Trying to time your arrival in Washington, D.C. to coincide with the peak bloom of the cherry blossoms is no small task. Each year, thousands of these beautiful trees bloom for just a couple weeks, with “peak bloom” lasting as short as a couple days. In the weeks leading up to my trip, the cherry blossom forecasts swung wildly from the second week of April to the end of March, and finally, I just had to pick some dates and hope for the best. And the best, it turns out, was exactly what I got.
The day I left New York, the temperatures suddenly spiked to the mid 80s. As I arrived in Washington, D.C. it was obvious that the trees were just beginning to hit their stride. Temperatures hovered near 90, but the blossoms could not have been better timed. I was able to meet up with friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years, and I also got to do two ballerina shoots, rounding out my Pointe of View series. All in all, it was a wonderful three-day trip graced by many beautiful blooms.
The night I arrived, I went out for lobster rolls with my friend Ting and her boyfriend Bryan. I have known Ting since I was born but hadn’t seen her in at least seven years.
A stroll through Dupont Circle
In yet another case of magically good luck, I was supposed to meet up with some friends at chef Jose Andres’ restaurant Zaytinya, but when most of the group was delayed, we pushed back the reservation and I walked down the street with Mayline to Andres’ other restaurant, Jaleo, seeing if maybe we could get some drinks there while we waited. Instead, Mayline noticed the restaurant was shut down for an event, and who was standing in the front entrance? Jose Andres himself. Indeed.
After lurking for a while and snapping photos of the chef, we returned to Zaytinya and enjoyed a lovely dinner there.
Joe, Davin, Karen, Vince, me, and Mayline.
Topped off with some gelato from Pitango.
Wednesday lunch, a reunion with Richard who was my stand partner in orchestra at Duke. The pizzas from Matchbox were quite delicious.
For dinner, I had to check out a popular new ramen spot in D.C.– Toki Underground. It’s actually a Taiwanese American ramen place, and even offered such delights as Apple Sidra and Hey Song Sasparilla (both Taiwanese sodas). The ramen broth is meticulously layered in flavor. Personally, I thought it started off really strong and ended up quite salty, but it was still delightful. I’d go again, as long as I placed an early reservation again– the line gets notoriously long after 6pm.
Thursday morning, I started the day at 4am for a sunrise shoot at the Tidal Basin. And while I was the only one with a ballerina in tow, I was definitely not the only photographer with the idea of starting early, so we had an interesting time finding little spots that weren’t crowded with other people.
The brand new Martin Luther King memorial:
Since it was still just 9am, I wandered for a bit around the Smithsonians and the Library of Congress, seeing some of the popular sights.
What a beautiful time of year to be in Washington, D.C. Thank you to everyone who helped make this brief trip such a success!
Anna is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. Follow her on facebook or subscribe to her blog for the latest on her food, photography, and travel adventures. New York Part 1: Manhattan Part 2: Blue Hill at Stone BarnsPart 3: Coming soon