The Hidden Gems of the Met Museum [NYC]

I’m a little behind posting this, but wanted to share my birthday adventure at The Metropolitan Museum of Art!  Now at 26, my birthdays are just getting more mature classier every year.

The Cloisters (NYC) | jailavie.com

The first stop was The Cloisters museum and gardens, the branch of the Met that is devoted to medieval art and architecture (pieces of the building were actually shipped from Europe). Walking through the buildings and gardens (and even through Fort Tryon Park to get there) makes you really feel like you’re on a European vacation. I had to keep reminding myself I was still in Manhattan, even if it was the very northern tip of the island.

The Cloisters | Jai La Vie

It’s a longggg trip up to Washington Heights on the subway, but once you’re on foot walking through the park and then come into view of the Hudson River (which does not resemble the Hudson further south that we all know), you enter into a totally different world that is entirely un-New York. 

The Cloisters | Jai La Vie

You have to see the many “cloisters”, or enclosed areas, and sit in the sun of the gardens.

The Cloisters | Jai La Vie

Although all entry to the Met is technically a “donation”, the ticket for the Cloisters is the same as the regular museum. So afterwards we headed back down to Central Park, getting out of the subway on the west side of the park, and walking across to the east side to get to the Met. It was a lovely stroll.

After only a few minutes we arrived at the Met. It’s impossible to see the whole museum unless you have sneakers on or take some resting breaks, but we made pretty good ground with hitting some of the popular exhibits.

Temple of Dendur at The Met

Temple of Dendur at The Met

My must-see list was the Temple of Dendur (Egyptian Art) pictured above, Medieval Art, the Vanderlyn Panorama (Rm 735, the American Wing) which makes you feel like you’re in Versaille, and of course, European paintings. My two semesters of art history really paid off in the last one…

Monet & Me [the Met]

Monet & Me [the Met]

And finally, exhausted by art and culture, we navigated our way up to the roof to the very secret Met Roof Garden Cafe & Martini Bar. You have to ask a museum employee how to get there because there is only one elevator and it’s not exactly labeled “This way to the bar!” Instead, our instructions were “Go down to the first floor, make a left and then a right, and then when you’re in European sculpture make another left at the statues and head to the elevator on your right. Take it to the top.” (Ok, it was something like that – don’t quote me on the directions.) But, alas, this was the reward!

The Met Rooftop Martini Bar | Jai La Vie

And I ended my classy metropolitan tour with a rooftop drink overlooking Central Park with my best friends. 26 isn’t so bad!

The Met Rooftop Martini Bar | Jai La Vie

Maybe next year I’ll go to Le Louvre! 😉

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