Can you believe that's Manhattan?
This park is home to the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that incorporates art and architecture from five different medieval French cloisters in one medieval-looking building (it was actually opened in 1938, so not actually medieval):
The place is full of lovely paintings, sculptures, etc., but what I really found interesting was the gardens:
One garden was set up like it would have been in a real medieval cloister (that's where the monks lived, in case you didn't know), complete with informative labels:
Some of the plants are, apparently, magic.
This is one the magic plants; it's also poisonous, according to another helpful sign. Don't touch!
Thankfully, the monks also grew some non-poisonous (and probably non-magical) plants; they had tons of herbs, for instance:
The herbs are taking over the garden!
There were also fruit trees, with some fruits I've never seen in their natural (aka, unpicked) state before, like these:
Unidentified citrus! (Seriously, the little sign just said "citrus species." So helpful.)
Pears! (Actually, one pear. Poor, lonely pear)
Figs in the making! (Prefigs? Protofigs? Figlets?)
After the park we drove downtown (which took almost an hour. Hooray for NYC traffic!) to see Highline Park, a major engineering feat right that used to be an raised railway servicing the meatpacking warehouses, was abandoned for years, and has now been converted into a park/walkway where mobs of citygoers can escape the street traffic and take in a bit of sun and greenery. It starts just below 13th street and runs up to 30th, with more to be added eventually, and really was incredibly cool (and hot and crowded on this particular sunny Saturday, but still pretty great). I mean, check out the plants they have growing up there:
You get some nice views along the way, too:
There's lot's of fun things for New Yorkers to see and do up there. For instance, you can relax on a lounge chair and soak up some rays:
And once you're burnt to a crisp, you can cool off (or at least your feet) in the artificial stream:
And of course, because this is NYC, after all, you can eat. Cold things were popular on the day we were there. Shave ice, for example.
Like a snow cone, but better. Those guys up there used a nifty tool to shave bits of ice off a giant block and then poured syrup on it. Here's a closer look:
If you'd rather have your ice in popsicle form, you can get a paleta (a Mexican frozen juice pop) instead:
Or you can get a cookie ice cream sandwich! Remember Chipwiches? These were like that only homemade, so naturally better (I'm assuming as I didn't actually try one, but the dozens of people chowing down seemed happy):
I'm assuming the sample sandwiches set up on top of the truck were fake, since they weren't melting and it was like 95 degrees up there.
The birds get to eat, too, and out of some very artistic feeders:
Speaking of food, there was a skating rink set up for the summer near the 30th street staircase up to the walkway, next to which was a food court consisting of a bar and a few food trucks. As you can see, it was a popular place:
In NYC, food trucks sell things like Korean tacos and dumplings (there was a pizza one too).
And if you want to work off all those ice pops, ice cream sandwiches and kimchi tacos, you can make a stop at the trapeze school!
Oh, New York, how I will miss you. I'm sure LA has some cool stuff too (which I will be hopefully discovering and documenting here), but there's still one thing NYC has that California does not:
Rock on, New York.