For my 20th birthday this year, I visited New York City for the first time to see my favorite gothic churches, and as of the time I'm writing this, I've been back twice. The second time was for a Yoshiki concert in Carnegie Hall (I'm a big fan of Japanese metal too), though of course I also visited many pretty buildings. I wanted to talk about a few of my favorites. I have separate pages for all the pictures I took of them, so on this page I will be sharing my experiences visiting.
The first church in NYC I visited is St Thomas. I saw it on the way to St Patricks’s and decided to stop in. I hadn’t heard of it before, so I didn’t know what to expect. As soon as I stepped in, I was overwhelmed by the size and intricacy of the reredos. I was so in awe of the beauty that I started crying because I felt so lucky to be able to see something that obviously had so much love and thought put into it. After doing some research, I found out it was built by one of my favorite architects, Ralph Adams Cram, and the reredos designed by Bertram Goodhue, which makes it even more special to me. Click here to learn about the history and details of the church. Since my first visit, I’ve been back two more times. The most recent of which I brought my tripod, which hasn’t gotten much use. I was happy to have been able to practice with such a gorgeous subject. The reredos also had gotten me interested in learning about different saints because there are 60 saints and religious figures (St Jerome is my favorite).
St Patrick's Cathedral (photos coming soon!)
The second church I visited was St Patrick’s Cathedral. I had actually designed a shirt to wear when I visited because I was so excited. I also brought a lot of notes with me so I could see the interesting things most people miss when they go in. I obviously was very happy to go to a church that I've loved for so long, but it was incredibly busy and there was a service happening, so it was very strange for me to not be able to have a peaceful experience exploring and taking photos. I’m definitely used to empty churches in Pittsburgh… The church seems to be a tourist destination for most visitors. I’m very glad they have so many people coming in and donating to preserve her beauty. She’s another one I’ve visited a few times. 
The second time I visited St John the Divine, I went for the Crypt Crawl. Unfortunately it was a challenge to get good photos, but I put the history of the church and the crypt on this page (click here)! The church is massive. She has the largest rose window in the US, third in the world (Notre Dame has the larges at 42ft, and St John's is 40ft), and sixth largest church by area in the world. It was also (partially) designed by Ralph Adams Cram, and this is the church that started the drama with Frank Ferguson. AND there is drama with Cram and Louis Comfort Tiffany in this church! There are some art installations and tours, such as the vertical tours and Crypt Crawl. Although it was intended to be an episcopal church when built, they have Christmas celebrations as well as hanukkah celebrations. I think it’s great that it's turned into a building for everyone, regardless of religion. Even non-religious people can enjoy the art installations, concerts, and of course the beautiful architecture. 
I was so excited to see St. Michaels church because of the Tiffany windows. Unfortunately the hours online weren’t accurate, so I thought I wouldn’t be able to go in. Luckily they were ok with me taking some photos! I’m so grateful for that because although I’ve been to the “Tiffany museum” in Orlando, seeing an altar, reredos, credence, altar rail, pulpit, huge lancet windows, and many other decorations designed by his studio still in its original location was such an amazing experience. The windows are so interesting as they have bible-accurate depictions of angels. The composition is gorgeous, too. So unique… I spent a lot of time in here trying out my tripod and telephoto lens and I’m very satisfied with the result. I hope to come back again soon!

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