Saturday, April 2, 2016

Still Life With Robin: Cherry Snowstorm and Other Events

Photo by Thomas S Mann
by Peggy Robin

As we’re inching past peak of the blossoms, you may want to haul yourself down to the Tidal Basin before the peak of the cherry blossom “snowstorm” – that snowflake-y shower of tiny white petals that will eventually leave the now spectacular trees a basic, boring green, and consequently of no particular interest to your out-of-town guests.

My tip for the trek: Ordinarily, I advise availing yourself of your own pedal power (that is, ride a bicycle) to get down to the Tidal Basin. If you own a bike, use it, or get yourself to your nearest Capital Bike Share station. But not this year! Now it’s so crowded that you would just end up having to walk your bike for blocks and blocks. You won’t be riding much once you get  south of Foggy Bottom. Driving, of course, is just an exercise in frustration. You may think you know the way to some little-known parking lot off you can slip into ….but you will spend so long frozen in place in your lane, you will abandon hope of arrival. (Well, maybe not today. I wrote the preceding paragraph late last night, and awoke to stormy skies. Nothing like a gloomy, gray day to thin the tourist herd!)

You can always take Metro. Well, maybe not if it’s not shut down due to safety problems. But if it's running, even at half-hour intervals, it’s probably your best bet. Another plausible means of transportation is the use of your own two feet…if you’re in shape to hoof it the whole way. It’s certainly more reliable than the Metro. It’s about 4 miles each way from Cleveland Park (starting at Connecticut and Ordway) to the Tidal Basin, according to Google maps.

Find all these suggestions too daunting? Too much hassle? How about a virtual tour instead?  Here are three good compilations:

Curbed DC:

WTOP’s viewers’ slideshow (over 100 in this bunch!)

As usual, the Post’s Capital Weather Gang has more than just readers’ photos. There are statistics, comparisons with previous years, and trivia:

If you do decide to brave the crowds to see the blossoms, don’t forget to bring your kite! Today is also the Smithsonian’s annual Kite Flying Festival – the 50th anniversary! It’s taking place on the grounds of the Washington Monument between 10am and 4:30 PM.  More info here:

You might also want to arm yourself with a pillow, because the first Saturday in April is always International Pillow Fight Day. The DC version of the event is held at Independence Ave & 14 St NW, starting at 3 PM. Foam pillows only! Going to be out of town? Out of the country? No problem – go to to find out where the nearest pillow fight to you will be held. They’re everywhere from Achill Island, Ireland to Zagreb, Croatia.


Still Life With Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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