The Cloisters – Another One Of My Very Favorite NYC Destinations! (Part 1)

15 Jul

It’s been rather warm here in New York City this July, but the other day was a bit more temperate, and I longed to get away outdoors.

One of my very favorite “Get Away Outdoors” places is The Cloisters.

The Cloisters is part of The Metropolitan Museum Of Art – it is a separate branch that is strictly focused on medieval art, architecture and gardens.

I don’t get there nearly often enough – every time I go I fall in love with the place all over again.

From our home in Midtown, The Cloisters is about a 20-minute subway ride on the A train. Get off at 190th Street and take the elevator up to the street level.

Then you walk about 10 lovely minutes north (to your right) on the road in front there – which is Margaret Corbin Drive. It goes through Fort Tryon Park.

Hubby would have loved this – the grass was newly-mown, and the aroma was heavenly!

I did not know until very recently, that Fort Tryon Park was built by the son of the architect of Central Park. That’s some family!

About half way between the subway station and The Cloisters, there is a restaurant on the left called The New Leaf Restaurant. I always stop there to have lunch.

Its website tells us that:

In 2001, the New Leaf – formerly a New York City Department of Parks & Recreation concession – was re-imagined by Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project (NYRP), a non-profit organization dedicated to reclaiming and restoring New York City’s parks, community gardens and open space.”

Very, very COOL!

And, the food is yummy.

I enjoyed a wonderful Cobb Salad at the bar

but you can also sit in one of the indoor dining rooms, or outdoors on the patio.

Thusly fortified, I continued on to The Cloisters.

The Cloisters opened in 1938. Before that, the core of the collection was owned by one man, who sold it to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who in turn, GAVE that collection and his own midieval tapestries and art to The Metropolitan Museum, along with the land (some 65 acres) for The Cloisters to be built upon, PLUS hundreds of acres of land on the Jersey side of The Hudson River, so the view from the museum will always be this:

instead of this:

This was taking place in the early 1930’s. Rockerfeller Jr. also set up a trust so that the museum could continue to grow and operate – and the museum draws from that trust even as we speak. (I went on an hour-long Cloisters tour, so I know these things!)

But, I DO NOT know the names of these rooms and gardens, So I will now just show you what I saw.

I took so many photos that I will today post just architecture and garden views. Part 2 will be some of the art itself.

Ready? Here goes…

The tour guide said that this round room was an actual church from (I think) Spain, that was purchased and rebuilt here within The Cloisters.

I think that he said there are 5 different actual midieval structures within the museum, and the rest of the building is simulated. But all of the stained glass, art, sculptures, etc. are authentic and of the period from  the 12th through the 15th centuries.

Now, outdoors to the gardens.

If  – I mean WHEN – you go visit The Cloisters, keep in mind a couple of things. Because it’s part of The Metropolitan Museum, you can visit both The Cloisters and The Met on the same day by paying only once.

If you feel very ambitious!

And, the fee is a “suggested donation” – but you can pay what you want. If you want to pay the entire amount of the suggested cost, great! But, they are happy to allow you to pay what you want or can afford. Lots of people do not know this.

Also, there is a small cafe at The Cloisters, if you want to grab a bite there.

Tomorrow, I will post some pictures of the glorious art, including some of the fabulous Unicorn Tapestries.

I hope that you enjoy this half as much as I do!!




6 Responses to “The Cloisters – Another One Of My Very Favorite NYC Destinations! (Part 1)”

  1. Johnny D July 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Wow! Your pictures of the Cloisters are nothing short of glorious! Some of them looked like they were taken at a villa in Tuscany.

    Here’s some Cloisters movie trivia. Clint Eastwood’s “Coogan’s Bluff” (1968) has a chase scene that takes place in Fort Tryon Park.

    • sallanscorner July 16, 2011 at 6:47 am #

      Thanks! The museum is such a wonderful “subject” that it’s impossible NOT to take some good pics there! Thanks for the info about “Coogan’s Bluff” – I’ll have to watch that movie again, and next time I’m up that way, I want to explore more of Fort Tryon Park.

  2. FredTheValet July 16, 2011 at 3:57 am #

    I *love* the Cloisters! Thanks for the great pics, almost like being back there. I need to go back soon.

    Wasn’t much of Al Pacino’s “Looking for Richard” shot there?

    • sallanscorner July 16, 2011 at 6:49 am #

      Hi Fred – glad that you liked the pictures. What’s not to love about The Cloisters?? It’s like a hidden gem. Thanks too for the info about “Looking for Richard” – I’m not familiar with the movie; I’m going to check it out.

  3. siemprenaccion March 5, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    I enjoyed much your post! We are (my wife and I) very fond of NYC, such an interesting city…although we can visit it once every number of years. With your blog we feel like we are there. Your suggestions on the restaurante, the description on how to get to the Cloisters, and your photos….all these make me think in going back. Thank you from Mexico City.


  1. The Cloisters – Another One Of My Very Favorite NYC Destinations! (Part 2) « SAllan's Corner - July 16, 2011

    […] Yesterday I posted photographs of the museum’s architecture and gardens; you can see them here. […]

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