If you need a retreat from Manhattan, The Cloisters is the place to go. And funny enough, it is in Manhattan. Located at the top of the island near 190th street, The Cloisters is a medieval art museum housed in a medieval-inspired building built in the 1930s. Overlooking the Hudson River and nestled in a bed of greenery, The Cloisters is the perfect place to relax, enjoy nature and go on a long walk in medieval New York.
I decided to go The Cloisters one weekend because I simply needed an escape from the heat and steel of New York. I will say though that the adventure part of my trip was staying on the A line until 190th street. Before that weekend, I hadn’t even taken the subway past 86th, so I was curious what Manhattan would like beyond Central Park, and I couldn’t even believe how long the trip took!
One peculiar part of the 190th street subway station is you have to take a large, cargo-esque elevator up to ground level, only to be greeted by greenery and stairs leading up to Fort Tryon Park (Sounds like England right???). I was completely in shock, walking around a park that looked like upstate, Hudson Valley New York rather than Manhattan. In fact, it even looked more like the Secret Garden than any city park. This was the perfect solitude I needed, and it only proved how many worlds exist on this island.
Although I didn’t go around the Museum ($25 is ridiculous), I was able to walk around, observe the architecture and take in the fresh air and greenery of The Cloisters. Let’s just say that in a neurotic New York this trip was one of my most relaxing experiences in The Big Apple.
If I have any advice for the next week and half, it is to go to The Cloisters. Although I was apprehensive at first, this serene getaway is the perfect place to reflect on the summer and see just how beautiful New York can be beyond the skyscrapers, fashionable people and delectable food. So when you’re thinking of venturing to Coney Island this weekend, just remember that The Cloisters has less tourists and is just a little piece of eden on this bustling island.
– Harriet White