Posts Tagged ‘The Cloisters’

By Linnea Covington

Photo: Virginia Rollison


Once the site of a Revolutionary War base (which later became Fort Washington Park), Washington Heights is home to Bennett Park (183 St and Fort Washington Ave, nyc.gov/parks), the highest point in Manhattan (it’s more than 260 feet above sea level). On your way there, grab an egg sandwich ($2.95) and a cup of coffee ($1.45) from Hudson View Restaurant (770 W 181st St between Fort Washington Ave and Colonel Robert Magraw Pl, 212-781-0303), and savor your breakfast on one of the park’s benches.


One of Manhattan’s prettiest expanses is Fort Tryon Park, a nearly 67-acre green space that was built on land owned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1917. The park is also home to The Cloisters (99 Margaret Corbin Dr; 212-923-3700, metmuseum.org), which was built in the 1930s using pieces of five Medieval buildings. The museum features a vast collection of ninth- to 15th-century art, including the famous Unicorn Tapestries: The artwork includes seven textiles that depict a group of hunters trying to capture the mythical creature. (You can thank Rockefeller for their placement in the museum—the tapestries were in his personal collection from 1922 to 1937 when he donated the work to the Cloisters.)


For lunch, follow Margaret Corbin Drive to New Leaf Restaurant and Bar (1 Margaret Corbin Dr; 212-568-5323, newleafrestaurant.com). The restaurant opened in 2001 as part of the New York Restoration Project’s efforts to revitalize and maintain Fort Tryon Park. If the weather is nice, snag a table on the tree-covered outdoor patio, and nosh on dishes like ricotta ravioli with fresh basil and garlic tomato sauce ($12) or onion soup topped with Gruyère cheese ($9).

Read more: Best things to do in Washington Heights – New York Neighborhoods – Time Out New York.


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Photography by Briana E. Heard

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Rub the rust off thy armor, iron thy chain mail, gird thy loins and polish up on ye chivalry because the 26th Annual MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL AT FORT TRYON PARK will be held on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3rd, from 11:30AM – 6PM!

The annual event is sponsored by the City of New York Parks and Recreation and the Washington Heights and Inwood Development Corporation (a not-for-profit organization).

Admission is free. Expected Attendance: 40,000-65,000 (depending on weather)

The festival is a unique chance to experience the Medieval period in the most authentic setting this side of the Atlantic. The area around the Cloisters Museum in Fort Tryon Park is transformed into a medieval market village where knights in armor, jugglers, jesters, magicians, musicians, storytellers, and puppeteers will perform. A blacksmith, manuscript illuminator, pottery decorator, wood carver and other artisans will demonstrate their crafts. Performers and fairgoers dress in historical costumes. Medieval food is available and craft items will be sold. The afternoon culminates with a jousting event between knights on horseback!

For more info: whidc.org/

Also check out: Park Portfolio – Fort Tryon Park

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BY Led Black

Marcus Yam/The New York Times

One of the editors at The Times, Jan Benzel, is being reassigned to Paris (poor Jan). Before she ships out she will attempt to do all the things in NYC that every New Yorker should do at least once. One of the first places she chose was the Cloisters.

Check out The Times article: cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/

For those that don’t know, the Cloisters is the branch of the Met that is devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. The museum is nestled on 4 bucolic acres of Fort Tryon Park overlooking the Hudson River. “The building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters and from other monastic sites in southern France. Three of the cloisters reconstructed at the branch museum feature gardens planted according to horticultural information found in medieval treatises and poetry, garden documents and herbals, and medieval works of art, such as tapestries, stained-glass windows, and column capitals. Approximately five thousand works of art from medieval Europe, dating from about A.D. 800 with particular emphasis on the twelfth through fifteenth century, are exhibited in this unique and sympathetic context.” The Cloisters were described by Germain Bazin, former director of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, as “the crowning achievement of American museology”. Such a gem in our own backyard should make us all proud.

For more info: metmuseum.org/works_of_art/the_cloisters


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