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This new Instagrammable pop-up museum captures exactly what it feels like to go out in NYC

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Time Out contributors

A new Instagrammable “experiential museum” has popped up in New York City today that promises to give guests the feel of going out in the city, while going out in the city.

Past successful experiential pop-ups like the Museum of Ice Cream, Rosé Mansion and The Color Factory inspired creator April Tontos to design Real Fake New York City located in the beating heart of the Meatpacking District. Appealing both to tourists and the local scenesters, the creative space will drop you right into the artificial action in the city that was recently named the number one culture capital in the world by our global Time Out Index survey.

Real Fake New York has had overwhelming success with pre-sale tickets off the back of leaked plans circulating on Reddit and the NextDoor app. Here are the highlights you should expect:

In line at a hip, New York club. Guests will be able to have the experience—even at noon on a Monday—of queuing outside the hottest nightlife spot in New York for one and a half hours. “In front of you will be a bunch of finance bros who are forever vaping and behind you there may be a couple breaking up,” says Tontos. “Are they real people or did I hire experiential character actors away from Sleep No More?”

Listen to a SoundCloud rapper hawk his physical CD. While in line, a man will approach you and say, “You look like you like good hip-hop.” There is no appropriate response to this. He will then try to sell you his mixtape. This dance is done 1,000 times over in New York every day. You will tell him that you don’t carry cash. He will not believe you and will eventually move on, but not before he gets you to follow him on SoundCloud where you can hear his entire discography for free.

Fashion judgment. Once you get to the front of the line (Speed Passes are offered for an extra $45), the bouncer will give you the once-over and decide if you are dressed suitably to enter the next stage of Real Fake New York. If not, you will be turned away. “Being rejected from a club by a bouncer is one of the realest New York experiences,” says Tontos. “Plus this is a shared space that needs to feel authentic so even letting one pair of low-rise jeans into the next stage will compromise the credibility of Real Fake New York to the other attendees.”

Observe truly immersive entertainment. The feeling of being at a real New York club will surround you as soon as you step into the tiniest coat check room imaginable, which you must pass through in order to get to the main space. There, you will once again wait in line for a half an hour to check your coat (depending on availability that day). As you move toward the bar, don’t miss the "space activation" with two bartenders ignoring all customers and just talking to each other. Meanwhile, an interactive experience will let you shout requests at a DJ who refuses to play any of your songs.

Only get pics worthy of the ‘gram. Get inspired by a live performance featuring one of the city’s best selfie takers. Then, get your own cute pic for the ‘gram at one of the Instagram-ready "real nightclub photobooths" scattered throughout the space where you can snap your own cute pic in front of a fake photobooth. There will be plenty of feather boas, paper masks and fake mustaches to help you accessorize your photos to best express your heavily-filtered personality.

Learn what type of bagel and schmear combo you are based on your astrology sign. Another interactive element is that there’s going to be a makeshift, mystical bagel shop called Written in the Carbs. Guests must tell the “cashier” their sun, moon and rising sign to order. Then, an astrology expert will prepare a bagel with all the fixings for you based on that information. Here’s a spoiler: Aries are cinnamon raisin bagels loaded with plain cream cheese, lox, tomatoes, red onions and capers à la Cynthia Nixon’s infamous order.

Say a secret password to exit. What’s the only other gimmick that could make this ultimate, immersive experience even cooler? Exclusivity to leave! Visitors who wish to exit this one-of-a-kind installation must whisper a specific phrase in the bouncer’s ear at the back door. We’ll let you in on a little secret of our own: You can spell out the password by using the first letter in every paragraph of this post. Good luck!

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