Monthly Archives: July 2012

Metropolitan Museum of Art

There’s not much to say, it’s fame makes it superfluous. Maybe just a piece of advice: don’t expect to see it all in one day, it’s not doable. But it’s soooo wonderful!

You better shut up

My sentiments exactly

(not so) sweet dreams

Not so sweet, accomplice

La frileuse

.

The Death of Socrates - detail

Chess


The Cloisters

Situated way uptown at Fort Tryon Park, The Cloisters is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Medieval Art branch and it has on exhibit about 3000 works of Medieval European art dating from the ninth to the sixteenth century. There are priceless tapestries, sculptures, manuscripts, exquisite stained-glass windows and metalwork, housed in a building that was assembled from architectural elements dating from the XII to the XV century. The gardens you’ll find in three of the cloisters have been recreated from information found in manuscripts, documents and herbals.

While the building is not a copy of a specific medieval structure, there’s a definitive flow in the arrangement. Be it inside or outside, you’ll be enthralled by the works of art; every few steps you’ll feel the urge to stop and contemplate. It’s definitely one of the most interesting museums in NYC.

Some of my favorite artifacts: the oldest (and supposedly the first) set of cards, the unicorn tapestries (all 7 of them), St. Michael’s statue, the German busts (they were used to hold the cranium of the deceased person depicted) and the stained glass windows. One of the gardens offers beautiful views of the surrounding area; there’s a cafe where you can have a snack and rest your feet in a, well, monastic atmosphere.
Impossible not to take a lot of pictures – bring an extra memory card.


Chelsea Market

Located on 9th Ave. between 15th and 16th St., Chelsea Market has been created in a building with a pretty famous history: the former National Biscuit Co. dating since 1890’s, and that operated until half a century ago. It might impress you more to know that this is where the first Oreo was created and manufactured – in addition to Fig Newtons, Saltines, Barnum animal crackers and Vanilla Wafers.

In an area that 15 years ago had almost no commercial appeal, almost no pedestrian traffic, was pretty desolate and left to the Hudson River winds, it was bought and reinvented by a visionary businessman in the 1990’s.
While the upper floors have been rented for company offices, the ground floor has been remodeled in such way that the original character of the building not only has been preserved as much as possible, but also enhanced by showcasing it’s character. The result is a an enchanting space that opened in 1997 as a gathering of specialty stores mostly food related, and although it evolved over the years it hasn’t changed much. The wholesale flower shop left and made way for an Anthropology store, a couple of other stores replaced by the others, some fantastic restaurants opened… all in all, evolving is not a bad thing.

There are bakeries where you’ll find bread or cookies, there’s a wine store, there’s a fish market and an Italian market, and much, much more. Wander around and be enchanted – by either the industrialist art so beautifully blended with the original building, or by the little pleasures you’ll find in any of the stores. There is a Jacques Torres counter, there’s a L’arte del Gelato counter, there are Fat Witch brownies or Eleni’s exquisite cookies.

The pictures were taken quite a while ago, but I hope they still show why I love Chelsea Market.


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