August 4, 2013
The Cloisters on a Sunday
My fabulous daughter took me on a mystery jaunt today - trying to figure out where we might be going I wore sandals but brought sneakers, had bug spray in case a hike, water, money and camera in case shopping thing, and we arrived to my great pleasure at The Cloisters. I have not been there since pregnant with my now 14 year old which was astonishing to consider as it seemed not so long ago. Right away we saw an abandoned staircase leading to nowhere but overgrown grass and mysterious folds of trees - and there was a cat at the bottom looking quite magical like he had been waiting for some story to unfold. We took this, of course, as a good sign and carried on. It was just amazing. We were there for the Unicorn tapestry exhibit - while they have tapestries that remain at the Cloisters, there was the big famous one (here it is in the link) as well as some other amazing art - no photos allowed in the hallway. In the rest of the museum photos were allowed as long as no flash was used - hence these. Always is a good idea to check with the guard in these situations. The guards were wonderful, very helpful, one noticed us trying to find the frog detail in the unicorn tapestry without any luck and pointed it out, another guided us to where the outdoor garden with the quince trees was. It was really so much fun - I dearly love all things medieval (should have stayed with that major in college, Medieval Lit, but no, I wandered off to the siren calls of other lits and have often regretted it...ah, well. Life can't be all Beowulf and mead for everyone, can it? Virginia Woolf ruined it all for me, the brilliance of To The Lighthouse...but I digress. The gardens, in and outside, were wonderful. My daughter found her favorite plant, Deadly Nightshade, among the whimsical poisonous groupings (plants are grouped by medicinal, culinary, poisonous, and just larky fun more or less) and I went so insane over the gardens, the woven branch trellises, the herbs, that I took an alarming amount of photos so I can add some medieval greenery to the garden at home. Just a great day. If I am to be mysteriously swept away, I could not ask for a more pleasing surprise. Thank you, Jessica!