Years ago when I was visiting Manhattan with my daughter, we were eating on Madison Avenue when we chatted with a local. She told us about The Cloisters, which are part of the Met Museum, located a short drive away from the Met; she said you have to make it a point to visit and many people don't know about it. I made it a point to save this info for our next trip to The Apple. Well, we visited The Cloisters and absolutely loved the whole experience. A brief cab ride away, well worth it! Taken from the museum web site 'The Cloisters museum and gardens, which opened to the public in 1938, is the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. 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. Elements from medieval cloisters—Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Trie-sur-Baïse, Froville, and elements once thought to have come from Bonnefont-en-Comminges—and from other sites in Europe have been incorporated into the fabric of the building.' ------- What you may not know is that Rockefeller donated the land and a ton of money that made it possible for the collection to be displayed the way we see it today. Nice!! The have a casual outdoor cafe (weather permitting) in the garden which makes you feel like you're back in Rome. The view of the river is lovely too. I especially like this experience because it is so unexpected and a delight for the senses! You can buy a book on Amazon 'The Cloisters' (i recommend) to read on the plane or before you visit so you have more knowledge and can truly appreciate your visit there but while there they do offer the audio tour (which I also recommend). Don't be in a rush, allow at least two hours to enjoy everything. Plan to have lunch perhaps in the Upper West Side, near or on the way to The Cloisters. Then stroll off desert enjoying the history at The Cloisters. It is truly easy to see everything, not very big but it is uphill which is why I suggest you ask your cab to take you all the way up and the 'drop off' (our driver had not idea what we were talking about--so make sure you have the address with you to give to him). Then you're just steps from the front door -- don't wear high heels since there are cobble stones here and there, especially the entrance. Be respectful, there are artifacts of religious significant there, regardless of your own beliefs. Enjoy! I will post pics laters.