As my first spring in D.C. I had to go out to the Tidal Basin to check out the cherry blossoms!
The cherry blossoms represented, for me, something I had not yet experienced in the District and I was so excited for them to arrive. At Ohio University, we had a cherry blossom festival of our own so I thought it would be much of the same … but I was wrong.
Leading up to my cherry blossom pop, I did a little second-hand research … While riding the metro, I got bored and noticed a Washington Post on the floor of the car, so I picked it up and to my excitement it was the history of the cherry blossoms and the Japanese ambassador that brought them over! Turns out the first planting happened on March 27, 1912 (the same year the Titanic sunk) with first lady Helen Taft breaking ground with her tiny shovel. But this happy moment in time was just as fleeting for the Japanese ambassador, Sutemi Chinda, as the cherry blossoms themselves as their lives were plagued by tragedy. In short, the family lost a son to an explosion pre-cherry blossom festival and another later to suicide. So now that I was intrigued by the bittersweet history of the festival, I was ready to experience them.
My friend, Anna Marie, and myself decided Thursday afternoon was the perfect time for our visit. We didn’t head over to the Tidal Basin, or as my friend calls it “that water by the monuments” until sunset, but it was gorgeous! Even though it was the first peek day of blossoming, the crowds were not horrendous and there were pockets of picnics all over, creating a quaint and romantic setting for the photo shoot that ensued.
Of course we took advantage of the macro settings on our commercial point-and-shoots, trying to capture the essence of the blossoms and the moment, but really we just wanted to show off pictures of up-close blossoms with blurred monument backgrounds. We also took “traditional” flowerface shots, a phrase Anna Marie coined for taking coy portraits of the blossoms near your face … usually fashioning them like an accessory, of course I couldn’t take this seriously.
We also got yelled at by an old man because Anna Marie was up in the cherry blossom tree trying to get a closer view. The man yelled up to her, “You can’t climb that, it’s a national monument!” He was the only rude person we ran into.
After our photo shoot was over, we just took in all of the beauty, oggling at the sheer mass of blossoms. That was the difference between OU’s trees and DC’s. I’m not sure just how many trees line the basin, but they are full of heavy blossoms and the view is just breathtaking; I was so upset that I couldn’t capture it all on my camera.
When the sun went down, we followed the herd away from the Basin as we excitedly shared our photos with each other and bragged about which one we’d use as our new Facebook photo. Then Anna Marie exclaimed, “I’m going back tomorrow,” and she did.