March 30th, 2019


DC ohanami and the Forbidden City Park

I went to the DC Tidal Basin today to see the cherry blossoms. It felt like so was everyone else in the metro area: tons and tons of people. General crowds boosted by the DC Kite Festival happening on the National Mall, with lots of spiffy kites in the air: dragons, hawks, owls, other things. From a distance it looked like an aerial war fleet attacking the Washington Monument.

I almost felt sorry for the drivers trying to inch their way through the crowds. Was also surprised the roads weren't just closed.

Lots of cherry trees, lots of blossoms, lots of slow movement because crowds. It was pretty.

I did some sitting and gazing or reading, but mostly walking. I had neither the food nor friends for a proper ohanami picnic -- nor a nearby proper bathroom, one advantage of the Super Seekrit Boston Site.

Eventually I escaped, bounced off of long security lines at the nearby museums, and had a disappointing burger at a pub with a bathroom. After that I realized I wasn't that far from the White House, so I might as well go try to see it -- wasn't high on my list, but if I was there...

Turns out a huge area around it is cordoned off and it's barely visible. Not just the South Lawn "President's Park" on Google, and Ellipse; Wikipedia says the latter is open to the public but it didn't look it. Military helicopters were taking off or landing continuously, though.

Lafayette Park north of the WH was open, and hosted the protests you'd expect, plus an anti-circumcision protest I'd seen marching around earlier.

Other DC observations:
* Metro stations tend to have escalators to the exclusion of stairs
* They tend to have just one set of escalators, to the surface, while Boston stations tend to have multiple stairs up, often reach all four corners of an intersection.
* Lots of separated bike lanes.
* I'd heard people joke about the Washington Monument being phallic, but really, there's nothing else to call it. It's a tall tapering thing arising from nearly flat ground, with no ornament or other visual interest other than being a tall line, a permanent erection dedicated to the Father of Our Coutry.

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