our way.

Exploring the area before dinner, Avi and I passed by the Gowanus Canal featuring bright green bat houses and heavy pollution, I dove into an artist's garden to snap photos of flowers made of beads and Cupie doll gnomes, and discussed Avi's avid love of bridges. We saw kids playing an elaborate game of tag, camels in a playground desert, spiky troll-headed flowers, and one fantastic art space called Littlefield. Because there wasn't anyone around every new site we came upon felt like a secret we had stepped upon. Avi and I got into some pretty heavy conversation (we've both worked with abused kids) but it only enhanced the contrasts of the warehouses to stained glass embedded in the concrete.

The rest of the date was just as wonderful and unpredictable. Due to the fact Avi had a car (though it had been broken into that morning and rode holding down a bike seat cover over the window, thieves be damned!) We went from Oaxaca Tacos (251 Smith Street) where the tortillas were fresh and tacos cheap, to Sunset Park (I swear if I take in another gorgeous Manhattan skyline I may have a heart attack) where there were real-alive fireflies and handstand contests in Chinese, to Quarter Bar Brooklyn where I had QUITE the delicious cucumber-infused beverage. Finally, we were off to the uber-secret get together which I am not allowed to share with you lovelies but my tutu-inspired outfit is in the collage. There are MANY magical spots in Manhattan worth exploring, let me tell you.



Truth be told, by the end I was thrilled with the date itself and even more warm and fuzzy to have made what I thought was a real connection with Avi. I was still beaming about it not two hours ago when I began writing this post and then, (literally, in the past five minutes!!!)  I found out from Avi that he has begun seeing someone else seriously. We were literally talking just as I had gotten to the part where I was going to share how excited I was for the next date! He was wonderful and sweet and kind as he told me but my body still had that horrible reaction you feel when you realize you're going to be disappointed (stomach plunge, tingling limbs). And it felt very very sad. I've had a lot of fun on the dates, and definitely like some of the guys, but with Avi it just seemed like smooth sailing from the get go. But what can you do except hope that this is a sign that something even more magical is on its way with an old or new adventure...

So, my dear readers, it's heartbreak (or at least momentary sadness) number one here on key to the city. Somehow the Cabinet Magazine excursion fits to the end, however, as it turns out I was excitedly looking up for something that wasn't even there. Or, as Avi just put it over G-chat, "you still got to hear a song that you never would've heard, even if there were no bubbles."

With new notes,        L.A.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Eighth Date

No no, you're not missing a post! Date seven was last night but today I wanted to make sure I posted about my very special morning Pride Date on Pride Day. Sadly, I didn't finish before midnight and this will be time-stamped for Monday. Alas.
The Time: Sunday, June 27th, 2010 (Happy Pride Day NYC!!!)
The Place: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Ave at 82nd Street, Manhattan
The Girl: Priyanka, 26, Queer-Positive and Feminist Theorist Rockstar of the Universe
What Creative Time Says: Here, culture is public storage.

So, as you can tell my date today was with a woman. The crazy-fabulous Priyanka, one of my very best friends from undergrad with whom I've talked for hours about gender binary structures and our belief in the kinsiean scale vs. sexuality based labels ("straight" "gay" "bi" etc.) We share so many of the same frustrations in dating that it only seemed fair and fitting that allow this out-of-town LGBTQ-ally to share a key date with me on this pride day in New York. I've tried dating women in the past and it never worked out but darn if I don't wish I was in love with the inspiring Pri. Please indulge this one diversion as I actually believe it's worthwhile to discuss.

Priyanka and I dragged ourselves out of our respective beds bright and early this AM to meet at the Met at 9am so we'd be close to the front of the line for when the doors opened at 9 30. True to form, I was running late and Pri, ever dependable,  has saved a perfect spot towards the front of the line. She's been living in India running a steel company and I haven't seen her for what feels like eons so I am sure our squeals of delight when we made contact could have been heard down fifth avenue. I showed her my key and, magically, the line began to move.

We followed the instructions inside my "passport" and made a bee-line for the info desk and I urged Pri to tell them she had the key to the city. She did so, shyly, and we were pointed towards the back where a group was already hovering around a man with a beautiful (but lock-less, sad, no actual key-turning here) music box. Buried inside were tags allowing us free entry inside the museum. There were only a couple left after we grabbed ours and as this was the Met's last day participating in the project, I was glad we had braved the wee hours of Sunday morning to ensure another key adventure!

 I had especially wanted to check out the new roof exhibit at The Met: Big Bambu, by twins Mike and Dough Starn. We followed at least five different guards instructions until we were pointed to an entirely different line to the left of the one we had just waited in. I didn't feel like standing around again but excited to get the hot  tickets to the event. Luckily, someone standing ahead of us showed us the TWO PAGE long list of rules (which  none of the guards had told us about) including the fact that we couldn't wear flip flops. As it was summer in New York, Priyanka and I were both, predictably, bearing our pedicured toes. Saddened ,we got out of line and headed to the roof anyways, only to meet more "Don'ts", "Stops" and "You Can'ts" on the roof. Hilariously the full title of the piece is "You Can't, You Don't, and You Won't Stop" I think maybe they should have taken out the last "you won't".... But really, I know it's art and we want to preserve it and the met wants to relinquish any responsibility but it just felt like it took so much away from what was a really wonderful, wild, frantic, improvisational work. I wanted to dance around the piece, to climb on it, to lay on it, to experience with every sense. So many rules seemed to kill the growth and I had to wonder if such restrictions were what the seemingly playful artist's truly would have wanted.

Luckily there was a wonderful cheery old man on the roof who, seeing my disappointment, pointed out some other exhibits he thought I may like and he was right (besides, you can't really keep a gal down who owns a key to new york). Pri and I danced our way through the musically rigged and themed rooms of the American woman exhibit. I visited the spot where my favorite painting, one of the Sunflower's series by Joan Mitchell, used to hang (It's taking it's highly undeserved rotation in storage, if you can hear me I still think of you and I'm sorry I haven't come to visit in awhile, I don't have a key to the storage room!!!) I found a quote that may explain why I pull out my camera every two seconds, and we documented love at The Met. Following our morning date we discussed marriage pressure, having to "look the part" at work, and my very fun date the previous evening (post coming tomorrow!) at the delightfully named Nectar on 82nd right around the corner. We split ways after a downtown bus ride through the upper east side, taking in the matching khaki kids and adorable dogs through the plated window.


I'm glad I got to "see" the Met's exhibit but found this key cite to be somewhat disconnected to the barefoot, whooping in delight, public yet private, magical sense I have felt at the others. It's like wishing you were in love with a best friend. You want to make it work so badly, because it would be so beautiful and easy to keep it controlled,  and yet, in the end, you wind up yearning for those reckless butterflies.

Still Fluttering,

L.A.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Stories

This evening, after attending a fundraiser for my college professor's daughter's theater group (I heart NY!) I went to a friend's apartment in the financial district (he claims it's called FiDi now, I refute that but am open to debate.) While I love this friend greatly (ladies, he's single! If you want to meet one of the most genuine, hilariously-dorky, engaged and intelligent men in NYC shoot me an email), I do not love the wall street area.

Yes, yes there are movies on the Elevated Acre and free ferries to and from Governor's Island, but so much of the diverse charm of New York, the independent shops and other-worldly eateries are missing down below Chambers. (I am sure many of you will disagree, please do! And send me advice for where to go on my Trinity Church date!)

BUT when we climbed the stairs through a not-yet-bought penthouse (yea recession) to the expansive unfinished rooftop I literally gasped and practically fell to my knees. Hundreds of thousands of blinking lights, windowed desks, car taillights on third avenue and bridge pillars lay in an unending expanse right below us. This was a part of FiDi I could get behind. I swear, every day something makes me fall in love with this city again and tonight it was the idea of the fantasy that makes our city so incredibly unique. From where we sat people partied on rooftops and plugged away at work, streets were empty, others were bustling, and every single reflection had a story behind it. It's the fantasy's that make our city so appealing; the fact that a girl who started a blog to get out of a schlump can end up having you read her words, and that two people can find each other in a sea of millions.

Many people have begun sharing their NY love stories with me through email and I'd love to share more on this blog. While I have some hilarious "fails" (another post, don't you worry!) I'd love to hear more of the "wins". So please, if you like, tell your NY love story below in the comments and wish some luck on us all still looking for ours.

Love,

L.A.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Date with the New York Times

Well it has been quite the trip of a 24 hours, let me tell you! From being on the front page of the New York Times for approximately 45 minutes last night, to having elementary school friends come out of the woodwork that is facebook to email me, to getting emails from literary and hollywood agents, it has been one heck of a day. I have since learned a few lessons I would like to share with you all.

1) In this day and age, news spreads like wildfires under the bush administration and haters will be drinking their hater-ade!
A few websites have since picked up the story and I've first learned that commenters can be so mean! It's amazing how someone can read three sentences about someone else and decide they know their life story.


2) Never underestimate the power of the NYTimes. I started this blog as a fun way to chronical my dating life when I had grown discouraged of the whale-mouth sized dating pool that is manhattan. When the times contacted me I was excited to say yes, having the worshipping-child like posture I reserve for the greatest paper on the east coast. I had no idea it would ripple as it has!

3) Watch your back. Since being featured I've had a number of interesting interactions, from guys I've dated on this sight, to exes, to reporters, all getting in touch with me with seemingly innocent plans when really you know they have their own agenda. Trust your instincts my love and stay alert!

4) Even little acts can inspire:
I have been incredibly touched by all those who have reached out to me telling me the ways in which this story has brought wonder and love to their own lives. Some recently single ladies, recently divorced men, even couples, have emailed me to share with me their own new york city tales of love and loss and how this tiny blog inspired them to fall in love with their city all over again. I truly believe that my journey is not unique,but is one we are all sharing together. This city is full of amazing people, doing amazing things, and I am just honored to be a part of the celebration of life and love.



Today I bought two note cards for myself that I think reflect the current state of my being since my crazy story broke yesterday. The first states: "Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary." The second, "Life isn't divided into genres. It's a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel." (Uta Hagen and Alan Moore, respectively). I do not want my life to be so divided as we make ourselves out to be every day. I do not want to be one person in my successful work career and another in my personal life. I want to be me, utterly, skippingly, pollyanna-ish believing-anything-is-possible-for-anyone me, works my butt off for social justice me, can't help falling in love with life me.



I hope that this tiny contribution allows you to be more of yourself, more of the time, as well.

Sprinkled throughout this posting are pictures from the NYTimes crew on my dates. There will be no more mass media accompanying me on the actual dates (though I haven't ruled out anything else), that's not really what this is about. But I could not have hoped for a more joyful group to accompany me on my quest, Randy, Evan and Piotr, you are all invited to my wedding, should it ever take place. Special thanks to Randy Kennedy and Piotr Redlinski for making an incredibly awkward situation as delightful as possible.



And not to worry, more dates are coming this weekend, as well as updates from the past.

Love to NY and all the dreamers out there,

L.A.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Challenge - Restated

Thanks to the New York Times, I've got some new visitors, here's my initial post explaining my project. I hope you enjoy and pick up your own key this weekend!




Take one single girl, the most inspiring public art project yet, and summer in New York City and you have the idea for a perfect blog:

Key2thecity, key2my heart.

After being presented with the key to the city and now having the ability to unlock 24 secret sights around all five boroughs, 24 dates will be had throughout the summer, seeing if both love and intrigue can exist in the city where no one sleeps.

The rules:

1) Every first date this summer must somehow incorporate a key to the city site: http://creativetime.org/programs/archive/2010/keytothecity/

2) Each sight can only be visited once before another sight is visited.

3) Men or women may be repeated before sites, meaning that a site may be visited on a second date if the man or woman warranted a second visit.

4) No ex-boyfriends allowed as sight visits unless they too are warranting a second visit.

5) As the key to the city project is to expand our city horizons, each site visit date must also incorporate a food or drink spot never before tried.

5) Whoever wins my heart also wins my second key to the city.

6) Have fun, love life, love NYC, love love.,

Love,

L.A.



PS. Shoot me an email at keys2keys@gmail.com if you're interested in visiting a site with me!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Sixth Date

Well my lovelies, it has been one whirlwind of a dating week. I successfully completed six dates in eight days and visited not only brand new parts of the city, but made some pretty wonderful connections as well. What better way to celebrate leg one of this journey (we're 1/4 of the way there!) before I dive back into lawyer land than with a visit to the George Washington Bridge.

The Time:
Saturday, June 19th, 2010, approximately 7 45 pm (apologies for being late!)
The Place: The George Washington Bridge, Near 178th Street and Cabrini Blvd, Manhattan
The Guy: Alex, 25 (soon to be 26), met at a Time Out New York Event, also known as a "ketchup" (he was the one without the glasses.)
What Creative Time Says: This is an actual doorway into the city...

I'm not going to lie to you all, I was really really excited about this date. I've recently become obsessed with bridges (just walked over the brooklyn bridge for the first time, I know I should be shunned for taking so long but at least I was daring enough to scamper onto the car overhangs before being yelled at!)and heard the GWB had killer views. Plus Alex, who I had met a few weeks earlier but who had seemingly fallen off the face of the earth to the extent that I, kid you not, actually had him listed as "Mr. Unavailable" in my phone (it's a tactic people!), finally resurfaced. I was hoping the great energy we had would carry through the evening. It was time to get gussied up and spend a night on the town!

Buying a new top from my all-time favorite dress shop darling, after running an hour late after acro yoga in the park meant I was, tragically, half an hour late for the dearly waiting Alex. Luckily, the sun had not yet set and our very first views on top of the bridge were spectacular.

It was... I cannot even describe how beautiful and gasp-inducing and huge and magnificent the view of the city was. The longer you walk across the bride the larger the city becomes, seeping like a spilled glass of humanity, the empire state building slighting outpacing the rest, the hudson slowly unraveling in twinkling lights, the statue of liberty winking just in front of a bend. As the night began to fall, well, there was no more gorgeous a sight than the GWB on that Saturday eve.

Alex and I jumped right back to wherever we had been a few weeks ago. This was, officially, our second real date but we had run into each other a couple times in the interim. It was new enough that I still had no idea what to think when I was with him. Sure I felt the butterflies but he's in advertising (and a successful advertiser to boot) and I have a feeling he knows how to sell a product regardless of how he feels about it. Yet he was quite the perfect person to share the sunset with, we both sighed over Manhattan, discussing how we had actually dreamed to live here when we were kids, and how we had finally made it in the city we could now call home. I think I pointed out every cloud, every glimmer off the water, each criss-crossing beam and jagged edge, over and over. I just wanted to continuously shout "Look! Look! Look at our city, look at what we have."



The wind blew and paper-directions blown from New Jersey trucks swirled in the air. We came across a biking couple and took pictures of them with their iphone. They said they met in Manhattan and another New York love story was uncovered. Once we reached Jersey, I attempted to climb a rock wall in my white skirt and Alex took fuzzy pictures. We negotiated with security guards and I skipped down the passenger lane as bikers whizzed by, egging on Alex to do the same. It seemed to be a perfect evening.


Did I say perfect? Well, it was close. According to my nifty Key to the City passport book my key was supposed to unlock "the padlock on the right-hand door of the third gate you come to." As this gate was wide open we were perplexed and began searching around. Then, Alex found it, lying on the concrete like a dead baby bird lay the Medeco padlock, it had clearly been murdered, snapped with the deadly jaws of life of one angry New Jersian, trying to get into our city.

We took turns turning the key and looking sad for the camera. The men working on the bridge had no idea what the lock had once held captive, waiting for our release, and we were left to our imaginations devices. But nothing, not a broken lock, not the idea of whoever tore it, could take away from watching the sunset's reflection glimmer over my city of Manhattan.



Alex and I ventured even higher north to take in the tapas and perfect-volume music at the delicious (yet slightly overpriced) Mamajuana Cafe. The sauce on the Garlic Shrimp was incredible but I was still high on my visit to the bridge. I honestly barely remember how the evening ended, just that I skipped off into the sunset in my dreams.

Back to reality. I hope that what I felt with Alex was real. That it wasn't the keys or the bridge enhancing our enjoyment of one another's company but an honest to goodness spark. One can never be to sure, especially with ketchup. The tricky thing about dating is that no matter how much you like someone, no matter how many butterflies erupt in your stomach when you see them, no matter how much you really want it to work, it's not up to you; they need to feel it as well. As I'm somewhat of a control freak (I have planned all my dates for the entire summer after all) I'm used to knowing where I stand in the moment and what the next step will be. It's something I'm trying to change and I'm getting better. Step by step, key by key, I'm trying to sit back and enjoy. Even if it brings me to a broken lock, it will have been worth seeing the view.

But here's to hoping,




- L.A.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Fifth Date

It's Friday afternoon, you just won a big case, what better way to usher in the weekend and celebrate than with a Key to the City date!

The Time: Friday, June 18th, 5 45 pm.
The Place: The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Amsterdam Ave at 112th street, Manhattan
The Guy: James, 29, Met on OKC (yes, I am turning into an ad for online dating!)
What Creative Time Says: Thousands can congregate in this space made by a few.

I'm honestly beginning to worry a little about how I will get to all 24 spots this summer, mainly because so many spots are open only during work-weeks hours. Luckily James and I were both able to sneak out just early enough to catch the cathedral before the gates closed at 6pm.

James had already been to the cathedral when he had spent a summer at Columbia so he kindly guided me through the tour, pointing out different sections of the structure, how one could tell when parts had been made based upon the rock used (turns out we're cheapskates) and why the space wasn't yet completed. I was mainly walking around with my jaw dropped in awe of how gigantic the cathedral is. It is odd to see such massive created areas, enclosed by ceilings seemingly reaching as tall as skyscrapers. I had an odd desire to place a trampoline in the middle and bounce as high as I pleased. We whispered our way to find the baptistery which our key unlocked (there are hundreds of locks in the cathedral secreting away alters and confessionals), turned the key and entered into a circular room with a waterless fountain in the middle. Regal chairs sat around the wall and the ceiling arched and peaked its way up to a beautiful stained glass top.

We spent our remaining ten minutes exploring (and pointing other key-holders in the proper direction). Such imposing organized religion normally makes me exceedingly uncomfortable (given the wars, the history, the zealot movements, etc) but this non denominational spot was a refreshing move away from what one normally sees. There were small alters along the way recognizing everything from the FDNY to the AIDS plague (inserted in 1985!!!) and it felt right for NYC to have such a structure.

Leaving the cathedral (we were actually locked inside and had to find a friendly security guard to let us out, I was jealous of all his keys!) the sunshine blasted back into our eyes and the gorgeous gardens opened to us (well, truthfully, those were mainly locked too, there are too many bolts in this city of "ours"). To the left of the cathedral is a fantastic fountain with gods, animals, planets and elements, swirling and smiling to the children that run around it. James, who has done literally almost everything in the universe, from serving time with the Navy, to woodwork, to meeting Sandra Day O'Connor, to traveling to China, gave me the timeline of his busy life while we looked on the flowers blooming in the garden.

On the way from the cathedral to dinner/drinks we passed not one but TWO of my favorite things about NY. 1) A local bookstore with a bargain shelf out front (I should take the time here to mention my inability to pass a cheap bookstore without buying something, it's why I have two bursting-full bookshelves in my smallish apartment) and 2) a fantasy world landmark (this fantasy being Seinfeld, I finally happened upon the diner!!!) We came to The Heights on Broadway and 112th, recommended to me by my dear friend and loving ex- Ethan, beaming with my love of NY.

James and I were looking for an outdoor bar with cheap drinks and tasty food and man did we find it. So what if the wait was over an hour? Sitting outside overlooking morningside heights with a margarita made it worth it (the goat cheese quesadilla was to DIE for!) Plus, during our wait we laughed, pondered online dating (I was James' very first date met online thankyouverymuch) and met an amazing couple, Rosi and Dan who met, I kid you not, on the 1 train four years ago. How's THAT for a NY love story?!


James and I said we'd meet again but I haven't heard from him yet (what is the standard post-date call back time anyways?) Maybe he's waiting to see what I blog or perhaps it was just another fun evening in NYC, exploring, meeting, laughing and unlocking. We can't all get as lucky as Rosi and Dan, but the wonder of this city is that you just never know what you could unearth.

In open wonder,

L.A.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Fair Warning

And because I know there are a lot of single ladies reading this blog, make sure you heed the warning hidden inside a key-box.



xo,

L.A.

The Fourth Date!

After a two-day hiatus from dating and a well-timed facebook post, I embarked upon my fourth date of this adventure to the as-yet-unexplored borough of queens. Rock.

The Time: Wednesday, June 16th, 645pm
The Place: Eddie's Sweet Shop, 105-29 Metropolitan Avenue, Queens
The Guy: Dave L., in my history of dating, this was our third date spanning from 2001.
What Creative Time Says: A soda stand is the perfect place to meet.
I met Dave when I was 16 years old in the ways of Judy Blume and Jewish Yenta's, meaning his parent's set us up. At the time I was living in China on a study abroad program in High School; his stepfather was my english teacher, his mother was my guidance counselor, are we sensing the rom-com indie set up in China movie yet? Basically I was told I was going to marry the guy before I graduated High School and after two dates in Beijing and another in CT, we were ready to hit the big leagues in NYC. Dave saw a facebook posting of mine asking if anyone knew any good men to date and, characteristically, nominated himself. Could the KEYS bring us together after a decade apart? Read on and find out!

Honestly, I had been having a pretty rough day. I love my job but the non profit world does not always smile on us workers. My instinct lead me to go home and watch bad tv but the keys had other plans and an adventure was predetermined by art! Thank goodness I didn't chicken out; instead of finishing the day in defeat, I had a decided victory over the gray clouds hanging in the sky.

Dave and I met as we exited the E/F trains at 71 Ave-Forest Hills stop and it was like old times. Funny thing is, we didn't really have any old times to fall upon. Meeting for this project was literally the third time we had met in over a decade's time. Being with Dave, however, was immediately like being with an old friend, or being reacquainted with the door of your childhood bedroom. It felt comfortable and easy, which was delightful.

Together we attempted to distinguish north from south and walked past the insanely adorable houses lining the streets of forest hills. I kept commenting that the only thing missing from the storybook adventure was a trail of breadcrumbs leading us to the sweet shop, seriously we could have been Hansel and Gretel. I kept stopping to take pictures of the flowers, the angles on the houses, the angular windows; while Dave filled me in on his life of the past five years, from playing, to coaching to now working for professional soccer. It's official, every one of my dates is going to incorporate the world cup in some way, guess I may have to start paying attention to the game...

When we finally made it to the sweet shop I think I actually squealed with delight. The old school soda shop sign, the rows of candy display, the faded booths and spinney stools, it was like taking a step back into childhood-fantasy time, all with fresh whipped cream on top. Truth be told I'm not sugar's biggest fan but I'd eat anything made in a setting like Eddie's. The frosty coffee ice cream's delicious cut against the humid night just added sprinkles to my sundae...literally.

Dave and I waited until the last moment to present our key with much fanfare. (Well, fanfare on our end, just expected groans from "Tommy and Olive" behind the bar) I wasn't expecting an actual lock as creative time's passport just said I should expect "an extra helping of a delicious treat." So you can imagine my delight when Vino the owner (who took his wife on their first date in that very shop!) pulled out a rather plain looking lock box and placed it in front of Dave and I.

Here, my friends, was the real magic. Stuffed inside that metal container were notes, knick knacks, business cards and letters from scores of people who had visited the shop before us. Everything from kooky playing cards to hand sketched drawings, menus from Bengali restaurants (in India!) to dinosaur tattoos, it was as if everyone left behind a little piece of themselves inside that box. Naturally Dave and I had to participate and we each selected a little something from our wallets. From Dave I chose a cranium card which he had labeled "un-whistleable" and he selected a business card from a hostel I had stayed at in Thailand last year. With a kiss on the cover and a turn of the key, our pasts and presents were sealed forever inside the shop of sweets.

We asked the guys of ESS (ha!) where to eat and unanimously we were pointed in the direction of Nick's Bistro, a new but "great" Greek restaurant "right around the corner." While we waited for a table to be prepared we explored the houses some more, me crouching down to photograph miniature gnomes, Dave keeping me laughing every step of the way. Let me tell you this, the people in Forest Hills are fantastic. I traipsed across many lawns, stopped many people for pictures, and asked endless questions. None of this seemed to bother the amused locals, they said sure with the careless attitude that only comes with being a true blue New Yorker.

So back to Nick's. Dave had never had a stuffed grape leaf before ("what do they do? use laserbeams!?" he asked) so we ordered a greek special and a plate of gnocchi to share. The grape leaves, greek sausage, and stuffed mushrooms were by far the best part of the meal. The complexity of flavors with the hearty orders made me stuffed and satisfied before the gnocchi even came out. Thank goodness for fridges containing leftovers which I am, truthfully, eating as I type this.

Things usually come full circle and as I approached the subway a favorite client of mine called around 10 30 and reminded me of why I love the work that I do. As the night ended so did my entirely lovely date with Dave. And here's the kicker folks, Dave lives in L.A. When I accepted Dave's invitation to go out I thought it couldn't have been BAD but I didn't expect it to be quite so much fun. We've really grown into ourselves and it was nice to feel at ease with and yet energized by someone else's presence. Dave is not only supremely intelligent (we fought over the best Shakespeare play, I still say the Tempest wins) but, more endearingly, everlastingly hilarious and I was bummed at the end that the chances of a second site visit with him would be slim to nil. If the point of the keys, however, is to bring wonder and curiosity to places that would have otherwise been left unexplored, well then it served its purpose with this gal and her fated love.

Besides, I will be visiting CA in July...


Sweet Dreams,

L.A.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Third Date!

Take a full belly rendering me unable to board the crazy bus that would take me back to the ferry, add a cute, smart, funny guy with whom I was having a great time, and you have one date turning into two, bringing me to..... Key Spot Number Three!

The Time: Sunday, June 13th, roughly 3pm.
The Place: Staten Island Buddhist Vihara, 115 John Street, Staten Island
The Guy: Tim, still....
What Creative Time Says: This Private Garden Welcomes Everyone As a Guest.

I was both excited and nervous to visit the Buddhist Vihara in Staten Island and was glad when Tim and I decided to embark upon this key site together. I've been fortunate enough to travel a decent amount in Asia and have visited more Buddhist temples than any other religious structure in the world and my feelings are always conflicted. On the one hand I am almost always without fail filled with a certain sense of peace and calm (I feeling I often struggle to fine) as I walk amongst orange robed monks, beneath the shadows of religious icons. On the other, I feel as if I am imposing upon a secret I should not have uncovered, that was not quite meant for me. I deeply respect Buddhism but I generally feel discomfort around organized religion and fear that my constantly churning mind will be discovered as I tip toe around temples and monasteries I have visited. Thus, I only wanted to visit this site with a second date, someone I already felt comfortable with. I was lucky enough to find Tim so soon!

The Vihara, which, I learned, is the Sanskrit and Pali term for a Buddhist monastery, originally meaning "a secluded place in which to walk," lay on the end of what would otherwise be a very ordinary road. Family Barbeques, piles of plastic toys, and American flags dot the lawns of neighboring houses until you reach the end of a lane. There, two sculptures guide your entrance to the sanctuary. Tim and I immediately followed the directions leading us to a locked gate to the left of the house which opened into a garden "maintained by the monks". The gate, unfortunately, had been left open (secure those locks explorers!) but a plain typed faced sign invited us into the house for meditation and tea when we were ready. As the rain was drizzling and the garden wouldn't be nearly as fun to explore without the obstacle, we fastened the lock and headed inside.

Shy as I always am around monks (and yes I realize what an odd statement that is) I awkwardly followed in a group of high school aged children to the main building. Peaking into what looked like a small classroom, a man in faded orange robes approached me. After we just smiled at each other and not knowing what to say I blurted out "we have the key to the city, we saw the sign, can we have some tea?" Of course, he replied softly, and a woman went downstairs to prepare our snack.

The monk led us into a low-lit room where a statue of Buddha lay to our right and colored lotus flower lamps decorated the ceiling. A man was in the back painting glue onto lamp-parts where, paradoxically, a high school baseball game played outside the back window. I began asking questions about the key project and the monk went to get another, more senior monk, who could better answer my pestering questions.

I still couldn't decide, however, if we were a welcome intrusion or a nuisance to the daily lives of the temple. Sri Lankan students came in and out studying Buddhism and math alike, preparing for an upcoming talent show and discussing upcoming meetings of the youth counsel. The men taught us about the temple and said that, because of the project, more people came to meditate. I told him I was bad at meditating, he said that everyone was. Which, in my mind, meant, "no excuses, when in Rome...." I asked to be guided through a meditation. Tim squeezed my hand signaling he had been hoping for the same.

This was, perhaps, the best part of the day. Tim and I sat next to each other, cross legged, perched on pillows on the floor, while the man lead us through a series of silent chants. I wish I could remember the words but with each phrase of "family, friends, unfriendly beings, and everyone" different people from my life floated through my head as I wanted to wish each of them well. Part of me wanted to reach over and hug Tim for sharing such a lovely moment, hearing the rain beat down on the roof, waving the rhythms of the man's voice, settling into the chime from the gong he struck. As we ended our short session, a bird began to chirp; the rain had ceased to fall.

After delicious ginger-infused black tea where I congratulated myself on having made it through the entire five minute session (did I mention this busy mind of mine?) and Tim told stories of a Japanese tea class he took in college involving meditation, we went out to explore the garden. The man showed us around, pointing out vegetables and flowers, but mainly just watching us interact with the space. I wish I could have been inside his head.

Tim and I walked back onto the bus and were noticeably more quiet as we rode back to board the ferry. The boat ride back was lovely as gray ships passed in the distance and Manhattan's skyline faded into the fog.

Overall this experience was perhaps the most unique and yet, perplexing. Though I loved the garden, it was the first time in this project I was interacting with others in their space and I was not sure exactly what they were getting out of all these people coming to their spot every day. Though perhaps the point of the project is not about gain or loss, but about each individual moment at a site generating into a collective human experience.

Oh yes, and I'll be seeing Tim again this Sunday.

Love and Peace,

L.A.

Corrections

I received a text from Tim at 1am last night correcting my memory. As his research goes, it was Ben Franklin who met Thomas Jefferson at the Conference House and not George Washington. Apologies for the historically inaccurate mix-up, and for the spoiler that the third date went well too...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Second Date!

This past Sunday morning I ventured where no Manhattanite has gone before. At nine am I woke up, changed into shorts and a tank top, forgot to slather on sunscreen, packed my bag and headed to Stated Island. I was off on my second date with Key to the City!

The Time: Sunday, June 13th, 10:15 am
The Place: Conference House Park, 298 Satterlee St., Staten Island
The Guy: Tim (real name!), 25, also met on OkC.
What Creative Time Says: Our city ends on this shore -- beyond it is the Atlantic.

I knew I was going to have a great time with Tim when he 1) consented to being analyzed on this blog and 2) he suggested we go all the way out to Staten Island. Neither of us had been (though I have shamefully ridden the ferry half a dozen times, always sprinting around to catch it's return trip instead of actually visiting Staten Island) and it was clear we were both in for an adventure.

We hopped on the ferry only a few minutes after meeting at South station, trying to fill the minutes before take off ensuring we were actually on the date with, for example, lawyer17 (though, I should point out, my username is not that lame) v. hipster12. Once on the (FREE!) boat Tim showed me his MCAT flashcards (he's studying to become a doctor, sa-weet) sheepishly acknowledging how much of a nerd he was. Luckily, I heart the nerds.

Once we were officially in Staten Island we boarded S78, or, as I like to now call it, "hell on wheels". The driver must have taken something or had somewhere to be because I haven't been on a bus that fast since my field hockey team lost a championship game and the driver didn't want to have to put up with our adolescent tears. Finally, nearly two hours after we left wall street's shores, we had arrived.

Tim's phone steered us a stop too far (ah boys and their technology), but the extra ten minute jaunt through Staten Island made me gain a deeper appreciation for the place. My first thought upon seeing the island's insanely suburban-perfect houses? I am in Pleasantville. Suddenly I began craving sugary lemonade warmed by the sun in those little dixie cups. Preferably sold to me by a girlscout. Things got exciting, however, when we arrived at the conference house and looked out onto the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. I'm a sucker for water and immediately dove into my happy feeling that comes with viewing vast expanses of space (I blocked New Jersey with my hands).

After taking in the scenery Tim and I, pirate-like in our quest, read my passport's directions to discover the locked gate below the raised pavilion. Shouting in triumph I allowed Tim to turn the lock as we opened the gate upon the stuff teenager's rebellious natures are made on. In between flickers of light streaming from the wooden planks lay dead fish, graffiti about loving Victoria's mom, beer bottles and cigarettes. I seriously thought I had walked onto a John Cusak 80's movie set placed in the angrier parts of Cape Cod. Or, I now know, Staten Island.

Once we had thoroughly explored the spot, taken the free tickets to the Conference House tour, and left a note self-promoting this blog to future explorers, we made our way to the beach. Turns out Tim, not wanting to be outdone by the girl with the key, had done research on our spot and claimed the historical significance lay in the fact that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson sat on these very same sands to plan the battle which would give freedom to our country. Fittingly a veteran's ceremony was happening, literally, above our heads and we danced down the beach to the tunes of the Mason Dixie Line, picking up sandglass and spinal cords on our way.

After our near five-hour adventure Tim and I were STARVED. Apparently Staten Island boasts some of the best pizza in all five boroughs and Tim's smart phone searched until we found Salvatore of Soho! I was skeptical at first as I've eaten at a million places in NYC that claim to have "world famous" pizza but as soon as I stepped foot into Salvatore's I was sold. Not only did our definition-of-fabulous waitress Gabriella have a perfect Staten Island accent (big enough for you-alls) but my first bite of the house made dipping sauce for our perfect bread coupled with my tour of the checker-board styled room (complimented with a pull-chain bathroom) gave me a whole new appreciation for the forgotten borough.

Boy was the trip out here worth it! The salad was divine, the huge chunks of fresh mozzarella perfectly on point, and the pizza, oh the pizza. Crust bubbling with high temperature perfection, millions of herbs dancing on my taste buds, crispy pepperoni and a TO DIE FOR white pizza with the most spectacular ricotta (just hearing Gabriella say this word was divine) was quite possibly the best pizza I have had so far in NYC. Seriously just the smell of the garlic/cheese/bread infused white slice sent me spiraling into pizza heaven.




While ogling the food Tim and I talked about the inauguration, a farm he helped start in college, education in New York and the various research we've completed(on sharks and AIDS, respectively). It started to rain and Gabriella gave us free cake. By the end we wanted more, and though we were too stuffed for an extra helping of pizza we decided, right then and there, to go on our second date. Besides, there was no way we were getting back on that bus after the lunch we had just consumed.

Stay blogged to find out what adventure we had next, and how the date came to an end in the next installment: The Third Date.

And seriously, seriously, get your butt down to Salvatore's.

-L.A.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The First Date

Alright folks, hold onto your hats, make sure you're sitting down, because it has finally happened. Last night I went on my very first date with the Key To The City project!

The Place:
Bryant Park, 41st Street and 6th Ave, Manhattan
The Time: 10:55pm, Saturday June 13th.
The Guy: "Luis", a 26 year old met on OKcupid.
Creative Time Says: Many things that we own in common are invisible, yet in plain sight.

I wanted to chose Bryant Park as the first site to visit because the site the key unlocks, a lamppost box with a switch control, seemed like an iconic beginning. Not only is Bryant Park near the pulsating center of Times Square, but creating light is fitting as the start of my quest.

"Luis" (a pseudonym, unless guys expressly consent I won't be using any real names, posting any pictures, or giving away any identifying characteristics in this blog) and I decided to meet up before this project began and luckily he was game to grab a key and explore! Luis has lived here ever since he moved from the DR when he was just a kid and he clearly shared the same sense of wonder and love for this city as I did. I was running late from a photoshoot and didn't get home until 10:15. Frantically realizing that the park closed at eleven, I called Luis and asked if he thought he could meet me in half an hour. Luckily, he was game. My kind of man.

We met behind the great screen being erected for the start of the bryant park film festival, at approximately 10:52pm. My heart was beating that we may not make it in time as I watched a large group of excited teenagers approach the box, turn the key and flick on the light. Finally, Luis approached, dressed perfectly for a casual date on a saturday night, and after a hugging meet and greet, we went up to the box.

I handed Luis my key, wanting to allow him to do the honors as I had basically dictated the terms of our meeting. As he opened the box a couple approached, then another and another, until a whole little group surrounded us. When Luis flipped the switch we all cheered and it felt like a true collective effort. People had left notes announcing their past presence in the space while a perched daffodil waved a happy greeting. The man of the first couple began asking me questions about the key and, wanting to share the love, I explained the art project and how he too could be a recipient. Finally, I crouched down to open the box, worried it would be impossible to retain excitement after having watched it be done so many times before me.

I was wrong. There was something so satisfying and delightful about the key simply sliding into the lock with such ease. Bryant Park was a site I loved to visit and now I had the key to open one of its many secrets. I felt delight and joy, like I would soon burst with shared ownership and pride. I held my breath as I flipped the switch and looked up, imagining I could watch the jolt of electricity I had released travel up to the light.

But it didn't go on!!! I tried turning it on and off again and nada. Here is the dialogue that followed:

L.A.: Luis, what time is is?
Luis: Uh oh, 11:01.
Portly Policeman while unnecessarily blowing a whistle: GET OUT OF THE PARK!!!!!!!! THE PARK IS CLOSED!!!! GET OUT OF THE PARK!!!!!!!!!!

Tragically I was too late! The power circuit must somehow be connected to the park's internal clock and I missed it by sixty seconds. I was not too late, however, for Luis to snap this picture of my everlasting sadness.

(My shirt is by the amazing Sine Die by Beetle)

Soon, however, we were laughing it off, sharing in the hilarity of the build up and crash. At least Luis had gone first. Imagine a date with such a person as I and then not even being able to participate fully in the project!

The second part of the date had to, as outlined by my rules, brought us to a bar or restaurant neither of us had previously tried. Before running to meet Luis, while scarfing down pizza and washing my hair (the photographer had it teased), I dashed onto yelp. Entering "midtown east, $-$$, bar, and "outdoor", I got a number of hits and let Luis chose the spot. His choice:


Pinetree Lodge, 326 East 35th Street.

We didn't realize quite how far east 326 East 35th street was but luckily the walk was quite visually stunning. I'd never been that far east on 35th and the townhouses we passed along the way were a mixture of NY's beauty, history and quirk. Plus, I learned where the country of Malta is. Check out these sights from the walk-->

On the way Luis and I talked about the world cup and his sister's upcoming wedding, immigration to New York and the perils of online dating. I wasn't sure if we were having a romantic click but I was definitely enjoying the conversation, it just flowed.

We knew we had arrived when, many many avenues later, we saw a blinding swirl of christmas lights and, you guessed it, pine trees. As Luis pointed out, the Lodge looks like it belongs on the side of the road off some quirky city. I suggested Austin, TX. When we walked inside it fit out hypothesis perfectly, christmas lights strung in between mounted deer and tilted TV screens.

(Toto, I don't think we're in the east village anymore.)

Sadly the outside seating area was closed (9:30?! What, do first year bankers not enjoy fresh air past twilight?!) but we grabbed a comfy couch, albeit bedecked with more animal hides, and settled into our drinks.

By the end of the night it was clear we probably wouldn't be seeking a second date. Though I had a good two hours chatting, that's really all it was: fun talk in new places with another lover of our city.

No worries, I'll try turning on another light to see if the electricity catches....

Till next time,

L.A.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Clarification

Alright my friends, we are mere hours away from the weekend. Mere hours away from the total freedom and bliss of a full 48 hours without work. I love my work, I truly do, and couldn't imagine doing anything else with my life at the moment, but I need the breaks to walk barefoot on Coney Island, do circus yoga in central park, catch a vaudeville show at Galapagos art space, and, of course, to date.

I promise you, the dates are coming, at the latest I should have my first date/key post on Sunday. (I know, the anticipation is killing us, me most of all). However I feel I should give a clarification of the deep dark underlying motives of this project.

Here goes..........my goal is to find a relationship (there, I said it, all guys just looking for random fun may now exit the building and run in fear!) I know, you all thought I was looking to cash in on the obviously raging market for witty girls writing blogs (see Julie and Julia or Sex and the City, actually, don't, both movies kind of sucked). But no, I'm a much more humble girl, I'm looking for actual real dates with people who I actually have chemistry with (or at least the potential of chemistry with). I want to be with someone who knows that's what they are looking for too. No gimmicks (aside from the whole key/city/art project idea), no fake dates, I'm really looking for whatever "love" is out there in this fantastic city of ours.

Truth be told I've taken a few months off of dating due to my attempts to really figure out what it is I want and what it is I am looking for. I came so far as to acknowledge that I have no f'in clue and at least that's a start! For a while I thought I was done with it altogether, the dating, the confusion, the mixed messages and unanswered texts. I figured I'd give up and let the like come to me.

Because, let's face it, dating can kind of suck. You get hurt, you hurt people, you move on, you move in. There's a lot of push and pull, give and take, and all the chick flicks about "how to lose a guy" and telling you "he's just not that into you" have not made anything any easier. I can't tell you how many hours I have wasted analyzing the subtleties of a facebook message or a held hand. It's exhausting and I just want it to be FUN again. To get butterflies in my stomach or, if I don't, to at least have joy in their absence.

I hope this project will allow me to see dating for what it is, something meant to be fun, something that often won't work out but something that, if it does, can totally rock your world. Using 24 sites will force me to get off my butt on 24 evenings and actually go out with a complete stranger and focus on the experience and the exploration of the city and of each other. Key to the City has actually gotten me excited about dating again. Instead of wondering if we'll click or stressing about what to say, my dating life is now, literally, incorporated into a piece of art. Instead of worrying about what it MAY be I can just focus on what it IS: another adventure in NYC. One that, just may, turn into an adventure in my life.

Happy searching to us all.

L.A.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Men

While blasting to glee on my subway ride home, I pondered what the next post should be about. (Don't worry the first key date(s) are coming this weekend!) The next logical step is, I suppose, discussing how I am going to go about meeting these men for dates. L.A., you say, you need willing participants should you complete your goal by summers end. Fortunately, there are, in fact, at LEAST 25 single straight men in NYC. It's all about finding them. And unless any of my five, so far, incredible followers has a single friend to ante-up*, I suppose I'll have to go with my regular stand-bys.

As I see it, there are five main ways for women to meet men in this city.

1) The Pick Up

Typical, oft depicted in movies, oft leading to bad lines and even worse small talk, sometimes they can turn up a diamond in the ruff.(shout out to cute Ian with glasses. A guy I talked world politics with on an LES playground outside when I was only a wee summer intern during college,**). I have met more men this way whose last names I simply don't remember than facebook friends I will never see again . (Sorry Ian..... Andrews? Smith? Boulingstein? Bueller?)

2) The Set Up

Friends of friends are all sooooo NICE and SOOO CUTE and soooo funny and sooooo smart! Except, that is, when they're not. Not that I don't beg my friends to set me up with their own rejections (if they are a woman) or competition (if they are a man) all the time, but still, we should really know what we are getting ourselves into.

3) The Toss Up

Ah online dating. Realm of possibility, death of romance, world of creep. If their profile is great you pray they're cuter in person and if the picture is attractive you hope maybe they misused "their" ironically. Easy access? Yes. Crapshoot? Absolutely. Tons of fun? You betcha.

4) The Ketchup

You know how ketchup can make almost anything taste better (no? is this just me?) Well any guy becomes instantly cuter when you have an adorable meeting story. Take photographer I nearly knocked unconscious with a baseball in central park. I wrote off his first racist comment on our date as a bad politically incorrect joke because "our story" was so darn adorable (and gender non-normative!) Thus has lead my long string of meeting men who were selling me a computer, who were mannies in the park, who were so unavailable they actually took off their glasses at a party so they wouldn't meet a girl and who I bullied them into seeing me again, etc etc. Ketchup may add a comforting flavor, but eventually you're going to have to find out what your food really tastes like.

And last but not least.....


5) The Back Up

Taken steps 1-4? Can't seem to meet anyone? No problem, simply place that tape that is your dating life into the VCR (it's an old reference, stay with me) press rewind and go to your least upsetting previous encounter. Ah exes, what would a single gal do without them?


So what will win out this summer? What tried and true method of male meeting and mating will garner the most keys? Stay tuned.

*If you DO have a friend to ante up, by all means comment away.

**None of the mentioned men in this post are featured in these pictures***. Though these are real life men I have dated in NYC. Most of them are fabulous, most of them are still single, line up ladies!

***Unless they fit into category number five in which case, I've decided it's allowed.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Idea


Four years ago I moved in with my one true love, New York City. It's getting pretty serious but I think it's safe to say we're deep enough in our relationship to give polyamory a try and to let someone else in.

I love dating in this city because you never know who you are going to meet and you never know where you are going to meet them. Trouble is sometimes you then don't know what to do.

Movies,plays, comedy shows, etc are all amazing but I've spent way too many first dates confusing my love of the piece with my like of the person I'm seeing it with. Grabbing a beer is pretty recommended by all these dating sites and gurus and yet I feel like I'm letting my true love down if all I can come up with to do with her (him? is NYC gendered) is hanker down over a wine glass. Plus, if the date sucks what have you gotten out of it aside from a slight hangover and an empited wallet? Thus, I needed a plan, something to ensure that every date meant furthering my relationship with my one true love.

Along comes Key to the City. Bringing together public art, shared space, and secrets and intrigue, getting one of these 25,000 suckers allows you into all sorts of hidden corridors, chambers, gardens and boxes from the bronx to staten island. Better yet, it's all free. Plus, I've got two keys...

So sitting on the subway with coworkers I came up with this brilliant plan, combine my love of dating, with the love of the city and all it offers. If I find love, they get my second key, if not well I just visited 24 secret spots of my favorite place on earth.

Here goes!

L.A.

The Challenge

Thanks to the New York Times, I've got some new visitors, here's my initial post explaining my project. I hope you enjoy and pick up your own key this weekend!




Take one single girl, the most inspiring public art project yet, and summer in New York City and you have the idea for a perfect blog:

Key2thecity, key2my heart.

After being presented with the key to the city and now having the ability to unlock 24 secret sights around all five boroughs, 24 dates will be had throughout the summer, seeing if both love and intrigue can exist in the city where no one sleeps.

The rules:

1) Every first date this summer must somehow incorporate a key to the city site: http://creativetime.org/programs/archive/2010/keytothecity/

2) Each sight can only be visited once before another sight is visited.

3) Men or women may be repeated before sites, meaning that a site may be visited on a second date if the man or woman warranted a second visit.

4) No ex-boyfriends allowed as sight visits unless they too are warranting a second visit.

5) As the key to the city project is to expand our city horizons, each site visit date must also incorporate a food or drink spot never before tried.

5) Whoever wins my heart also wins my second key to the city.

6) Have fun, love life, love NYC, love love.,

Love,

L.A.



PS. Shoot me an email at keys2keys@gmail.com if you're interested in visiting a site with me!