Still Life with Robin: How to enoy peak bloom week without getting elbowed in the ribs...or worse!

Cleveland Park Editor

It's the time you love or the time you dread....PEAK BLOOM of the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin. Why love? It's spectacular! It's romantic! It's glorious! it's a 111-year old tradition!
Why love? In addition to blossoms, you may well see marriage proposals in progress or even an actual wedding -- and maybe more than one wedding photography shoot!
Why dread? In the course of walking around the narrow Tidal Basin pedestrian path, I have nearly been trampled to death by giant families of Midwesterners with SUV-sized strollers and no sense of how to share a narrow public walkway. (Yeah, and they don't stand to the right on the metro escalator, either!)
So this year I made a tactical decision not to put my senior-citizen bones at risk but instead seek safer alternatives. Let me share these with you now:
1. Alternate sites. The links below promise to let you in on a few lesser-known spots to view cherry trees in bloom -- but note that some of these "secret locations" can't possibly live up to the classification, as they appear on multiple lists!
11 Best Cherry Blossom Spots to Avoid Crowds
10 Secret Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC Like a Local without the Crowds
A 2023 Guide to Seeing Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. - Use these insider tips for visiting Washington, D.C.’s annual celebration of cherry blossoms and seeing the iconic flowers.
2. Alternative times of day: dawn /dusk. If you're going with the mission of taking good photos, you will need some tips for dealing with the position/glare of the sun as it's rising or setting. Here's an article that may help:
To be honest, these times of day will be pretty crowded, too. Maybe not as bad as the Tokyo subway at rush hour, but not exactly the Fortress of Solitude, either!
3. Bloom cam! Watch the cherry blossom trees in real time from the comfort of your own home on #Bloom cam : - or bypass Twitter and go directly to:
Here's more about #BloomCam:
#BloomCam, brought to you by the Trust for the National Mall, in partnership with the National Park Service and Earthcam, is a 24/7, live, real-time view of the cherry trees lining the Tidal Basin, one of the most popular and iconic sites in Washington, DC. Positioned on the Salamander Washington DC rooftop, #BloomCam offers year-round views of the cherry trees and their seasonal changes to viewers worldwide and is highlighted here during Bloom Watch as we await the peak blooms.
4. Deja vu all over again. I think I have found the simplest --and certainly the easiest!-- way to enjoy the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin: Just open a saved photo album from your digitial photo archive and enjoy all the photos you've taken in years past. I must tell you, my old photos look just like the ones I'd take if I were at the Tidal Basin today. Nothing changes except the size of the crowd! These photos are timeless. And I  can enjoy a completely private viewing experience; I don't even have to get out of my chair. Don't have your own collection? No probs! The Smithsonian archive has thousands upon thousands of historic images for you to browse at your leisure -- go to: 
However, if none of this deters you and you are bound and determined to visit the cherries in these last few days of Peak Bloom, please do feel free to share your photos with the Listserv! In order to keep within the technical settings for images on the listserv, make sure your photos are in .jpg format and under 500 KB in size (that's 0.5 MB, max). If you'd like to share more than that, I advise creating a photo album on a file-sharing site, such as DropBox, GoogleDrive, iCloud, etc. -- and be sure to set it to "public sharing" -- and send the link to your shared album in your message to . 
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.