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Thursday, May 2: The Cloisters/Tyron Park, "You've Got Mail" tour of the Upper West Side, TKTS, 42nd Street


Tyron Park - Spring in NYC

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The Cloisters



Resting our feet on the Upper West Side
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"I don't know who she belongs to. Do you?"

"Not me!"

Thursday, May 2: The Cloisters/Tyron Park, "You've Got Mail" tour of the Upper West Side, TKTS, 42nd Street


Thursday morning it was a drizzly with off and on rain, so we decided to do a mainly inside activity and visit The Cloisters in Tyron Park in the Upper, Upper West Side of Manhattan. On the way back we planned to visit the Upper West Side and in the afternoon pick up half price tickets to a play for that evening.

The Cloisters - is the branch of the Metropolitan Museum devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, the building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters&emdash;quadrangles enclosed by a roofed or vaulted passageway, or arcade&emdash;and from other monastic sites in southern France. Three of the cloisters reconstructed at the branch museum feature gardens planted according to horticultural information found in medieval treatises and poetry, garden documents and herbals, and medieval works of art, such as tapestries, stained-glass windows, and column capitals. Approximately five thousand works of art from medieval Europe, dating from about A.D. 800 with particular emphasis on the twelfth through fifteenth century, are exhibited in this unique and sympathetic context.


We rode the subway to Tyron Park and walked through this peaceful park to The Cloisters. Tyron is a serene park which overlooks the Hudson River and the .... Bridge. It is separated by medieval looking rock walls to go with The Cloister theme. It was particularly quiet and relaxing on this midweek, damp morning. It didn't feel like you were in Manhattan.

We spent a couple of hours exploring the museum, which was bigger than we imagined. If it wasn't for a couple of groups of HS students, it would have been practically empty of visitors. However, we imagined on the weekend it would be very crowded and difficult to enjoy. What made this museum unique was that the setting made you feel like you were in the actual room these pieces originally hung or stood. They did have a "Treasury Room" filled calligraphed/illuminated manuscripts, valuable tapestries, jewelry and what I assumed were some of the more valuable pieces in the collection within glass cases.


After visiting the gift shop (of course) we were getting hungry and decided to find the Gray's Papaya on the West Side and have a hot dog or two. In gathering up all the info we could and getting in the mood prior to visiting NYC, we made a list of movies based in NYC to watch. One of the movies was "You've Got Mail" with Hanks and Ryan. The DVD (and also on the web) has a great Travelogue by the director, Nora Ephron that highlights the movie locations she used on the West Side. Further research confirmed many of her recommendations as things to do and places to visit.

On our list to visit was Gray's Papaya (best hotdogs), H&H Bagels (Best bagels), and Zabars (Best Gourmet grocery). <hmmm... get the food theme?> The Papaya hot dogs were a good deal (2 and a drink for $2.95) and decent dogs. IMO Costco dogs are better, though missing the NYC ambiance - (OK, missing any ambiance). After taking care of our hunger pangs we scoped out Zabars. Our plan was to have a picnic on Saturday in Central Park, so we figured this might be a good place to pick up picnic supplies on Sat. Morning. WOW. What a great store. The second floor is filled with every kitchen gadget, utensil, pot and pan you didn't know you needed and the first floor had a myriad of gourmet cheeses, coffees, teas, veggies, fresh baked bread, deli, pre-made pates, desserts etc. etc. Sorta like a combination Trader Joes, Good Foods, and Williams Sonoma. We couldn't resist, Diva bought a kitchen gadget or two and we bought cookies and snacks to bring back to the hotel. We window shopped galleries and shops until time ran out.


We made our way back to Times Square to pick up half-price tickets at the TKTS booth for a show that evening. After a bit of debate, trip to an ATM, we bought tickets to the musical 42nd Street. We returned to the hotel with enough time to rest our feet and call Terry with our evening's plans so she could meet us at the theater. BTW: did you know that the Ford Theater where 42nd Street is playing has entrances on 43rd Street (listed on the tickets) AND on 42nd Street?? Needless to say, we didn't find Terry when the curtain went up so we left her ticket at Will Call. She showed up 10 minutes after the show started. She WAS at the theater waiting for us but at the other entrance! Oh, well. Live and learn. The play was fun and the dancing was great. We were directly centerstage and although in the back, the theater isn't large so our seats were great. Afterwards we had a late dinner at the Pig and Whistle, an Irish Pub near the theater.


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NYC - Arrival
NYC - Day One
NYC- Day Two
NYC- Day Three
NYC- Day Four