Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Cloisters

Two weekends ago, a friend and I went way uptown to 192nd Street to visit the Cloisters, a museum of medieval art built to mimic old European abbeys. It's most famous for housing the Unicorn Tapestries, which, as it turns out, are all about hunting/slashing/maiming/killing said unicorn. As you may guess, unhappily, there was a lot of unicorn blood and stabbing involved. Since the medieval period and the art it produced is was neither of our favorites, we mostly stuck to the gardens and pillars. Admission was free with our university IDs, so we'll definitely be back to hang about the courtyards!

Outside the cloister walls.

My outfit unintentionally coordinated with both the flowers in the garden and the admission badge I was given!

A dreamy rose hip.

Fig leaves and arches.

Interior with stained glass and martyrs. This was the tomb room.

The first courtyard we visited was designed to be like a monk or nun's garden, so it was filled with plants they would have used. Here, a quince! They were the bell of the ball in the Middle Ages, and a favorite of mine because of the quince tree in my parent's California back yard.

Me plus the flower courtyard.

I dug these pillars because they reminded me of ancient Celtic pagan art. I guess I'm more into people getting consumed by lion-creatures than torture by crucifixion, but whatever floats your boat.

A single ripe fig and a pillar!

Underbelly of a quantity of hops trellised to the abbey! Definitely a necessity if you have to consume only beer because your water is filthy and contaminated with plague-y bits. Good ole Medieval times.

To me, all plants are Plants to Touch, but it's nice to be given written permission. Here, some herbs.

I regularly consume this, the Original Fruit of Forbidden Knowledge. I also like snakes. Yet, I still get to hang about in lush gardens. System beaten!

What are these flowers? Pink and white versions are all over campus, the parks, and other parts of Manhattan. Right now they're just Nameless Beauties.

The unanimous favorite part of our visit.

Except for maybe this! On our way out, we saw this groundhog rooting around in the grass! It's the first groundhog I've ever seen in real life. Countless rewatchings of Groundhog's Day do not the real thing make.

Also, some leaves transitioning into an unknown silver season. It's spray paint and probably toxic, but still pretty.


  1. Love the groundhog! But I wanted to see unicorns. Were there no happy unicorns? Could you photograph inside?

  2. Glad you are back to blogging. I think the pink flowers look like Cosmos, but I could be wrong.

  3. Glad you are back to blogging. I think the pink flowers look like Cosmos, but I could be wrong.

  4. Pink and white flowers you asked about, I think are commonly called 'windflowers'... and are perennial. Can be aggressive but are oh so beautiful. Thanks for this visit.