Washington DC’s Cherry Blossoms: A Photo Essay
Story & photos by Paul Clemence
In spite of the global pandemic, political ups and downs, and even climate change, nature persists and still goes forward with its rhythms and beauty. And if it is early spring that means cherry blossom time. While these special trees can be found in many parks and botanical gardens in the country and around the world, nothing can quite compare with the stunning spectacle they create surrounding the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. A profusion of airy pinks, whites, light magentas create an immersive promenade experience, wrapping the basin and framing some of the nation’s most iconic landmarks.
A gift from the mayor of Tokyo to Washington, DC in 1912 to celebrate the friendship between Japan and the United States, these 3,000 cherry trees grew to become an important part of DC’s landscape and cultural life. Every year the National Cherry Blossom Festival draws over 1.5 million visitors for a stimulating program of activities that spreads beyond the basin area. It’s an inspiring (and quite timely) instance of nature bringing people and cultures together through respectful contemplation of its majesty and beauty.
Paul Clemence is an award-winning photographer and writer exploring the cross-section of design, art and architecture. A published author, his volume Mies van der Rohe’s FARNSWORTH HOUSE remains to this day the most complete photo documentation of that iconic modern residential design, and a selection of these photos is part of the Mies van der Rohe Archives housed by MoMa, New York. He is widely published in arts, architecture and lifestyle magazines like Metropolis, ArchDaily, Architizer, Modern, Casa Vogue Brasil and others. Archi-Photo, aka Architecture Photography, his Facebook photo blog quickly became a photography and architecture community, with over 970,000 followers worldwide. An architect by training, Clemence is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.