About ten days ago, on a beautiful and warm Sunday, John and I went to New York City to meet a friend of mine from Germany and her mother, who were staying there for a few days.
We met them in front of their hotel. From there we walked about for 45 minutes to the High Line (parallel to 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011, http://www.thehighline.org/).
We started walking the park at its North end at W 30th Street and walked down to W 20th Street. The park is very unique. It’s actually an abandoned elevated railroad track that was transformed into a park. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of construction going on at the moment so it didn’t convince us to be a must-see place in New York. First of all, there is limited space due to the given width of the railroad, so when many people are visiting, i.e. on a sunny and warm weekend day like the day we went there, it easily gets really crowded.
And also, with all the construction going on around it, I couldn’t find the tranquility I’m looking for when visiting a park, escaping the city for some time.
However, all of us thought it was a nice idea to transform the abandoned tracks into a park instead of just letting them rot or tearing them down. I also have to say that it did get nicer the more we walked south, the views of the city and the Hudson River were better and there wasn’t as much construction going on.
From the High Line we took the subway to The Cloisters which are located in Washington Heights (99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/visit-the-cloisters). We took the A line from 23th St to 190th St and found ourselves in a place that didn’t quite look like New York City anymore.
There is a beautiful park surrounding The Cloisters, called Fort Tryon Park (Riverside Dr To Broadway, W 192 St To Dyckman St, New York, NY 10040, http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/fort-tryon-park) which we had to walk through to get to The Cloisters. Everything in this park was in bloom and it offered an amazing view on the Hudson River and Englewood Cliffs on the other side of the river. After our little disappointment about the High Line we were now amazed by this park and view. The Cloisters is located in the northern part of the park and easy to reach by foot.
The Cloisters is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, http://www.metmuseum.org/) and has art and architecture of medieval Europe on display.
The building itself is a combination of actual Romanesque and Gothic European cloisters.
The museum has a recommended admission of $25 per person but you can pay as much as you like (that’s what we were told at the entrance but we stuck to the $25 per person). The fee also includes same-day admission to the main building of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Inside you walk through corridors and halls filled with art and artifacts from medieval times, every now and then you can get access to a small garden inside the walls of the cloister.
My favorite garden was located next to the museum café and it featured herbs that were cultivated by monks in medieval times.
My favorite part of the exhibition was the tapestry collection of The Hunt of the Unicorn which reminded me of the intro of one of my favorite childhood movies, The Last Unicorn.
All in all, it was a very interesting museum which I would recommend to visitors interested in art and medieval Europe. I highly recommend the park surrounding the cloister as an alternative to Central Park, though much smaller.