The Met Cloisters and Fort Trion Park: not at all NYC hidden gems. Definitely don’t go there…

My boyfriend has been hyping up the Met Cloisters to me for maybe two years now, and because of the pandemic, we only now had the opportunity to visit. Situated atop a hill in Washington Heights, the Cloisters is as close as you can get to visiting a Medieval European castle without booking a flight to Spain. It’s much smaller than the Met’s main campus, but that’s one of the things I love about it: its manageable size means you can spend an hour at the museum and leave without feeling like you missed anything. If you like imposing architecture, intricate stained glass, really old stuff, and elaborate paintings of monsters from the Book of Revelations, then you’ll feel the $25 ticket is well worth it (yes, it’s $25 if you’re not a New York resident).

After you’re done exploring the Met Cloisters, hike up to Fort Trion Park for stunning views of the Hudson. If you look in the right direction, you’ll also get another, less expensive look at the Cloisters.

What did I love about these locations? That they weren’t crowded at all. I didn’t have to wait in any lines. Nobody tried to sell me a Statue of Liberty keychain. I could take photos of cherry blossoms in peace (unlike in DC at the Tidal Basin). In other words, they’re perfect for a little bit of personal photography! That being said, if anyone wants me to drive up from Baltimore to take their portraits in Fort Trion Park, I happily will…

Taking Portraits in Baltimore’s Graffiti Alley

Graffiti Alley, as far as I’m aware, is the only block in Baltimore, MD where it’s legal to spray paint buildings. Local artists took advantage and created one of the best portrait backdrops in the city.

Located in Station North, an eclectic arts district that’s home to indie movie theaters, great restaurants, and the Maryland Institute College of Art, Graffiti Alley is easy to access via I-83 or Charles and St. Paul’s Streets. (Hint: it’s right across the street from Popeye’s.) Due to the location’s rising popularity, you’ll likely find other people there taking photos. We went on a weekday afternoon, and even then there were people around. Still, though, it wasn’t crowded, and the tall walls made it easy to avoid the harsh midday sun. What else could you ask for from a portrait spot?

Interested in having YOUR portraits taken in Graffiti Alley? Let’s set up a photo shoot!