Before the pandemic, Kate Young didn't think of fairy doors as a way to commune with her neighbors. The tiny sculptures she made were something she did for herself, tucking them into the crooks of branches and the bases of trees near her house in Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, she started making them four years ago when she was out of work and saw, in a nearby apartment complex, a little door in a tree with a stone path and a bridge. It looked like a fairyland; she was hooked and started making and installing her own creations around her neighborhood. Initially, she looked at her installations as graffiti and was prepared for them to be quickly removed. Instead, people now go on scavenger hunts to find fairy doors using an online map Young has created. Fairy doors have become popular not just in Del Ray, but in cities across the US and in England and Ireland.

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