On Allyn’s Adventures In New York

Yesterday, being a lovely spring day with nothing to do at the office, I took a vacation day and went to New York City.


Because I wanted to go to The Cloisters to see the Lewis Chessmen.

However, when I planned my trip I neglected to look online to see when The Cloisters was open. Imagine my surprise when, after taking the Megabus, then suffering the indignity of the New York subway system, I reached the building, only to discover that, no, The Cloisters is not open on Mondays.

What kind of museum isn’t open on a Monday? :-/

I had no Plan B, though. This was, frankly, all I’d come to New York to see and do. I figured I would spend two or three hours at The Cloisters (medieval European history being a particular interest of mine), buy a book on the Lewis Chessmen at the museum’s gift shop and read it while sitting in a lovely spot along the Hudson, make my way back downtown to catch the bus back to Baltimore, and call it a day.

Instead, I found myself with six hours to fill, and nothing to fill it with. So I wandered aimlessly.

The only thing I knew to do was to find Strawberry Fields, the part of Central Park dedicated to John Lennon. However, Google Maps told me that Strawberry Fields was not in Central Park (as I believed it was), and so, following its directions I went off into the city. Realizing that the Googles are not infalliable, I then wandered the concrete canyons, down Madison Avenue and then back up Park Avenue, taking pictures here and there. I especially liked the incongruity of churches nestled between the skyscrapers.

I made it back to Central Park, found Strawberry Fields, and soaked in nature for a little while.

Then I wandered back in the direction of where I needed to pick up the bus. I ran into my friend Terri Osborne, and en route to her subway station she showed me a few touristy places that, if I ever come back to New York, I should probably visit. Also, a LEGO store.

And then I went home.

It may not sound like the most exciting day in the world, but it was fun. I didn’t have any place I needed to be. I didn’t have any responsibilities. I could just be. And being is a good thing. 🙂

Some pictures:

The Cloisters:


A picture taken in the general direction of midtown and downtown from The Cloisters:


For people who work down thataway that I didn’t get to see, I was waving in your direction. 🙂

The Hudson River:


The New York City Subway Map, on the A Train. What struck me about this was how much Manhattan resembles a flaccid penis with Brooklyn is its testicles. This explained so much of world history. No wonder Wall Street led the world to the brink of financial ruin a few years ago; the financiers of the world are overcompensating for the psychological impotence of living and working on a limp dick.


Remeber the Maine!

I haven’t smelled so much horse manure since I moved away from Amish country a decade ago:


A church nestled among skyscrapers:


The plaque at Strawberry Fields:


The Imagine Mosaic:


The Dakota Building:


One final thought on my New York outing.

I’ve not seen so many Yankees caps since I moved away from Raleigh. This won’t make sense to anyone who doesn’t know the Raleigh area, particularly how Cary, the place where I worked, is jokingly called the “Containment Area for Relocated Yankees.” 😆

I, of course, was wearing my battered and faded St. Patrick’s Day Cubs hat. 😉

I’m slightly sunburned, I’m malnourished, and I think I lost half an inch off my waistline. Nevertheless, I had fun, and I didn’t think about work once. Which is how days out and away from the office should be. 🙂

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

4 thoughts on “On Allyn’s Adventures In New York

  1. Maybe it’s my proximity to DC coming through, Keith, but I’m not used to museums closing up shop on Mondays at all. *shrug*

    I’ve fired off an angry letter. It wasn’t just me that was dusappointed. There were several people who tried the door in the span of ten minutes, including an elderly woman on crutches.

  2. An angry letter? Seriously?

    Speaking as someone who’s been a museum hound all of his life, many museums are in fact closed on Mondays. It’s a standard practice. Being surprised at that to me is like being surprised that there’s no theatre on Mondays. And the Cloisters has been closed virtually every Monday since it opened in the 1930s. Mondays are when a lot of museums have special events, press screenings of exhibits (when I was the arts editor for my college paper, I attended a bunch of art openings on Monday), and collection maintenance.

    Yes, the Smithsonian and its affiliated museums are open all the time, but not all museums have that affiliation, even in D.C. The African-American Civil War Memorial & Museum, the Textile Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Art Museum of the Americas, the Heurich House Museum, the Hillwood Museum, are all closed on Mondays. (The Science Museum is closed on Tuesdays…)

    Finally, in this day and age, there’s no excuse for not knowing when a museum is open. It takes less than 15 seconds to type “cloisters hours” into Google and be presented with a link that puts you on the page that lists your hours.

  3. Yes, an angry letter. I also asked them to refund me the money I spent on bus fare to go to New York to see their exhibition, not that I expect them to do anything except laugh at the letter.

    For the rest, I appreciate your pedantic exhaustiveness; you rival Christopher Bennett in that regard. Thank you so much for the condescension, Keith. I feel the love.

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