The weather is changing here, and for the first time in years I feel like I’ve really been able to enjoy Spring. In MA, March was still a month of snow and April was all rain. Down here, it feels like I’m in a postcard, with temperatures already peaking in the 70s and beautiful flowering trees everywhere. I think the trees are the biggest change. I hadn’t noticed the lack of flowering trees in MA, but now when I walk around DC I feel like I’m seeing this kind of tree for the first time.
Each morning I enjoy the views along the side of the highway as I drive in (who knew there could be any redeeming qualities to the beltway?). I’ve also started taking walks after lunch on nice days, and have been pleasantly surprised by the small parks scattered around the city. I’m even beginning to feel like I know my way around (a small part of) the city.
Last weekend we went into DC to see the Cherry Blossoms. While the day was rainy and gray, we still had a nice time walking around the Tidal Basin with Megan’s college friend Dustin.
We also toured the Freer and Sackler Galleries, which together comprise the Smithsonian Museum of Asian Art. We hadn’t even known the museums existed until I saw a metro ad about their exhibit of prints by Hokusai, including the classic Great Wave. The exhibit was very nice, and included all 46 prints that make up his “36 Views of Mt. Fiji” series (he added 10 more after the first printing). It was very interesting to read about the artist (he did all the work after he turned 70), as well as the technological advances which impacted his art. For example, much of his work features a brilliant shade of blue for the ocean, sky, or even the outlining. This dye was a new Prussian Indigo that had recently been introduced to Japan from Germany. Hokusai took not only colors, but techniques for perspective from European traditions. Combined with Japanese culture and scenery, this led to some classic results.