Escape from Manhattan: The Cloisters

No matter how much I love the hustle and bustle of the City. The noise. The people. The easy access to a grocery store. There are times I want to escape from it all. Run off to the mountains and buy a cabin without cable or internet. It’s easy to feel torn between the two worlds.

One of the great things about New York is the number of hidden pockets you can find; where the city seems to slip away. You can escape—without really leaving—into the wilderness. Since I moved to New York, the Cloisters were on my list of places to go. Not only is it perhaps one of the coolest museums, but it’s tucked away in the forest of Fort Tryon Park. I finally went this fall—a fall which if I don’t say so myself went by too quickly, with too little color. As you walk around the Cloisters it’s amazing how easy it is to feel like you’re visiting an abbey in Europe in the middle ages.

A little history: Opened in 1938, portions of the museum building were actually shipped over to the states from some of the medieval abbeys in Europe. The incredible gardens feature plants that are found in medieval documents and literature. It is home to the famous Unicorn Tapestries.

Needless to say, it’s spectacular. Well worth the long trip on the subway up to the Washington/Inwood Heights section of northern Manhattan; it’s over an hour from the South Brooklyn by way of the F and A/C trains. My mind was blown by the artifacts. And, my soul was calmed by the quaint feeling you have wandering the 4 acres of museum and gardens along the Hudson (did I mention the breathtaking views of the Hudson?). Better yet, you can escape for a few hours and then return to the city. You can experience two worlds in one day.

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