New York: A Morning at the Heavenly Cloisters

I’ve rhapsodized about the Cloisters (a branch of the Met tucked up in Washington Heights) a few times before, but it bears repeating that this is one of my very favorite places in the city. The Cloisters are peaceful and pretty and just feel like an entirely separate world than the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Honestly? I can’t get enough.

Last summer, I visited when the gardens were pretty much in top form – green and lush and teeming with all kinds of interesting things. I got there early, before the crowds showed up, and it was totally worth it. When I first arrived, I had the courtyard and gardens largely to myself. By the time I left, there were people everywhere!

The other cool thing about my visit? I hadn’t realized it before arriving, but the Cloisters hosted a portion of the Met’s annual costume exhibit last year. In retrospect, it made a lot of sense: last year’s theme was “Heavenly Bodies,” and what better place to house those costumes than in a space modeled on a medieval cloisters?

I thought it was super neat to see the gowns in such an appropriately striking setting. The pieces looked particularly impressive tucked between the museum’s grand archways and in front of intricately embroidered tapestries. The combination of artwork + place was pretty much unbeatable.

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