Since my editor wouldn't let me break any laws for this piece (thus denying the world my debut as the next Banksy), I would have to let confidence and charm be my lockpicks. My approach was straightforward: ask random strangers around the park if they could let me in -- if someone with actual access granted me entry, I wouldn't be breaking in at all.
Anyone wearing a sweater over a button-down shirt became a mark. The task was simple, yet I was still on edge: what if I get a bad reputation in the neighborhood? Would their noses be turned up even higher at me? Would this affect my 401(k)?
Mustering the courage to bother strangers, I discovered, was the real challenge. Nobody around actually seemed to own a key, which meant they were just poor saps like me (only better dressed).
On my third lap around the park, I saw a man calling to his friend inside. I sheepishly walked up and hit him with my (technically true) cover story: “Hi, I’m working on this photo project …”
This is actually a bad approach, since photography is technically prohibited -- do your research, folks! Luckily, I hadn't even finished before he waved his hand: “You want in? Come on!”