Love is in the air in the streets of CambridgeDinky Doors/Instagram

In these gloomy times of uncertainty, it’s the everyday, seemingly insignificant moments that matter the most. To find hope, we often look to the sky, but in some rare cases, joy and childlike wonder can also be found at the level of our feet. In fact, entrances to otherworldly places are hidden in plain sight all around Cambridge. You may have stumbled upon them while taking one of your quarantine walks, or you may have frequently strolled past them without once registering their presence. But these tiny doors hide magical and extraordinary universes inside them, so it’s worth taking the time to observe them properly.

A remedy for when it feels like reality is slipping through your fingersChristina Makri

The first Dinky Door I happened to notice was a door that tells an unexpected tale of love. ‘Love from Above’ relates the story of Mr. D. Mon and his partner Angela. The two were polar opposites, but ended up falling for each other anyway. With a little help from the universe, the demon and the angel were introduced and set up on a date. From that day onwards, the relationship between these two supernatural beings blossomed and grew. Angela has even been spotted leaving gifts at Mr. D. Mon’s door, then hiding away in a corner to patiently wait for her beloved to find her thoughtful presents. The union of these two souls not only promotes a message of harmony but reminds us to view the world from new and alternative perspectives. After all, if an angelic being and a demon can put aside their differences and find love, then who can’t?

Saving the world, one wonder at a timeChristina Makri

Another door that will tug at your heartstrings is ‘The Wonder Emporium.’ This little shop of wonders is, seemingly, home to hundreds and thousands of lost or misplaced objects. The store owners are seldom around, but if you want to take a look at the Emporium’s stock, you can browse its online shop. There, you can find a myriad of quirky and precious treasures. Some of the wonders of the Emporium are a spy hat, a (slightly broken) flan dish, and a ceremonial party crown -- which you can wear on the days that you’re feeling fancy. Of course, there is also a predictor of the future: a tiny, but powerful (and possibly cursed) object that allows you to get a glimpse of all that lies ahead.

If you’re searching for a slightly more practical Dinky Door, look no further than the ‘Teleport-o-Matic’ (or ToM, for short), which will take you anywhere you wish to go! It might be the world’s tiniest and most efficient teleportation service. ToM has struggled a lot in life, but his past has made him all the more determined to turn the world into a better place by helping those in need. Let him teleport you to a magical, faraway place that will melt your stress away and allow you to forget all your troubles. I know what my request to the dinky device would be: “Ground control to Major ToM… won’t you teleport me home?”

“These enchanting doors serve as an important reminder that acts of changing the world and making it a better place don’t always have to be grand in nature.”

Finally, have you been questioning the state of the world lately? Have you been wondering if this is real life we’re living or if it’s just a fantasy? Well, there is one way to find out, by visiting the ‘Reality Checkpoint.’ All you have to do to determine whether the world is experiencing a shared mass hallucination, or if this really is the ‘new normal,’ is locate the extraordinary lamp post and look down towards the ground. There you will find a fully interactive dinky door, the dials of which you can carefully adjust. Then, like magic, you’ll receive an assessment of how splendid, feisty, kooky or real reality is. Perhaps, if the Checkpoint receives enough visitors, the unknown, all-powerful entity that resides inside the lamp post will be motivated to take action, flip some switches, twist some dials and turn the world back on its head. Of course, there is no guarantee that the person in charge will go through all that trouble just to restore order in our universe, but perhaps it is worth giving it a shot.


Mountain View

A Digital Image to Help Fire Victims

As much as I love relating each of the doors’ stories, the most noteworthy aspect of this project is the purpose behind it. The Dinky Doors team claim to be on a mission to save the world. Through their installations, they attempt (successfully, in my opinion) to infuse fantasy and a sense of wonder in an oftentimes mundane and stressful reality. At the same time, I believe that these enchanting doors serve as an important reminder that acts of changing the world and making it a better place don’t always have to be grand in nature. It’s often the small, everyday deeds that end up making the most profound difference, a notion which could apply to both the creation of art, and the appreciation of it.

Personally, I love witnessing passersby discovering the doors, and watching their pure and enthusiastic reactions. They stop and stare, they motion to their friends, or excitedly take pictures. And the more they look, the more they are able to perceive the intricacies of these charming and creative micro-universes.

Clues about the story of each installation can be found by observation of the intricate doors, but visitors are also encouraged to exercise their own imagination and create their own narratives about the backstories of each dinky wonder. Of course, in the meantime, details about the secrets hidden within each door and the inspiration behind the installations can also be found on the Dinky Doors website. (