Category Archives: Events

Cloisters Transit and Driving Directions

Here are a few tips on getting to and from the Cloisters Medieval Festival:

Take the A Train

The best way to reach the festival is to take the “A” train to the 190th St. station, then follow the crowds up the elevators and into the park. (This is the way many of the other 50,000 attendees will arrive, so the elevator up from the subway to the park can be fairly crowded, but it only takes a few minutes.)

When you reach the park, walk through the main gate and continue down the road for another minute until you see an open field on your left; our encampment is in a cluster of tents on the top of that little hill.

Alternately, you can reach us via a less-trafficked walkway by entering the park just to the left of the main gate, and then taking the first right, as shown in the map below.

Park Entrances And Paths

The M4 Bus

You can take the Cloisters-bound M4 bus north to its last stop at the entrance to the park. (Accessibility note: unlike the subway, this route does not involve any stairs.)

Intercity Transit

For those coming from outside the city via Amtrak, NJ Transit, or regional bus, you can transfer to the New York City Subway’s “A” train at Penn Station or the Port Authority bus terminal; from MetroNorth or LIRR take the “S” Shuttle from Grand Central to Times Square to connect to the A train.

Carpool

If you know several people who are coming in separate vehicles, it may be worth the effort to meet up somewhere just outside the city where parking is easy and then car-pool in from there to reduce the parking hassle.

Driving Directions

The event organizers discourage driving to the site because traffic and parking will be challenging, but if you’re bringing a significant amount of gear, or if you have limited mobility and can not climb the multiple flights of stairs from the subway station, read on for details about getting to the site by car.

The closest street address to the park entrance is 799 Fort Washington Ave.

The place within the park where we will be set up is just south of the “New Leaf” restaurant at 1 Margaret Corbin Drive.

If you’re traveling to the site by car, you may find police barricades directing traffic away from the site, but you can tell them that you’re a performer working at the festival and they should allow you through.

The map attached below highlights some areas to give you a sense of where we’ll be within the overall site area, and where the parking and transit options are.

Location of SCA village during Fort Tyron Park Medieval Festival
Region of Cloisters Demo

Loading And Unloading

If you want to drive into the park to drop off gear, you must arrive before 9:30, as all vehicles must be cleared from the park by 10:00.

There is ALWAYS a traffic jam of entering vehicles. We are conveniently located just inside the south entrance, which eases our loading. Please take care not to block the roadway for others who are attempting to drive further into the park.

Alternately you can stop your car outside the park, unload on the sidewalk and have passengers walk your gear to the site while the driver stays with the car.

If you are delayed in transit, and arrive after 10:00, you will not be able to drive your car into the park. Instead, find parking and haul your stuff in manually. If you need unloading assistance, come to our demo location and ask for help.

Cars will be allowed back on site to load gear once the crowd clears, around 6:30 or 7:00. We must wait for the public to walk out before we start driving in. The festival ends at 6:00. It takes time for 60,000 people to exit the very large park.

Parking Passes

For a limited number of participants who contact us in advance, we might be able to arrange a pass for parking near the site. If you’re interested in a parking pass, contact the event steward ASAP: Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin, at 231060@members.eastkingdom.org or via phone/SMS to 917-502-7795, and provide your full name, a description of your car, and your license plate number.

You do NOT need a parking pass to drive your vehicle on & off site at the beginning and end of the day. The parking pass also does not guarantee you a spot. It simply allows you to look for parking in the cordoned-off parking area nearby. Folks with parking passes should arrive early to increase your chances of finding parking in this area.

Even with a parking pass, be prepared for delays getting on and off site, because it can take a long time to get vehicles into the parking area, you may have to park some distance away from our field, and when the event is over and you’re ready to leave you will find yourself in the middle of a miniature traffic jam that takes a while to clear.

Public Parking

If you don’t have a parking pass, or if the cordoned-off parking-pass area is full when you arrive, you may need to drive several blocks away to find free street parking, or use a paid parking lot. Street parking nearby fills up quickly, but if you are early you may be able to find something.

Below is a map of nearby parking garages. Garage #3 is not as useful as it appears in this aerial view, because to get into the park from there you need to walk up a very steep hill (almost a cliff); the other two are an easier walk.

Parking garages near Fort Tryon Park

If you’re not carrying a lot of gear and you don’t want to deal with this parking hassle, you might want to stop at some distance from the event and look for on-street parking then take a taxi the rest of the way, or find parking near a station of the “A” train and take the subway for a few minutes to reach the site.

Join Us At The Cloisters On September 30!

This Sunday, September 30th, from 11:30 to 6:00, the New York City chapter of the S.C.A. will once again be participating in The Medieval Festival at the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park, the largest event of its kind in our area.

The best way to reach the festival is to take the “A” train to the 190th St. station, then follow the crowds up the elevators and into the park. Walk through the gate and continue down the road for another minute until you see an open field on your left; our encampment is in a cluster of tents on the top of that little hill.

Here’s a summary of some of what we’ll be exhibiting to the public:

The Society of Creative Anachronism will host a medieval village on the south lawn re-creating many aspects of life from the end of classical antiquity through the renaissance.

Learn how you can join our society, master these skills, and immerse yourself in living history, so you can experience “the middle ages as they ought to have been.”

Fine Arts & Practical Crafts:
Visit throughout the day for displays of fine arts and practical crafts, including calligraphy and illumination, spinning and embroidery, glass and metalwork, weapons and armor.

Performance & Pageantry:
Get an up-close look at the music and dance, clothing and ceremony of the middle ages.

• 1:00 Musical Performances And Medieval Sing-Along
• 2:00 Historical World Fashion Show
• 3:00 Medieval and Renaissance Dance
• 4:00 Musical Performances
• 5:00 Crown Provincial Court

Fighting Arena:
Armored fighters protected by steel and leather fight brutal battles with heavy weapons, while fencers engage in rapier duels that are more elegant, but just as deadly.

• 11:30 Fighter Practice & Challenges
• 12:00 Fencing Tournament
• 1:00 Armored Combat Tournament
• 2:00 Fighter Practice & Challenges
• 3:00 Armored Combat Championship
• 4:00 Fencing Tournament

Youth Activities:
Discover the kinds of games kids would have played five hundred or a thousand years ago. Watch our trained child warriors fight to the (pretend) death, or let your own youngsters try some target practice with our foam-padded swords and spears.

Commons meeting and Evening in the Solar, September 2018

Please join us Thursday, September 13, for a Commons meeting and post-Pennsic classes solar.

The Commons will chiefly cover the Cloisters demo on Sep. 30.  If you have anything specific you’d like to put on the agenda, please reach out to your humble correspondent.

Following Commons, we’ll talk about things we learned & saw at Pennsic.  Bring any handouts or details you’d like to share!

We will be at the usual location, 255 W. 105th St., #21. Commons will begin at 7pm, and the schola will follow.

Cloisters demo THANK YOU!!

We had SO MANY VOLUNTEERS at our Cloisters demo at the Fort Tryon Park Medieval Festival the first weekend in October! I have been compiling this list ever since, and even then I know I am missing some people. Please forgive any omissions! You’ll notice I have also failed to record all the jobs people did — because everyone was hustling so hard! And our demo was HUGE. We collected almost 80?? new e-mail addresses from people interested in our activities.

Here are the 73!!! people who turned out and pitched in. Please correct any misspellings or titles — I checked the heraldic registry and the order of precedence where available, but those don’t necessarily list preferred spellings and have some omissions.

Lord Alexander MacLachlan, ably ran our fencing tournaments.
Lady Beatrice della Rocca, managed the children’s table, fencing mistress of lists, setup & takedown.
Lord Erich Guter Muth, our minister of lists for armored combat, herald for the fashion show, fencer, setup & takedown.
Hlæfdige Alienor Salton, who walked in the fashion show & watched in amazement as everyone did such a fabulous job!
Bóaire Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin, youth combat marshal.
Baron Yehuda ben Moshe, wrangler of youths combatant.
Alaxandair Mórda mac Matha, youth fighter.
Kenneth the Red, youth fighter.
Odin, youth fighter.
Leo, youth fighter.
Samuel, youth fighter.
Galen, youth fighter.
Callum, youth fighter.
Lady Angelica di Nova Lipa, bearer of burdens, bringer of infrastructure, chatelaine, children’s table.
Avran of Northpass, armored fighter.
Lord Wilhelm of Northpass, dance master.
Lady Conandil ingen Donngaile, dance mistress.
Benjamin, teacher of period games, dancer.
Gabriel, dancer.
Lord Conor Ó Ceallaigh
Lord Brandr nefsbrjotr Aronsson, blacksmith.
Randvé Littill Hamar, blacksmith’s able assistant.
Lady Erlan skáld í Norðrlandi, lampworker.
Lady Godiva de la Mer, fashion show, hats!
Mistress Judith the Uncertain, masks, fashion show.
Lady Magdelena Caminante, chatelaine.
Lady Marion of York, fencer.
Lord Mongu Chinua, pointy weapons, herald for the provincial court.
Lord Miyamoto Jirou Tadayoshi, called Daishi, armored fighter.
Lord Rónán fitz Robert, fighter.
Lady Sáline baen Rónán fitz Robert, scribal demo.
Mistress Sofya Gianetta di Trieste, chatelaine, fashion show.
Lord Ervald La Coudre Edwardson the Optimistic, armored combat marshal in charge.
Count Jarl Valgard Stonecleaver, armored combat.
Caitlin of Østgarðr, children’s table, bearer of burdens, fast as lightning, setup & takedown.
Martin Harding
Lady Anneke Valmarsdotter, wire ring making teacher, fashion show.
Il-Kha’an Suuder Saran, pointy things, viceroy.
Il-Khatun Lada Monguligin, scribal demo, vicereine.
Lord Þórfinn Hróðgeirsson, spinning teacher, fashion show.
Jean de la Rue, bearer of burdens, setup & takedown.
Lord Seamus of Arindale, fighter.
Baroness Sorcha of Stonegrave, chatelaine.
Baroness Suzanne Neuber de Londres, chatelaine.
Lady Sorcha de Barry of Coill Tuar, chatelaine.
Lady Juliana le Chaluner of An Dubhaigeainn, chatelaine.
Lady Nyfain merch Coel of Rusted Woodlands, chatelaine.
Lady Aislinn of An Dubhaigeainn, chatelaine.
Stephanie of Østgarðr
Lord Reuben the Curious
Lady Branimira of the Isles, embroidery, taker of names, setup & takedown.
Lord Özurr the Bootgiver, armored fighter.
Lady Elizabeth nic Ian merchenting
Alysaundre Sherre de Saford
Gawain Enlil Mackay, fighter.
Luna Vega
Lord Muiredach of Ostgardr
Thomas Trueheart
Lady Zippora DuBois of Buckland Cross
Stanislaus Polanski of Buckland Cross
Michelle of Brokenbridge
Jade of Settmour Swamp
Kate Regina
Anne, setup & takedown.
Samantha Rosas
Bella of Carillion
Franklin of Gryphonwald
Bayan Hanover
Padraig of Midland Vale
Marta of Midland Vale
Frank Ehlers
Sarah McGill
Victoria, setup & takedown.

Here was our layout on the day — you can see what an enormous effort was required to meet & greet, entertain & educate the near-constant stream of visitors with our armored combat, fencing, youth combat, lampworking, blacksmithing, pointy weapons, scribal, dancing, fashion, hats, embroidery, masks, games, children’s activities (catapult, brass rubbings,…), wire ring making, spinning and MORE!

Cloister demo 2017 layout
Final layout for Cloisters demo 2017

Schola in the Solar

When: Saturday, October 28th, 10am – 5pm.
Where: 255 W. 105th St. (our usual Evening in the Solar location).
What: Arts & Sciences classes (schedule below).
Who: You!! (Up to 30 attendees, please RSVP to confirm space.)

Come spend a pleasant Saturday afternoon immersed in arts & sciences classes in a gracious Upper West Side living room. Gate opens at 9:15!

There will be a dayboard and lunch interval with meats, soups, salads, and savory tarts, including vegetarian options (menu below).  All ingredients will be labeled. Please alert the autocrat if you have other food needs.

There is no site fee.  We will be soliciting an OPTIONAL donation to cover food costs. There is no deadline to reserve, however you MUST RSVP by emailing the autocrat, Lady Godiva de la Mer, at moas@whytwhey.eastkingdom.org.  Site space is limited to 30 people.

Changing rooms will be available. Newcomers may borrow “Gold Key” loaner garb for the day by advance arrangement with the chatelaine, Lady Angelica di Nova Lipa, at chatelaine@whytwhey.eastkingdom.org.

Class Schedule

10:00 Flat Gilding
(2 hours)
Heraldic Registration Basics
11:00 Stitch’n’Fix
12:00 Lunch setup 3:1 Twill Tablet Weaving
1:00 — LUNCH —
2:00 Wire Rings Basic Knitting
3:00 Mead Florentine Flame Stitch
4:00 Armorial Display Slung
10-5 Weaving Practicum (on-going)

Class Descriptions

Our eleven classes will cover a broad spectrum of arts & sciences.

Illumination

Flat Gilding
In this class will be taught both modern and period methods, materials and techniques for flat gilding. We will try various gilding bases on a variety of surfaces with the goal of using this technique on SCA scrolls. Please bring a pencil, eraser, ruler and a small round brush. There is a $5 material fee. 10 kits will be available.
Instructor: Il-Khatun Lada Monguligin
Duration: 2 hours

Needle Work

Basic Knitting
Learn to knit, or get a refresher course in the basics. Kits will be provided.
Instructor: Caitlin
Duration: 1 hour

Florentine Flame Stitch: Before & Beyond…
Needlework class focusing on the Florentine Flame Stitch, its history and creation. Do you like to color? Then come and learn how to color with yarn and MAKE A THING! A tiny pin cushion will be created using the flame stitch or its derivatives. No prior needlework experience necessary. Supplies & materials will be provided.
Instructor: Lady Godiva de la Mer
Duration: 1 hour

“Stitch n’ Fix” workshop (open to ALL LEVELS)
This workshop is designed to bring crafters of ALL LEVELS and skills together in an effort to problem solve on any projects that are giving them grief. Participants are encouraged to bring any projects on their list, either a “UFO” (Un-Finished-Project), a “PHD” (Project-Half-Done) or their “DOS” (Darn Overs). Printed references for knitting, sewing and crocheting will also be available for perusing.
Instructor: Caitlin
Duration: 1 hour

Brewing

Introduction to Mead
A brief survey of the history of mead and its use in period, and a hands-on demonstration of the production of a basic mead.
Instructor: Lord Þórfinn Hróðgeirsson
Duration: 1 hour

Cording

Slung: 4 Strand Plaiting with Bobbins
Learn how to make cord using 4 strand plaiting with bobbins (aka, slung, or Viking whip-cording). Teaching both 2-person and solo techniques. Will include comparisons with cords produced via lucet, tubular tablet weaving & finger loop braiding – aforementioned techniques can be demonstrated to attendees on request.
Instructor: Hlæfdige Alienor Salton
Duration: 1 hour

Weaving

3:1 Twill Tablet Weaving
Learn how to make patterns with a tablet weaving technique common to Viking-era finds. Experience with tablet weaving strongly encouraged.
Instructor: Lord Þórfinn Hróðgeirsson
Duration: 1 hour

Weaving Practicum
A hands-on survey of common weaving devices, with hands-on instruction in inkle, framed rigid heddle and 8-shaft table loom. Make your own rigid heddles to take home. Material fee donations accepted, to be split between fencing loaner gear and the Østgarðr coronet fund.
Instructor: Lady Angelica Di Nova Lipa
Duration: Ongoing: drop-in when equipment is available, weave as long as you like

Metalwork

Creating Simple Wire Rings
Simple wire rings are easy to make and common in period, especially early period. I’ll be teaching a few different designs, and providing the materials (copper wire) and tools. Most designs can be made with just a large dowel and your fingers.
Instructor: Anneke Valmarsdotter
Duration: 1 hour

Heraldry

Heraldic Registration Basics (this is a GREAT class for NEWCOMERS)
Finding an historically-accurate name & unique coat of arms can be a fun part of getting involved in the SCA. Get an overview of the jargon, the registration process and timeline. Learn a few visual elements that match your persona’s time and place, then talk about how to work with a herald (locally or on Facebook) to nail down the details and move forward with a submission.
Instructor: Bóaire Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin
Duration: 1 hour

Armorial Display Options
So, you’ve registered a device, but do you ever show it off? Review different places your arms and badges can be displayed (banners, armor, clothing, favors, camp fabrics, other possessions) and multiple ways of making them (sewing, painting, printing, etc.) then brainstorm how you will make your armory more visible.
Instructor: Bóaire Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin
Duration: 1 hour

Menu

Bigos (Polish Hunter’s Stew)
Egg Noodles
Kabanosy (Pork Smoked Sausage)
Roast Chicken
Vegetable Soup
Ember Day Tarte
Tarte of Greens
Apple & Onion Salad
Green Salad
Assorted Cheeses & Bread
Apples & Apple Pie

Beverages
Water; Apple Cider; Mulled Red Wine

Cloisters Event Schedule

Here’s an overview of just some of the activities available at the SCA encampment at the Fort Tryon Medieval Festival on October 1, 2017:

Click to enlarge.

Arts & Sciences: Fine art exhibits and hands-on crafts demonstrations will continue throughout the day.

Fencing: Tournaments at 12:00 and 3:00.

Armored Combat: Tournaments at 1:00 and 4:00

Youth Combat: Children fighting to the death at 1:00 and 3:00; alternating with pell practice open to younger members of the public.

Fashion Show: A thousand years of clothing at 2:00.

Chorus: Listen, learn and participate at 3:00.

Provincial Court: The viceroy and vicereine of the Crown Province of Østgarđr will introduce their next champion of armored combat at 5:00.

 

Directions to Cloisters demo

Getting To & From The Cloisters Demo

Take the A Train

The easiest way to get to the Cloisters demo, mundanely known as the Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park, is to take the subway.

The 190th St. Station on the “A” train sits immediately outside of Fort Tryon Park, and this is the way most of our participants arrive. (It’s also the way many of the other 50,000 attendees will arrive, so the elevator up from the subway to the park can be fairly crowded, but that only takes a few minutes.)

For those coming from outside the city via Amtrak, NJ Transit, or regional bus, you can board the A train at Penn Station or the Port Authority bus terminal; from MetroNorth or LIRR take the Shuttle from Grand Central to Times Square to connect to the A train.

Driving & Parking

Obviously the train is not going to make sense for folks who are lugging lots of gear or heavy equipment, and this particular train station is not wheelchair-accessible, so in those cases driving to the site is worth the hassle.

We’re able to wrangle a limited number of parking passes from the event organizers, but be prepared for delays getting on and off site, because it can take a long time to get vehicles into the parking area, you may have to park some distance away from our field, and when the event is over and you’re ready to leave you will find yourself in the middle of a miniature traffic jam that takes a while to clear.

If you need a parking pass, you must contact the event steward (Alienor Salton) in advance so we can try to reserve you a pass. If you don’t have a parking pass, you will need to find on-street parking some distance away from the event and then walk back to the site.

If you’re driving from outside the city, you might want to stop at some distance from the event and look for on-street parking (or pay $25 or more for a parking lot) and then take the city subway for a few minutes to reach the site. If you know several people who are coming in separate vehicles, it may be worth the effort to meet up somewhere just outside the city where parking is easy and then car-pool in from there to reduce the parking hassle.

Location

The closest street address to the park entrance is 799 Fort Washington Ave:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/799+Fort+Washington+Ave,+New+York,+NY+10040/

The place within the park where we will be set up is just south of the “New Leaf” restaurant:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/1+Margaret+Corbin+Drive,+New+York,+NY+10040/

The map attached below highlights some spots on this map to give you a sense of where we’ll be within the overall site area, and where the parking and transit options are.

The event attendee booklet includes a map showing the various areas within the park, drawn with East at the top of the page and the entrance to the event on the right — we’re the “South Lawn Village,” shown in gold, the first large open space after coming through the front gate.

http://www.whidc.org/festival/pdf/2012_Map.pdf

Event Arrival & Departure Schedule

The event officially begins at 11:30, but if you are driving gear on to the site, you should arrive before 9:30.
• 8:30 Site opens for setup, and vehicles may be driven in through main site entrance to deliver materials.
• 9:00 We unload equipment and begin setting up tents and preparing for the event.
• 10:00 All vehicles must be cleared from the park to the parking area or further away.
• 11:00 Site should be ready as members of the public sometimes start trickling in early.

The event ends at 6:00 at which point we will begin packing up:
• 6:00 We begin breaking down tents and putting things away.
• 6:30 or 7:00 Vehicles are allowed back into the park to pick up equipment once the public has dispersed.
• 8:30 Everyone must be off site by the time the park closes for the night.

Location of SCA village during Fort Tyron Park Medieval Festival
Layout of Fort Tryon Park for Cloisters demo