While it’s June and we’re nearing the official start of summer, the sad truth is that spring ended long ago and the infamous summer humidity of Washington, D.C. is back in full force. These days, we see longer winters and summers but only the quickest glimpse of an idyllic spring in the city.
To reminisce on the barely week that was spring, I’m telling my spring story in pictures.
This is one of my favorite times in D.C. – long and glorious spring days. I love the longer days, the warmth, the breeze, the flowers, and the happier dispositions of D.C. habitants and visitors alike. New life is breathed into the city. People are out and about, animals pop out more, tulips and cherry trees open up.
Cherry blossom season is always a crazy, wonderful time in D.C. The cherry trees bloom all over the District but most noticeably and famously at the Tidal Basin, where 1.5 million people flock to every year. There was no exception this year, despite the cold front that nearly ruined all potential blooms. However, flowers are some of the most resilient things in nature and we were fortunate enough to witness plenty of these irrepressible blossoms spring to life.
If you’re in D.C. or if you’re a big art fan, you probably know about Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. In any city this exhibition travels to, it becomes one of the most popular art experiences in that city. From February 23 to May 14, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Rooms is at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.!
For those unfamiliar with Yayoi Kusama, she is a legendary Japanese artist. Her career has spanned over 60 years and she has influenced many other legendary artists, such as Andy Warhol and George Segal. She has dabbled in paintings, collages, sculptures, performance arts, and installations with thematic elements of patterns and psychedelic colors. Ever since she was a young girl, she has been inspired by polka dots and nets in her works. She has even stated that “polka dots are a way to infinity.” Her history is complex and intense, and I would recommend readers take the time to briefly review her story.
If you’re unfamiliar with the title of this post, it’s from this popular 1994 Taiwanese film directed by Ang Lee by the same name. I love the opening scene (which I wouldn’t recommend watching if you’re hungry, FYI) and it only increases my love for Chinese cuisine a million times fold.
With that on replay, I thought it’d be fun to craft a post surrounding some of my favorite Chinese restaurants to eat in the Northern Virginia area. I’m Chinese by heritage and growing up, I ate 97% Chinese food and 3% everything else. My parents are phenomenal cooks and they make some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. Moving away though, I’ve had to find a few other restaurants to fill that gap.
Since I wrote a post about D.C. coffee shops, I thought I’d do the same for matcha in the District too. I find these lists to be really helpful when I have a craving and need to look at a list and/or map of the places that offer these services.
For those unfamiliar with matcha, it’s a finely grounded powder made of specially grown and processed green tea. The green tea plants made for matcha are grown in the shade for about 3 weeks before harvesting (to slow growth and stimulate an increase in chlorophyll levels), and the stems and veins are removed in the processing stage. The traditional way of preparing matcha is either thick (koicha) and thin (usucha) tea. In our modern times, matcha is also used in chocolates, desserts (cakes, cookies, mousse, ice cream, cupcakes, mochi), lattes, iced drinks, and smoothies.
This post is espressily for all you coffee lovers out there (and provides a handy list and map of many of Washington, D.C.’s coffee shops!). I’ve always preferred tea to coffee, but I have gained a new level of respect and admiration for coffee after discovering Chemex. And lately, it seems that I’ve been drinking a lot more coffee than tea. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of Washington, D.C.’s best coffee shops.