TIP: Just because it’s called a Basin doesn’t mean you should wash in it.

13 Apr

© 2013 pithypants

Remember back in the 1980s, when women had their “colors done” and were labeled with a season? As in: “I’m a Fall, so Earth tones look best on me.” Remember that?

Well, if Washington DC were a woman of the 1980s, she would definitely be a Spring. This season is working for her.

I’d be so bold as to claim that there really aren’t any other cities that do spring quite as beautifully as DC. And it’s not just the cherry blossoms – there are the tulips, the daffodils, the  redbuds, the dogwoods, the magnolias, the azaleas. The entire city is awash in bright colors.

Admittedly, the main event is the cherry blossoms. We obsess over them here. People begin forecasting “peak bloom” as early as February, and near the end of March the news provides a daily “bloom update.”

This week they were deemed to be at their peak, so one morning I got up at 5am and walked down to the Tidal Basin, hoping to see them in their full glory before work – and before the area was overrun with tourists.

Apparently I wasn’t the only early bird in the crowd. Some observations, advice, and random thoughts:


I never knew how many people owned tripods. I also don’t know how necessary they are. I’m probably twice as happy with my photos (posted here and snapped with my iPhone) even if they’re half as good as what I could’ve done with a tripod, because I didn’t have to lug a tripod on my back.


To the couple in their seventies who packed a picnic basket and were toasting the sunrise with mimosas: you’re doing it right. To the women with a box of Dunkin’ Donuts and two liters of soda: you are not.

To the Japanese women getting your picture taken as you cup handfuls of petals you’ve scooped from the ground: I’m not sure what you’re doing. To the teenage boy repeatedly performing ballet leaps so your parents can film you with a backdrop of cherry blossoms: Might not want to upload that to YouTube.

Random Thoughts

I’m glad the Park Police didn’t bust the old couple for drinking in a national park. That would be kind of sad. Maybe the Park Police don’t work around the clock – or maybe they slept in today.

Spring is sprung actually makes no sense at all.

Maybe I’ll make a bumper sticker that says, “iPods, not tripods.”

The bank of port-o-johns smells oddly like Wintergreen lifesavers. It kind of makes me regret eating an entire bag of them for lunch yesterday.

I wonder how many people actually fall in love in the springtime? I wonder how many people fall in the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season? Answer: Not enough.

© 2013 pithypants

4 Responses to “TIP: Just because it’s called a Basin doesn’t mean you should wash in it.”

  1. thesinglecell April 13, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    I think you’re right about DC in the spring. Although lots of places bloom beautifully, there’s nothing quite like the sight of cherry blossoms, water and white monuments on a blue sky. Alabaster cities, indeed.

    • Alison April 14, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

      It’s like living in a postcard. Until you see all the tourists in their patriotic red-white-blue gear. Then it’s more like an SNL skit.

  2. dianeskitchentable April 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Having your colors done, course I remember that but I wish you hadn’t brought it up – it could come back.
    You know I think I would have been tempted to go through this elaborate production of setting up your tripod, little meter box thing to check the lighting, get the angle just right, & then set your IPhone on top of it.

    • Alison April 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      I love it. Next time: elaborate set-up, just to mount my iPhone. Wish I’d thought of that!

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