FT readers: The feel-good spaces in your city

© Courtesy of The Met

I’ve been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York at least a hundred times and there are so many places that are particularly important to me. Yet on every visit I am inevitably drawn to the Medieval Sculpture Hall – a high vaulted ceiling meant to evoke the interior of a Gothic cathedral, flanked by columns and arches on either side and topped by large windows that allow natural light to pour in. One piece is a choir screen 18th century from Spain, an exquisite work of gilt wrought iron, over 50 feet in height.

It’s the quietest and most contemplative place within the museum (except maybe during the Christmas season when it houses the Met Christmas tree) – it’s quieter, like a Zen garden.

Sometimes I’m convinced I can still smell the flickering candles that lit devotions centuries ago. Pondering the faces of the various Madonnas (often ecstatic, sometimes mourning), devout saints, self-satisfied bishops, and smug patrons, I gaze a millennium ago at “a world lit only by fire,” yet portrayed with a humanity so fresh to me I took a street picture with my cell phone today. Stepping back onto Fifth Avenue and stepping back into our discordant, disorderly millennium, I always feel better about having made the visit. (website; directions)

— Jim Brucculeri, Investor, New York City

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