Photograph courtesy of the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck.
Happy Peak Bloom!
Enjoy a magical time in the greatest city and stay dry this weekend.
Please note that sections of Rock Creek Park are closed due to an archaeological study of a Black cemetery being conducted this weekend—there is no alternative route between Calvert and P streets, NW.
So, What Should You Do ?
For your convenience, this newsletter includes emojis to help you during these unprecedented times:
- The 🛋 indicates an event is happening in-person inside.
- The 🌲 indicates an event is happening in-person outside.
- The 💻 indicates an event is happening virtually.
- And lastly, the 🆓 indicates an event is free.
- The 💉 indicates an event requires proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test.
Your Last-Minute Weekend Plans
1. A lot of people will be on the National Mall Saturday. 🌸 It’s peak bloom so prepare yourself for crowds if you head to the Tidal Basin and especially road closures on Saturday for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and 5K. On Saturday it will also be the Blossom Kite Festival. If you want to see some sakura, I suggest some alternative spots below; if you wish to fly a kite or get a free kite, perhaps go to Virginia Highlands Park for Arlington’s Blossom Kite Festival (Sat, 🌲, 🆓, Arlington) or Alethia Tanner Park for NoMa In Bloom Festival (Sat, 🌲, 🆓, NoMa).
2. A ton of markets this weekend. 🖼🛍🌱 There’s the “Spring Cleaning” (Sat-Sun, 🆓 entry, 🌲, Kennedy Center) art market where over 50 local artists will be selling their older works (hence, spring cleaning) for $150 or less. For more art, head to “Spring Artfest” (Fri-Sun, 🆓, 🛋, Arlington), which is having an opening wine reception on Friday. Additionally, there’s the Native Plant Sale (Sun, $, 🌲, Arboretum) at the National Arboretum—check out the cherry blossoms while there! Find more plants at “Plants Alive!” while at the Makers Market (Sun, 🆓 entry, 🌲, Springfield). Or enjoy a slice of pizza at Sonny’s while enjoying a pop-up market (Sat, 🆓, 🌲, Parkview). And although technically not a market, there will also be a Record Swap (Sun, 🆓, 🛋, Lamond Riggs).
3. Art openings. 🎨 Longview Gallery will be hosting an opening reception for Michael Crossett’s “Flipside” (Fri, 🆓, 🛋, Convention Center). Legacy Gallery will be hosting an opening reception for Matt Corrado’s “Cut & Paste” (Thu, 🆓, 🛋, 14th St). For the politicos, the Portrait Gallery is unveiling a new exhibit in light of the fiftieth anniversary of Watergate (starts Fri, 🆓, 🛋, Chinatown).
4. Dessert-filled events. 🧁🍭🍪 Selling minicakes, macarons, and merchandise, the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will be coming to the area (Sat, $, 🌲, Tysons). There’s a cider-and-macaron pairing with Supreme Core Cider (Sat, 🛋, $30). Indulge in cold brew panna cotta with cardamom or raspberry and red-beet cheesecake with honey at a party of Coffee & Cocktails (Thurs, $55+, 🛋, Ivy City).
5. Parties and galas. 🇫🇷🤖 Join the French-American Chamber of Commerce for “A Night on the Riviera” (Sat, $189, 🛋, Glover Park). Or dance the night away at a cyborg-birthday-party (Fri, 🆓, 🛋, National Mall).
What Is on Our Radar: Places to See Cherry Blossoms That Aren’t the Tidal Basin
When the Tidal Basin was closed to the public to look at cherry blossoms earlier in the pandemic, I decided to explore other sakura spots using the Casey Trees “DC Cherry Blossom Map.” Here are some areas that I found particularly breathtaking:
- National Cathedral. Surrounding the National Cathedral on Cleveland Ave., NW, and Ordway St., NW, are a bunch of cherry-blossom trees. It’s a bit hilly and not the most accessible by public transportation—my tip would be grab a coffee at the Cleveland Park or Van Ness Metro station and head west; later, you can loop back downhill toward the Woodley Park-Zoo Metro stop. Here’s a map of that loop.
- Hains Point. A biker’s dream–East Potomac Park, a bit south of the Tidal Basin, is lined with so many cherry-blossom trees. My tip would be to head to the Wharf afterwards for food. (Note: It might be crowded from Tidal Basin spill over.) While in the area, you could continue your cherry-blossom experience at Artechouse’s PIXELBLOOM.
- Dumbarton Oaks. Found on Cherry Hill, Dumbarton Oaks’ cherry-blossom trees are in a breathtaking garden. Note that you have to reserve a timed pass to enter the area.