Ah yes. The long-awaited cherry blossoms. Well, maybe not that long-awaited, since they peaked early this year due to freakishly amazing weather. Regardless, if there was anything that I knew I needed to experience in Washington that I couldn’t get in New York, it was a walk around the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms. I was waiting for my first cherry blossom experience in DC and I was not disappointed.
In fact, I saw them twice. Once in the afternoon and once at night.
You never forget that first time.
I knew that the trees were going to bloom earlier than expected. But wouldn’t you know I had to go up to New York for a few days in the middle of the week. I had a very small window of opportunity and like Rizzo from Grease, I knew that I had to get my kicks while the trees were still young enough to give them. I spent all of Monday trying to get my work done so I could get to the Tidal Basin.
I walked from Capitol Hill. It was beautiful outside.
Not even the hordes of tourists could turn me off.
When I reached the Basin, my first thought was “flowers, huh? BFD.” After I hushed the cynical New Yorker in me, I turned my attention to taking it in.
And taking a bunch of pictures.
In fact, with each picture I took, I kind of liked the cherry blossoms even more. I began looking for ways to take artsy shots of the Jefferson memorial through the blossoms.
Then I got a little Type-A about it, so I stopped.
After making my way to the memorial, I just sat for a while. I’d like to say I people watched, but I was too focused on looking at the trees. They’re stunning from far away, but even more so up close. Something about the trees and the water just makes you stop what you’re doing and pay attention. I was sad that I had to leave and meet up with my friends for happy hour.
But I had another chance to come back, this time at night a few days later and also with a group. The trees are still beautiful at night, but it was clear that the blossoms were starting to peak. There were more tourists at night and my group kept getting split up. Oh and I took more pictures of the Jefferson memorial through the blossoms.
I’ve always loved looking at the memorials at night. Not only are they less crowded, but the moonlight makes them glow. That’s the DC that should inspire patriotism and love for this country. Combining that view with the cherry blossoms was breathtaking.
And it made me realize a major difference between DC and New York.
New York is a gorgeous city. Its beauty is overwhelming and terrifying and stunning. New York’s beauty is intimidating. New York is an aloof supermodel.
DC is a pretty city. Its beauty is charming and graceful and subtle. DC’s beauty sets you at ease. DC is the girl next door. But occasionally, like the cherry blossoms and the moon and the memorials at night, she dresses up for you.