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Day 13 in NYC: Fort Tryon Park & The Cloisters; Harlem; Dear Evan Hansen

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Tuesday, July 9. I did what I’d planned the day before and took advantage of The Met’s 3 day pass to visit another museum. Since I’d taken the prior day off I won’t have time for the other one. Oh well. I had a little bit of leftover Cuban food for breakfast!, and made my way out about 10am after getting the blog up.

The Cloisters museum is in Fort Tryon Park, in the north part of Manhattan on the Hudson River. The park was developed by John D. Rockefeller and presented to the city in 1935. The fort part has ties to the revolutionary war.

Subway platform at 190th St
190th St subway station. I’d never been this far north in Manhattan before.
Sign in a garden which is in the middle of a roundabout
Entrance to Fort Tryon Park
George Washington Bridge through the trees
George Washington Bridge through the trees
Hudson River in the background past lots of trees
Hudson River
Park benches set to look out over the Hudson River Valley with trees all around
The view to my right of the above shot

It was a nice 10-15 minute walk into the park to get to the museum. Beautiful area with great views into the Hudson River valley. I wasn’t expecting it to be so hilly! That was a nice surprise.

Side view of the museum
Side view of the Cloisters Museum as I made my way up the hill
The outside of The Cloisters Musuem - big brick building with a classic design, and a tower
The entrance to the Cloisters

The Cloisters was not like any museum I’d ever been in. Here’s a description from The Met’s website: “Located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan, on a spectacular four-acre lot overlooking the Hudson River, the modern museum building is not a copy of any specific medieval structure but is rather an ensemble informed by a selection of historical precedents, with a deliberate combination of ecclesiastical and secular spaces arranged in chronological order.”

In some of the displays things were arranged to make a point, in other areas there were entire rooms of ruined abbeys redeveloped here, with actual remains or with materials used from the region. All of the art itself is authentic, including in some cases intricate doorways, but the building itself was constructed to house it all in.

All that said I took a ton of photos, but will be selective about what I include. As with many things of this nature, after awhile it all starts to look alike!

Chapel
This was the first of several rooms in the museum, which are recreations of specific places or ensembles to serve as examples
Painted relief of the resurrection
The Resurrection, relief painted in gold and silver leaf. Spanish, circa 1500.
Sculpture mounted on the wall
Lion trampling a dragon, circa 1200. Made me think of Lannisters and Targaryeans πŸ™‚
Closeup of the crucifix in this room
Closeup of the crucifix in this room
A decent sized room with a smaller room through a door at the end of it
This was the main room off the lobby area. There were several rooms off of this one. Notice the door at the end of it with the elaborate frame.
Medieval painting of a lion
Medieval painting of a lion, Spanish, circa 1200. The monastery from which this came was abandoned in 1841. This was on the wall to the left of the shot above.
Closeup of the doorway at the far end of the room
Closeup of the doorway at the far end of the room. From the Burgundy area of France, circa 1250. From the abbey of Moutiers-Saint-Jean, near Dijon.
A small chapel with about 10 simple wooden chairs set up on each side of a narrow aisle
The chapel seen in the back of that first room, up close
The courtyard view from the inside
The courtyard view from the inside
Selfie in the courtyard corridor with columns lined up behind me
In the courtyard; my attempt for a dramatic view of those columns failed, but I still liked it πŸ™‚
Room with stained glass windows and many sculptures
See the people in the corner? The guy in the white shirt is about to head down a staircase – there’s another room down there
Small chapel with several burial tombs
This is the chapel at the bottom of that staircase
Plates, painted and partially gilded enamel on copper
Plates, painted and partially gilded enamel on copper, of 5 heroes: Julius Caesar, Roland, King Arthur, Alexander the Great, Godfroy de Bouillon
Closeup of the King Arthur plate
Closeup of the King Arthur plate
Tapesty of a unicorn fighting dogs, and men with weapons
The Unicorn Defends Itself – a tapestry from the Netherlands, around 1500.

I probably spent about 90 minutes here. I’d eaten just a little bit of leftovers early on and was pretty hungry at this point. I went to the New Leaf restaurant in the park, which Jonathan had highly recommended. He wasn’t wrong.

Entrance to New Leaf restaurant in the park - lovely stone building amidst lots of trees
Entrance to New Leaf restaurant in the park – lovely stone building amidst lots of trees
Grilled chicken sandwich with fries
Grilled chicken sandwich with fries

The sandwich was very tasty, and the fries were perfect – a nice crispness and just the right amount of grease πŸ™‚

Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon
Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon

Another thing I will always get when I see it on a menu, and happy that I’m seeing it more often.

It was probably approaching 2pm when I got back on the subway. Since I had to make my way back to Midtown, I decided to stop in Harlem on the way, and got off at the 125th St station.

Frederick Douglass Blvd at 125th St
Frederick Douglass Blvd at 125th St

Prior to today the farthest north I’d been was around 110th, when Jon and I visited the AA World Service Office in 2011.

The Apollo Theater
The Apollo Theater

Home of “Showtime at the Apollo.” Many, MANY famous people go their start here, including Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis Jr, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Dionne Warwick, and the Jackson 5. The list goes on and on.

residential street with typical NYC buildings with fire escapes
For the most part Harlem looked like lots of other neighborhoods I’ve seen. I think this was 127th St.
Harriet Tubman memorial in Harlem
Harriet Tubman memorial in Harlem

Harriet Tubman escaped slavery in 1849 via The Underground Railroad, and spent the next 10 years helping others do the same.

back of Harriet Tubman statue
back of Harriet Tubman statue

The artist is African-American sculptor Alison Saar. She depicted Tubman “not as the conductor of the Underground Railroad, but as the train itself, an unstoppable locomotive, the roots of slavery pulled up in her wake.” I love that.

I got back to Midtown around 3:30pm. Still having several hours to kill, but not enough time to get back to the house, I just walked. Oh, and stopped for dessert.

Key lime cheesecake
Key lime cheesecake

This is the Junior’s on 45th St. I hadn’t yet figured out where my show was this evening and in looking for it discovered it was right across the street from this! Convenient.

Statue of Christopher Columbus high on a pedestal, at least 3 storie up
Statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Circle, SW corner of Central Park, 8th Ave and 58th St

I’d never actually been to Columbus Circle, another very famous landmark, so made my way up 8th Ave from there.

Fountain to the right of the statue with tall building in the background
There are fountains on either side of the circle, with lots of people hanging about.
Closeup of a bronze relief done of ships from 1492, on the pedestal
Closeup of a bronze relief done of ships from 1492, on the pedestal
Sun coming through glass buildings on the west side of the circle
I just liked the look of the sun setting behind these glass buildings, taken from Columbus Circle.
Huge pillar at the entrance to Central Park, with a gold sculpture at the top of it, and stone sculptures at street level in front
Entrance to the SW corner of Central Park
Closeup of statue at Central Park, of about 5 people, 3 of which have outstretched hands
It sort of looks like they were put there just for the birds! “Come rest here”

From here I trekked over to Park Ave, where I hadn’t been since 2011. Came across Carnegie Hall along the way – didn’t know where it was until that moment.

Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall, on 57th St around 7th Ave
Iconic view of Park Ave
Iconic view of Park Ave, with the Met Life building behind The Helmsley Building, which sits over Park Ave between 45th and 46th Sts.
Garden in the middle of Park Ave
Park Ave is the only one that has, well, park-like stuff in the middle of it!
Marquee over the sidewalk at Music Box Theater
I learned from my friend Pat via Facebook interactions that this was the home of Irving Berlin back in the day. Thanks, Pat!

I made it here about 6:30pm. Since I wasn’t really hungry at this point, I just snacked in the theater. (And thankfully not nearly as expensive as The Lyric was!)

Stage view from my seat
I was in an aisle seat in the last row, proving once again that most Broadway theaters are small enough to guarantee that there are rarely bad seats
Self in the theater with the stage in the background
Final selfie of the day

Dear Evan Hansen was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The staging is very digital, very fresh and modern, and supports the storyline perfectly which has a big social media aspect running through it.

The title comes from a troubled teenager who is supposed to be writing positive letters to himself as an assignment from his therapist. One of those letters isn’t so positive. He prints it at the school computer lab and it gets picked up by a guy who’s bullied him and he takes the letter from Evan. A few days later, the bully kills himself, and his parents interpret the letter as a suicide letter written to his best friend, Evan Hansen, who they had never heard of before. They hadn’t even realized the bully had any friends; Evan begins lying to them about this supposed friendship and it gets more and more complicated from there.

I enjoyed it a lot and may buy the soundtrack. If it’s in your town, I would recommend it. Although the star here, Andrew Barth Feldman, was absolutely incredible in this lead role, and it was his Broadway debut.

A very full and fun day overall.

Oh, and this happened.

Screen capture of 12 Step Companion showing count of days
And this happened today.

I don’t always announce it on Facebook but I did in the morning, and it made for fun and meaningful interactions with folks as I went through my day. None of the amazing life I have today would be possible if not for this.

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