The Gift of Blossoms: 2023
Happy 5th Cherry Blossom-versary to meeeee!! Five years ago I made a promise to myself to make time to be here EVERY year n not even the covid year stopped me-look at gawd!! This is the consistency u heaux be looking for in a man lol.
Being as tho, I'm almost a pro lol...I got some tips n tricks I've learned throughout the years to maximize efforts n time when going to take part in what many people fly over to flock to downtown.
Let me say....as a Washingtonian (by way of PG), I absolutely HATE driving in DC n I've had this emotion since the days of my Lerner's so it just won't change. If nothing else, it gets worse lol. With that being said, pack ur patience if nothing else. I keep an eye out on the Cherry Blossom watch via the news around Feb to gauge when or if I'll take off to see them.
This year the peak was the week of March 20th. Becuz I know how popular the event is, I do NOT want to go anytime from Fri-Sun in order to comfortably snap pics n avoid crowds (and traffic). I went earlier in the week before the lunch rush (about 10am) n was able to get parking by the hair on my chin.
I didn't walk a full round of the Tidal Basin n stayed close to where I could remember I parked. I wanted to cap my time at no more than 2 hrs becuz the weather was nice n I anticipated it to get more people-y after noon (lunch rush) n didn't wanna get mixed up leaving too late to get home with rush hour (again, traffic).
I started off on the National Mall near the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial which was new to me! It was quite interesting to read some history on with the era of economic depression but I had to stay the course n I know me...I can take pics all day if I let time get away from me.
The crowds wasn't too bad-initially. Unlike previous years, the weather was cooperating so I was out on the early shift with other photographers n joggers sprinkled with tourists. Cherry Blossom etiquette is...when u come across a good spot for pics (typically anything in view of the Jefferson n monument along the waters) u wait in line. U must also act fast. The pace of the crowd that is moving back n forth doesn't allot u time to perfect ur poses. Snap n go NOT snap n review to snap again!
I started walkin towards the MLK memorial but seen the party was there n I passed lol. I'm still not down with crowded-ness anywhere (hence being an early bird) so I turned around n was going to make my way towards the Jefferson Memorial but the "closer" I got it seemed to move further away from me lol. At this time, it's flowing into the lunch rush so more people were comin out n droves. I decided to keep it along the strip where I started.
I was done a little before 1pm n the streets were on lock! The street I parked on became blocked off on one end so I was able to skidaddle but no matter the exit there was traffic from people coming IN. There was no "backway" to avoid this but luckily I was leaving OUT.
Goal for 2024 Blossoms is to see Stumpy. I will need to do a full lap which I don't think I've done since starting the tradition. Stumpy may not be around too much longer given it's position on the Tidal Basin which is sinking on the south bank as the water rises.
Cheers to 5 years of being able to partake in such a beautiful spectacle. It's something I've grown into looking forward to after hibernation in Winter. Although there's been highs n lows throughout these last few years, I'm grateful for the ability to have the time n vision to see them up close n personal. Everyone should definitely do this at least once, for me...I'm looking forward to 6 in 2024 :D