All photos by the author
There are a handful of great places to seek out Washington’s cherry blossoms but my favorite by far is Kenwood. The neighborhood, just around the corner from downtown Bethesda, is the insider’s paradise for a stroll through the flowers. I’d reckon that a visit on a spring day like the one I took this week could fill any hardened urbanite with suburban dreams.
Every year, a few days after their more famous siblings at the Tidal Basin start to show off, Kenwood’s cherry blossoms explode into life. With only three hundred some odd homes the densely packed twelve hundred Yoshino cherry trees blanket the neighborhood in stunning fashion. Weekend days during peak bloom can generate a crowd, but it’s nothing compared to the tidal basin’s overwhelming swell, and this is one of the best reasons to go to Kenwood. I think the place is also aesthetically more spectacular. The cherry trees in Kenwood are inescapable and encompassing, lining nearly every street and dotting nearly every front yard. They blanket the place in color, and in the neighborhood’s most magical spots the branches on each side of the road meet above your head forming tunnels of pink and white.
Photo courtesy National Geographic
Want something a little different to make this year’s cherry blossom visit truly magnificent? How about a great samurai triple feature? The National Geographic Museum will be presenting three classics of Japanese cinema, all featuring the iconic Toshiro Mifune and presented in stunning 35mm! Presented in conjunction with the National Geographic Museum exhibition Samurai: The Warrior Transformed, the films will be introduced by Michael Jeck, veteran film programmer notable for commentary on Criterion DVD releases of Seven Samurai and Throne of Blood.
Admission to each film is $5, though you can see them for free with paid admission to the new samurai exhibit. (The offer is valid only for exhibit tickets purchased for Saturday, 3/31; there are a limited number of tickets available.) Warning—these films all have some pretty violent content. Film details after the jump. Continue reading
courtesy of Pianoman75
While the peak bloom time of the area cherry blossoms has passed, the Centennial Celebration hasn’t! Officially kicked off last night, the National Cherry Blossom Festival begins in earnest this week.
Here are some of the highlight events happening over the next several days; many exhibitions and events are ongoing through the spring.
courtesy of katieharbath
It’s cherry blossom time! This year is the Centennial anniversary of Japan’s gifting of the cherry trees to the U.S. and the National Cherry Blossom Festival has planned a whopping five weeks of events to celebrate. While the festival officially kicks off this coming Sunday, some events are already unfolding this week – not to mention we’re smack in the middle of the peak bloom time of the trees.
We’ll provide you a weekly listing of events here on WeLoveDC so you can keep up with all the fantastic offerings. There’s so much going on for the Centennial that we can promise there’s something for everyone! (And don’t forget to drop your photos into our Flickr pool!)
Tonight is the sold-out 2012 Pink Tie Party at the Mayflower Renaissance. Chefs José Andrés and Roy Yamaguchi, innovators in the culinary community, will host the evening, exemplifying the international collaboration and creativity at the heart of the Festival. The sixth annual fundraiser and kick-off to the Centennial Celebration and the “season of the blossoms” will feature area chefs’ spring-, cherry- and blossom-inspired cuisine and cocktails. An auction contributes to the Festival’s fundraising efforts offering everything from weekend getaways and yacht charters to concert, sporting, dining, and theater experiences and blossom- and Japanese-themed jewelry and apparel. Continue reading