The Maryland neighborhood of Kenwood is almost as popular a tourist attraction as the Tidal Basin during DC’s brief cherry blossom season. Vehicle traffic is closed and parking restricted during peak weekends, permitting waves of people to walk along cherry blossom lined streets and parks. Neighborhood children set up lemonade stands outside their houses and greet visitors passing by. A few young entrepreneurs even sell coffee and hot chocolate during the chilly mornings.
Its a mixed bag for residents. On the one hand, the enchanting blooms draw neighbors from their homes for slow evening walks and casual gatherings until organized neighborhood parties begin well after dusk. On the other, complete strangers walk all over their lawns, peek into windows and lift children (and pets!) into their fragile trees. I wouldn’t have believed how intrusive folks could be had a tourist not tapped me on my shoulder as I was actively shooting to ask if I would take her picture with her phone!
I’m told by the residents that they are glad to see the blossoms come and also glad to see them go. It was crazy difficult to get photos that excluded the humanity all around us, everyone vying for choice photo spots near favorite trees. But its worth the trouble to get these local families in situ during this unique and special time. I know their children will forever associate cherry blossoms with lemonade stands, time spent with neighbors and a general sort of hullabaloo that ensues as the masses emerge from their winter slumber, eager for spring.