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Idea # 1: street teaser phone number

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Several times recently, while walking through the Ravenswood housing complex in Long Island City along a very busy 21st street, I passed this street lamp with graffiti sprayed at its base...

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Always looked intriguing, but I never took the time to dial the number and see what exactly it was.

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Was it to report that a crime had been committed there? Or that on this spot, someone was hit by a car? Or to draw attention to a street lamp that hadn't been working for many, many months? Finally, one day, I did stop and dial the number.

It was a guided tour! About a creek which long ago ran through this land, before the area was built up. As you stop at each number, you can pull up different info. This was a Street Art project created by someone called Mary Miss together with the local Noguchi Museum.

The project is cleverly subtitled, 'If Only the City Could Speak'.

Well now it could.

I was able to continue on my way, listening to interesting historic information about Hallet's Cove, the Sunswick Creek and so on and pressing other random stop numbers too, just for the hell of it. Although I found the quality of the script to be wanting (too brief! chronologically confusing! didn't refer the user to a website for more information!), I certainly thought it was a great way to engage a passer-by in a very local setting.

The script of the entire tour is here.

Where else could an idea like this be implemented? Add your comments below....

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