I’ve been quietly envious of my globetrotting fellow BVC’ers of late. I haven’t traveled outside the US in years, and there are so many places I want to visit that I can’t settle down to plan a trip to just a few.
I have visited some lovely locations in the domestic sphere, however, including the western rim of the Grand Canyon, Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, the Columbia River Gorge, and, on the manmade side, the Cloisters Museum in NYC.
The Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art “dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe.” It’s located near the northern tip of the island of Manhattan in Fort Tryon Park, a lovely site that overlooks the Hudson River.
I rode the A train to 190th Street. Walked thorough the park and up a sloping road, and spotted the museum through the trees.
The museum is divided into multiple smaller cloisters, each of which contain halls, display rooms, and chapels. There is so much to see—I think even a medieval junkie would find it overwhelming to attempt in a day. There are stained glass windows, enamels, illuminated manuscripts, paintings, and statuary.
There are also the Unicorn Tapestries, of which the Unicorn in Captivity is the most famous. I had seen color and black-and-white images of that tapestry in just about every book of medieval art or history I had ever read, so it was quite something to see the real thing.
One of my favorite exhibits was the Bonnefort Herb Garden. It is divided into sections: plants used in cooking, brewing, medicine, and magic. There was also a lovely shed where herbs were hung to dry, and where I picked up a list of the plants the garden contained.
I took so many photos, yet missed so much. A return visit is a necessity.