I learned, whilst at the MET, that when you pay admission to the MET you also get same-day admission to the Cloisters (online it says same-week, so either it’s changed or I read it wrong). This meant that (in my mind) I had to get my butt to the Cloisters right away!
My main problem was that the Cloisters was on the other side of Central Park. I had 2 options: 1) take the subway South, transfer to West-bound, then transfer to North-bound; or 2) walk across Central Park and only get on the subway once.
In the interest of simplicity I decided to walk across Central Park.
It wasn’t a particularly nice day – it was pretty damp and grey. I don’t remember seeing anything of particular interest until I neared Belvedere Castle. It was built as an elaborate decoration in 1869, before becoming the home of the New York Meteorological Observatory in 1919. The Observatory moved out in the 1960s, closing the castle once again – until 1983, when it was re-opened as a nature Observatory. Talk about ups and downs…
It was closed when I was there in January, so I only got to see the outside of it.
The name “Belvedere” is Italian for “beautiful view” or “panoramic view”, and you can walk around the castle, finding many places to admire the view.
Admittedly, Central Park isn’t the most photogenic on a damp, grey day in January. I bet that it’s a much nicer view in Spring, when the trees are in bloom.
From this area, you can also get a good view of the home of “Shakespeare in the Park”. It would be a year and a half before I got the chance to see a show on this stage.
There’s also a Shakespeare’s Garden nearby, but it’s pretty much the same as all the other Shakespeare’s Gardens. Wow… that sounded really jaded…
At least it was more exciting than the time my sister and I walked across the park and only saw a ballpark.