The Met Rooftop

Cornelia Parker PsychoBarn exhibit on the Met rooftop

Have you seen the new Metropolitan Museum of Art rooftop exhibit? Every year, they feature a different installation in their roof garden, and this year, British artist Cornelia Parker built a house.

Alex Williams and Joanna Goddard

Alex and I rode bikes up there last weekend. Here’s what it was like…

Cornelia Parker house on the Met rooftop

When approached to create an installation for the rooftop, Parker was “very daunted because the skyline is so amazing,” she says, so she wanted to create something architecturally incongruous.

Edward Hopper painting

While researching old structures, Parker came across Edward Hopper’s painting House by the Railroad (1925)…

Psycho house Alfred Hitchcock

Next she discovered that Alfred Hitchcock had also been inspired by that very painting when putting together the house for his 1960 thriller Psycho

Cornelia Parker house on the Metropolitan Museum of Art rooftop

So, Parker created a replica of the Psycho house, using the salvage of an abandoned barn in upstate New York. (When it rains, says Parker, it has a faint smell of manure.)

Cornelia Parker house on the Metropolitan Museum of Art rooftop

The Victorian house feels at once creepy and beautiful, as the sun streams around the faded porch columns. And, as Parker wanted, the scene definitely feels incongruous — a crumbling rural home above a venerable museum, flanked by lush greenery and sleek skyscrapers.

Joanna and Alex

Needless to say, the exhibit makes a really fun date night.

Psycho house on the Metropolitan Museum of Art rooftop

You can get drinks and chips, and watch the sun set. Also, since the rooftop closes 45 minutes earlier than the museum, you can stroll around inside the museum afterward. Always such a thrill.


It’s weirdly hard to find the hours on the Met’s site, so here you are: The rooftop cafe is open Sundays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Have you been already? Will you check it out? I’d highly recommend it!

P.S. Swings, fountains, and the Cup of Jo Guide to NYC.

(Photos by Rebecca Zeller, a photographer and friend who also wrote the post 10 Surprising Things About Parenting in Norway. Top photo courtesy of the Met. For those who asked, my jacket is from Madewell.)

  1. Wow, that exhibit is so cool! I will definitely visit during my next trip to the city. You and your husband look absolutely adorable together.

  2. that photo of you and alex looking at each other is just adorable! this is on my to-do for when my boyfriend visits me in nyc. this house is so creepy but eerily beautiful at the same time. very cool

  3. This is so beautiful, Thanks Joanna for bringing it to all the people who so obviously cannot visit the installation :)


  4. This looks like such a wonderful and unique exhibit! I studied architecture in University, so this is something that I would really enjoy! Thanks for sharing this, I had no idea!

  5. Kim says...

    You’re looking fresh & joyful, Jo.

  6. clay says...

    off topic, but what brand are alex’s frames? thanks!

  7. Such a sweet story. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love the Met rooftop and go up for a sundowner every time I visit NYC from Germany, which hopefully will happen again next summer (it depends on who is the next president. If Trump makes it, this will be a reason to not visit America for at least 4 years. An awful prospect!).

    What a fun idea that house is! I must read deeper into it. My daughter would love it – what a pity, that its only there for this season! Funny enough I recognized it as looking similar to the building from the famous Hopper painting! If I were an artist, i would plant a field of corn up there with a maze in it.

    You and your husband look beautiful together, so relaxed! On another not: it always makes me sad and angry to see cans of beer or other drinks sold at public places. Cans are the worst for the environment and I don´t see why they are not banned. Its such a pity that an institution like the Met doesn’t lead the way in showing alternative ways of treating that issue!

  9. Look at you and Alex in all your denim! Britney and Timberlake throwback!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha that’s what we were going for.

  10. Charlotte says...

    I went there almost by accident when I visited New York last October, and it was amazing! The weather was still really nice, so I kinda just sat there for an hour, looking at the NY skyline and enjoying the sun. I would definitely go back there, if I ever get to NY again (and then bring the boyfriend along for a fun date) :) Thumbs up!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s incredible!

  11. This looks so cool! I may be in NYC mid May, and will definitely have to suggest this when we start building an itinerary!

    – Dara //

  12. nicole b. says...

    Love this. And I love the way you’re looking at him. So cute, you two. xo

    • tara says...

      I thought so too, you can see the love…beautiful

  13. Casey says...

    This is awesome! I love that Alfred Hitchcock was inspired by the same painting.

  14. Suzie says...

    What a great date night! Thanks for the idea! Also, where did you find your cute jacket from?!

  15. love that picture of you two — and your top!

  16. We go to the Met every Saturday for a couple of hours. We”ve been doing it for 3 years and always, always find so many new things. It’s one of the best things about living in NY and it’s a great date with my husband. Now if only they would organize adult sleepovers!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so sweet, what a great idea.

  17. This makes me wish I was in NYC instead of London, what a great idea for an installation. I love how closely it resembles its inspiration too because, despite what the Psycho house was used for, it was quite nice to look at! Do you know if the rooms were built up inside, or is it literally just the exterior?

    Charlotte xx
    Fox Socks

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s the exterior — actually, the front and sides (not the back), which is similar to how hitchcock used the set of the house when filming the movie bc they were on a tight budget. here’s more about it, if you’re curious:

  18. Laura C says...

    You both are a lovely couple. I wish I could go on a date with my hubby.
    It is hard for us to go for a date, without the girls.
    I’ll take you as an inspiration.
    Thank you!

  19. This is so sweet, what a fun souvenir of your date night. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Christina R says...

    Great photos! You both look so blissfully happy.

  21. Very sweet. This is the way to enjoy NYC!

  22. Shannon says...

    Lovely photo of the two of you :)

  23. Laura says...

    What a good looking couple! That is a great photo of you both.

  24. Great picture of you and your husband- you both look so relaxed and happy :) We’re planning our first anniversary weekend in the city for early June and have been referencing your year of dates to plan it out, so thanks! We’ll add this to the list.

  25. That is so rad. Cute picture of you and Alex too.

  26. Alice Quin says...


  27. Kate says...

    The exhibit looks so cool but that photo of you two is just adorable!

  28. Leah says...

    stunning photo of you and alex. must be framed immediately. xo

    • Agree! It’s hard to get those candid, natural shots. You both look very in love/at ease.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      aww, thank you so much :)

  29. Sarah says...

    That’s the best photo of you and Alex ever!!

  30. I love this! What a quirky little idea, sounds a great date night!

    The Little Things | Louise x

  31. love that picture of you two.

  32. Danielle says...

    how fun!

  33. I’ve been wanting to see this! Not sure if anything will ever be better than Big Bambú, it was just so special.

  34. Olma says...

    How many blue shirts does Alex own? Can you take a photo of them all hanging in the wardrobe sometime? :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha i’ve never thought about it. in real life, he wears a lot of white and gray, too, but i guess blue is the biggest color in his closet :)

  35. Gillian says...

    I love that they have wine and beer a long side kettle chips. Such a good combo!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      nothing that a glass of wine and bag of kettle chips can’t fix. :)

  36. Tyler says...

    love this. wish i had the bucks to jet off to NYC for the weekend…. sigh

  37. Dreamy! I would love to live in NYC at some point. Also – You guys are adorable!!!!

  38. Sarah says...

    You look SO MUCH like your mom in these pictures! <3

  39. Kathy says...

    We went up there with some friends on Saturday evening and were actually a bit disappointed by the exhibit. The house is only a facade and actually the back is completely open — just some pipes/scaffolding. I had pictured a more finished product, as I’ve enjoyed other Met rooftop exhibits. I do wish I would’ve run into you and Alex, though, since I’m a longtime reader and fan.

  40. Sounds like a fun idea for a date! Didn’t know about the rooftop access. Thanks for sharing!

  41. jeannie says...

    Looks fantastic!

  42. This is so cool! The Met rooftop is one of my favorite places in the city and now it’s even better.

    PS The photos of you and Alex are adorable!


  43. As an art historian and art dealer, I look forward to seeing what the Met will do every summer on their rooftop. It’s always such a fun, leisurely way to enjoy the good weather and the art.

  44. Joanna, you have me so itching for a date night in NY now! We were just there a couple of months ago and checked out the new Whitney, but this looks wonderful! Is there anything better than a rooftop in the spring/summer? Regardless of what’s on it!


  45. Katie says...

    So cool! What a clever idea for a date night.

    Also, I love your jacket! Would you mind sharing where it’s from?

    • Jen says...

      I think it’s the Fleet jacket from Madewell…been eyeing it myself!

    • Bonnie says...

      It looks like the fleet jacket in the color ink by Madewell.

  46. Angie says...

    Going with a friend tomorrow. Great photos!

  47. Maureen says...

    Fyi- the Met’s “regular admission” is a “suggested donation”: the $ amount is in large font and “suggested admission” is in tiny font and most don’t (or can’t) see it. So if you don’t have much money but would like to bring your whole family to the met, just donate whatever you can. Art should be for everyone.

    • Yes to this!
      I am always telling people that and most of them don’t believe me or are “too embarrassed” not to pay full price. I’ve been going to the Met for almost 20 years and only paid the full suggested admission the first time I went; and no one has ever batted an eye about it!

    • Lauren E. says...

      I was always embarrassed to not pay the full suggested donation until I went with a friend in college who assured me, especially as locals and students, we should certainly not be paying the full amount. She proudly said to the ticket person, “We would like to donate two dollars!” I will never forget it, and have not paid full admission since!

    • Leah says...

      when i was a high school teacher in the bronx, i taught this very important lesson to my students!

    • Yes! Thanks for the reminder! We went a few years ago as cash-strapped grad students and paid what we felt was fair for our budget/income – something like $5-10 each. I love that they have this flexibility and make it accessible for people of any income, but I do wish they were more forthcoming with the info.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, you’re so right, great point. the suggested donation is $25, and we offered to pay $20 total, since we were planning to go straight to the roof, and the guy at the desk said, “are you sure? but the museum closes in 90 minutes, why don’t you just pay $10?” so they’re definitely used to people donating whatever price feels right at the moment.

  48. You both are such a cute couple…I love to see both of you hanging out in NYC. I would love to hang out with you guys one day and take your adorable pictures. I haven’t been to MET yet but its on my list because all the nice people in NYC are obsessed with it. I’m down south in Houston :(

  49. jilly says...

    lovely informal shot of you two lovebirds. you look so carefree!

  50. Amy says...

    That’s cool.
    Also, cute jacket- where is it from?
    And- Maybe one day Alex should do a brief guest post about his uniform- the button up shirt! ;) (But for real, it’s a good look. My husband wears the same 3 button up plaid shirts in rotation daily with jeans and a t-shirt underneath. That’s all he has!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha totally. and toby and anton now wear american apparel button-downs too, lol.

  51. Sophie says...

    That last photo of you and your husband? Must be framed.

  52. HJM says...

    Exhibit looks amazing, but those photos of you and your husband are so sweet!

  53. Miriam says...

    It looks magical, like a house floating in the treetops. It reminds me a little of the house from Up!

    Its about 12 years since I lived in New York for a summer. I remember the installation that year was an Andy Goldsworthy piece. I have very fond memories of hanging out on the roof of the Met watching the sunset & looking out at the skyline. I’m a little envious that you can just hop on your bike to go there any weekend you want! ;)

  54. Genevieve says...

    Don’t forget that the Met has pay-as-you-want admission (but you must pay something!) They ring you up for the full amount but then you can hand them whatever seems fair. Makes this a very affordable date night!

    • True and most people don’t know this :)