All of the Keys to New York City

Congratulations, hero! As a show of thanks for rescuing a three-legged bodega cat from that rabid raccoon, the mayor has awarded you a whole ring of keys that will unlock all the secrets of the city. Here’s a handy guide to your new V.I.P. access:

A key to every off-limits bathroom, including ones labelled “Employees Only” and those which require a passcode or a proof of purchase. You’ll be the envy of all your friends—especially Mark, who sends a pic to the group chat every time he uses the diamond-encrusted Goldman bidet.

A skeleton key with elevator buttons.

The key to your building’s service elevator—so you can sneak in your illegal pet ferret, Tim Ferret, past prying eyes, or just skip the wait in the lobby because you unwisely thought that you had time to grab an egg-and-cheese before your next Zoom meeting.

A key shaped like the MTA logo and subway cars.

An M.T.A. skeleton key that has the power to open any subway door. Gone are the days of sprinting halfway down the platform to catch the G—merely waving this key at the conductor will cause the train to screech to a halt as you saunter over to meet it.

A key in a bird cage.

A special gilded key that gives you access not only to Gramercy Park but also to the tiny secret park within the park—a patch of micro-greenery so exclusive that only three other New Yorkers—Christian Cooper, Julia Roberts, and the ghost of Karl Lagerfeld—are aware of its existence. Mark’s Soho House membership isn’t looking so impressive now, is it?

A key topped with a rat wearing a crown.

The key to the filing cabinet in City Hall where they’ve stored all the rejected applications for the rat-czar position. Maybe you can hire one of the runners-up to preside over your apartment building.

A double key that resembles Manhattanhenge.

A key that unlocks a private conference room on the top floor of the Chrysler Building. Head up there during Manhattanhenge for an unparalleled view—your Instagram Story will easily outperform the pics Mark took in Union Square.

A key shaped like a club bouncer.

The key to the heart of the bouncer who mans the door at House of Yes. Roll up with ten of your closest friends, wearing your weirdest outfit, and you’ll waltz right past the line and into the bacchanal.

A key shaped like a silver spoon.

The key to working in the arts and affording an Equinox membership, a loft in Chelsea, and weekly ferret grooming. (Yes, this key is just a pair of wealthy, generous parents.)

A key shaped like a Zabar's shopping cart awning and baguette.

A Key Food key that will instantly transform any subpar grocery store (I’m looking at you, CTown in Alphabet City) into a Zabar’s where everything is fifty per cent off.

A key shaped like Alicia Keys's profile and piano keys.

Alicia Keys. Let’s face it: living in this city isn’t always a walk in Prospect Park. SantaCon is somehow still legal, an iced coffee costs seven dollars, and you’ve got at least one M.T.A. story that involves a stranger’s bodily fluids. If you’re feeling down on the Big Apple, just whip out this key to conjure New York’s favorite piano prodigy. She’ll serenade you with her hit “Empire State of Mind” to remind you of these lights that inspire you and make you feel brand new. You’ll smile as you remember that Mark is now name-dropping you in the group chat, and that Tim Ferret plans to run a write-in campaign for mayor this November. Maybe it isn’t so bad here after all. ♦

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