I love New York City, but the pace, the people and the tourists can totally overwhelm my senses. So I really enjoy finding spots where I can refill my peace tank. That can be difficult to achieve, especially as I usually have multiple roommates in a tiny hotel room. Be it for work or pleasure, I never seem to have space. I would imagine that is a common feeling in the city for residents and visitors.
So, the discovery of The Cloisters was absolutely refreshing. And, yes, it is far. But I think it is worth it to find the time and make a visit the priority, especially if the weather is in your favor. Grab a book and make it an enjoyable subway ride.
The Cloisters, a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is an art museum dedicated to the art of medieval Europe. Opened in 1938, the museum was assembled from a variety of architectural elements, both domestic and religious, that largely date from the twelfth through the fifteenth century.
The building and its cloistered gardens—located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan—are not only an artistic stroll through tapestries, sculptures, religious and burial art, and stained glass, but it is also the home to medieval gardens with herbs and flowers related to medicine and magic from the time. The surrounding gardens look down on the Hudson River, providing expansive land for horticulture plans culled from medieval manuscripts. It truly is a sanctuary in the city.
When entering and asked for the fee, you can pay what you want as it is not compulsory to pay the suggested admission, only what you can afford. Though they ring in the suggested amount into the till, you can give them anywhere from $5+. Choose whatever is appropriate to your level of income, keeping in mind that management of major art institutions is very expensive.
Pack a picnic lunch or dine inside the museum at their cafe. I hope to try New Leaf Restaurant, which is walking distance and looked very nice.
This is the perfect spot to reconnect with nature in the city of cement, have a quiet moment of contemplation and rediscovering tranquility.
You can find the hours and information on getting to The Cloisters on their website HERE.