Tourist Day: The Cloisters

Wednesday morning

It’s Tourist Day, and we’re going to The Cloisters!

Now that Kinga is making a clean break for California we’re crossing off items on her “I’ve lived in New York City for 15 years and have never been to…” bucket list.

For those not in the know, The Cloisters is a museum annex of The Met Fifth Avenue located in Fort Tryon Park in the Bronx. Their collection is dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe, and the building is fashioned like an old castle and church.

We stroll circuitously through the inner courtyard and buildings, from the Gothic Hall to the Boppard Room filled with floor to ceiling stained glass windows into the Unicorn Tapestries Room. There are several school trips in session, and as we wander, we catch snippets of history from the docent tour guides.

Kinga and I were both raised Catholic–she Polish-American in Chicago, me Italian-American in Brooklyn–so much of what the tour guides are sharing is steeped in Christianity studies. It almost feels like we’re back in parochial school learning our ABCs.

Outdoors The Cloisters’ gardens are abundant with herbs, flowers, green grass. The birds are as thrilled to see the sun as we are, even if it is a bit steamy.

We have lunch at the Tre Cloisters cafe and talk about life and finding the strength and courage to embrace change. Afterward, we stroll through Fort Tryon Park and fall into nature sharing the path with a group of high school students and their teacher. Along the trail, we spot a groundhog momma carrying her young as she tried to maneuver the foot traffic in her way.

A gentle reminder that we are all on this journey together.

Visit The Met at The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in-person or virtually with this interactive map

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