Not Church, But Close: A Winter Sunday at the Met Cloisters

Visiting the Met Cloisters

We’d been talking about visiting The Cloisters for a long time. But it’s one of those things – like its sister, The Met – that you feel you can put off until the day before you move away from New York because it’s not like it’s going anywhere. 

We knew little about it aside from the fact that it was part of the Met and was like…all about religious art? We were mostly right. If you want to know what the Cloisters was actually about, visit their website. What you’ll find here is my superficial take on things – photos taken during the day’s two mini quests: First, to find a bathroom. Second, the cafe, which seasonal, was unfortunately closed.

In any case, I’d go back in the spring without Tom, as the gardens were quite nice and it’d be a different experience altogether, to spend more time looking at art or even to take in a tour led by one of the several enthusiastic guides we saw working that day. All without Tom rolling his eyes and providing his unwanted commentary, though more on that later this week.  

190th St. Subway stop to the Met Cloisters

I was surprised to learn that this was still Manhattan…Fort Tryon Park at the Met Cloisters

Fort Tryon Park.

There were many families there and groups of old and young people (but no mixed groups) on art tours. There were also, given the pretty scenery, a handful of families having their holiday portraits taken, among them an overweight family of six wearing matching army green puffy vests. I felt sorry for the photographer…

…then made Tom take a photo of me with the last of fall’s foliage. A gorgeous fall day at the Cloisters Museum in New York.

On many a drive outside the city…The View from the Met Cloisters

…I looked up wondered what this archway was. Mystery solved! It’s a remnant of a rich man’s largesse, a $250,000 driveway that led to millionaire CKG Billing’s estate back in 1907. Now the “gallery” is the only thing left of the estate, which was lost in a fire. You can see the original design and mansion here.The archway at the Met Cloisters

Visiting the Met Cloisters

A fall afternoon at the Met Cloisters

The entrance walkway, where we learned, via the photographs along the wall that while the art was medieval, the Cloisters itself was built in the early 1930’s thanks to Mr. Rockefeller. Visiting the Met Cloisters

Inside the Met Cloisters AtriumMedieval Art at the Met Cloisters

Medieval Art at the Met Cloisters

Medieval Art at the Met Cloisters

Inside the Met Cloisters

We concluded that people back then had a lot of time on their hands and that the café, despite it being December, should have been open after all. It was such a nice day. Visiting the Met Cloisters in Winter

Silly kids laughing loudly around the Menorah tree.

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