Friday was THE perfect day. It was 82º with virtually no humidity. I went to The General Theological Seminary on 21st Street—which has all the architectural charm of a 19th century insane asylum—and rang the bell at their gate. The Seminary was founded in 1817, with Clement Clarke Moore (of The Night Before Christmas fame) donating the land (he was the owner of Chelsea, a farm whose boundaries are now marked by 14th St., 23rd St., 6th Ave. and the Hudson River. I live at the NE boundary of Chelsea). The Close was originally an apple orchard, although no traces of that remain. Its trees are old, large and welcoming, and it is beautifully maintained.
When I was rung in, I went to the office and registered. They had free coffee and pastries, so I took my lunch into the Close, the large park hidden from all streets that is enclosed by the Seminary dormitories, classrooms and chapel.
The day included a free copy of The Canterbury Tales (for about an hour, until someone reclaimed it); a free (private!) lute concert in the chapel; and countless fragrances (including two kinds of lilacs), heralding spring.
It is “my” secret garden: a very well-kept secret in the heart of New York. The following 30 images take you through my day: