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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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How to escape the tourists when cherry blossoms hit peak bloom

Artechouse’s newest exhibit, “In Peak Bloom,” will be on display until May 27 – far past actual cherry blossoms’ prime.

With the cherry blossoms reaching peak bloom in just a few days, the District will soon be swarming with tourists. But you shouldn’t let the crowds deter you from seeing the iconic blossoms.

If the thought of becoming a tourist in your own city makes your eyes roll to the back of your head, then try these alternative cherry blossom festivities that will keep you far away from the Tidal Basin.

Take a night walk as a study break

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid the crowds of people flocking to the Tidal Basin during the day is to go late at night.

You may be busy running from classes to internships during the daytime anyway, so carve out time for a late-night study break to head to see the trees.

Tourists come to the District to participate in all the festival’s activities during the day, but as a District resident, it is only a short late night stroll from campus to the Tidal Basin and the National Mall. The flowers are just as beautiful at night, and the quiet atmosphere adds to the serenity of the army trees. If you listen closely enough, it’s rumored that you may be able to hear the cherry blossoms pop open as they bloom.

Opt out of the Tidal Basin

If you plan to steer clear of the Tidal Basin altogether, there are several alternative places to see beautiful trees as they blossom. Besides the National Mall and around the Washington Monument, there are some off-the-radar locations.

The National Arboretum, located at 3501 New York Ave. NE, features azalea blossoms, which usually peak at a different time than the blossoms around the Tidal Basin, so the likeliness of encountering tourists who came to see the Tidal Basin blossoms is low. While the National Arboretum is quite far from campus, if you wait for a sunny and warm day, it’s just a bike or scooter trip away. The trek will be more than worth it when you’re able to snap some cherry blossom photos without having to wait minutes for tourists to move out of the way.

Head indoors to an art exhibit

Artechouse merges art, technology and science through its interactive displays. Its newest exhibit, “In Peak Bloom,” will be on display until May 27 – far past actual cherry blossoms’ prime. But at this interactive experience, the cherry blossoms will be in peak bloom no matter what time you go to see them.

At the exhibit, you will be able to use your body to move virtual cherry blossoms through camera sensors. There is also a life-size cherry blossom tree on display that responds to physical contact by attendees. If you stand in front of the tree and touch or embrace it, the tree will blossom into peak bloom and once you stop having physical contact, it will return to normal.

Although student tickets to Artechouse cost about $15, you’ll get to avoid tourists and make the cherry blossoms’ peak bloom fit your schedule at this virtual exhibit.

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