Image via The Met
If checking out The Cloisters has long been on your to-do list, there’s no better time to head north than for the museum’s MetFridays. On Friday, August 11th (that’s tomorrow!) and Friday, August 25th, The Met will host two hours of live 1930s jazz at sunset in their stunning medieval gardens. Performances will feature trumpeter Alex Nguyen, winner of the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition, and his quartet as they perform the same ditties that topped the charts when the museum was first constructed between 1934 and 1939.
For those unfamiliar with The Met Cloisters (or in need a refresher) the museum is made up of four cloisters (or covered walkways often attached to religious structures) that were originally sourced from France and reconstructed on a four-acre site in Washington Heights. The cloisters were rebuilt amongst existing medieval gardens and adjoined to several chapels and rooms that were also previously shipped in from Europe.
Notably, the museum is a curious mix of architectural styles that range from the Romanesque to the Gothic, Fuentidueña, and Spanish. Architect Charles Collens, who oversaw the layout of the cloisters, wasn’t interested in adhering to one type of architecture but rather evoking the look and feel of life in a medieval European monastery.
The gardens themselves were planted as they would have been if it were medieval times with more than 250 different rare plants, herbs, flowers, and trees. The collection being grown is considered one of the world’s most important and valuable given its level of specialization. In fact, The Met has hired a staff of horticulturalists who are trained historians of medieval gardening techniques.
To enjoy the spectacular gardens while listening to live jazz, hit up one of the last two summer performances being held Friday, August 11th, and Friday, August 25th, from 5:30-6:30pm. The concerts are free with museum admission.
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Neighborhoods : washington heights