Family Matters: DAY THREE

After another leisurely morning the family and I decided that a museum would be fun. We had tickets to Top Of The Rock at 4:30, and it was noon by the time we got really motivated so I thought that a smaller museum would be more useful. To that end I chose The Cloisters. My sister and I both love Medieval art, so it seemed like a natural choice for us.

While the family toured the museum, taking in the unicorn tapestries, and the saints icons, I sat in one of the side chapels and sketched a bit. I love the Cloisters, and have been there many many times, but never sketched there. Maybe I should suggest it for the next Sketchcrawl? Though, it is very small, a large group of us may overwhelm the place. There is lot's of interesting architecture and art there, and out on the ballustrade views of New Jersey and the cliffs across the river. The Cloisters are an amazing trip back in time to see Medieval and Gothic architecture that has been collected from all over the world and cobbled together into a patchwork-like building on a cliff in northern Manhattan. There are tons of tiny details that make this a complete experience, very different from seeing these items out of context as they are in the main body of the Metropolitan downtown. as many times as I have been there I always discover new things when I go back, sculptures at the capitals of columns, and in the delicate stonework all around the museum.

After that it was a quick trainride to Rockefeller Center and an even quicker elevator ride to The Top Of The Rock. We had purchased tickets in advance for this, and I had asked Jessica to try and time the tickets so that we would be on the observation deck at sunset. Once we reached the staging area though, they corralled us into groups and kept us in the area watching films on the history of the building and it's construction and impotance to culture (blah blah blah). I was afraid that by the time they released us to the elevators it would be dark already. Turns out that we had timed it just right though. While we explored the three observation decks the sun sank slowly and lit up the views of the city spectacularly. This observation deck offers views of Central Park, all of the bridges, and something that you can never see from the Empire State... The Empire State! The design and presentation of the viewing decks are top notch. I recommend this to anyone considering a trip to the city.

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