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.
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.
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!
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.
The sandwich was very tasty, and the fries were perfect – a nice crispness and just the right amount of grease :)
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.
Prior to today the farthest north I’d been was around 110th, when Jon and I visited the AA World Service Office in 2011.
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.
Harriet Tubman escaped slavery in 1849 via The Underground Railroad, and spent the next 10 years helping others do the same.
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.
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.
I’d never actually been to Columbus Circle, another very famous landmark, so made my way up 8th Ave from there.
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.
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!)
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. If you’re in NYC, you can buy tickets to Dear Evan Hansen here.
A very full and fun day overall.
Oh, and this happened.
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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