Monday, April 20, 2015

Washington Social Diary: In Celebration of Earth Day

Weeping cherry outside a townhouse on N Street in Georgetown.
by Carol Joynt

Jackie and Jack strolling in Georgetown, May 1954.
A magazine writer working on a story reached out with an interesting question: where would the luminaries of yore live today? In particular famous Georgetowners, Jack and Jackie Kennedy and Katharine Graham.  The answer was easy: Georgetown. It remains Washington’s most notable address, appealing to people who want to live in the city but with the intimacy of a village, who want history and well-tended charm, convenience, restaurants and shops, and each other. Today, as in decades ago, it is home to Cabinet members, elected officials, writers, artists, socialites, old money and new money, all generations.

Georgetown shares timelessness with certain neighborhoods of London, Paris, and New York. And like those cities, and a number of American southern cities, and for that matter Washington as whole, the village blooms gloriously in the spring. A century ago it was a seaport and hardly lux, and a hundred years from now it may be irrelevant, but Georgetown today is holding its own.

With Earth Day upon us — its 45th anniversary — we went walkabout with the camera to capture Georgetown over the last week, and added in a couple of other spots as well. Consider it a photographic wet kiss to my neighborhood and my city.
Tulips on P Street.
Pansies soaking up morning sun.
It may make you sneeze, but its pretty.
Tulips at the ready.
The last of the winter camelias.
A garden on O Street.
Also on O Street.
Dogwood, the state flower of neighborhood Virginia, blooms all over the Washington area.
A typical Georgetown block.
A cherry tree on P Street. Lilacs love the Washington region.
Flower boxes.
Pear Trees.
Spotted on 30th Street, enjoying the spring sun. While not plants they are flowers and who could resist?
Falling cherry blossoms on tulips on 31st street.
Yellow tulip magnolia.
On N Street. On 28th Street.
A bamboo garden.
Early leaves on the Ginkgo trees on Olive Street. Julia Child lived, and taught French cooking, in the yellow house on the left. 
In Georgetown it seems every nook and cranny has blooming flowers.
Page Evans and her dog check out the kale — yes, kale - growing in a Georgetown tree box.
It may be the capital’s best address but Georgetown is not the only good address. Bloomingdale, Shaw, Petworth, Mount Vernon Square, NoMa, the Atlas District, the Navy Yard, Logan Circle — all of them so-called “new” neighborhoods that are interesting and fashionable, incorporating the important elements of livability with commercial enterprise, places to eat and drink and shop. And flowers.

In the works is the complete makeover of the Southwest Waterfront, including the Wharf development. Right now it appears as only a forest of cranes, but when completed it will have apartments, restaurants, hotels, offices, shopping and a modernized marina for live-aboards. Anacostia may be across a couple of bridges on the other side of a river but it is a part of the city that has seen transformative investment.
The Tidal Basin at sunrise.
The cherry blossoms had their week but now have faded to brown. Still there are other blossoms to enjoy.
The FDR Memorial before the tourist onslaught.
Blooms gracing FDR at his memorial.
At the FDR Memorial, a fat robin looks for water.
Early, early morning engagement photo at the Tidal Basin.
Apple blossoms.
Taking advantage of the morning light.
The Potomac River at sunrise. In the distance, looking like a silver celery stalk, is the Air Force Memorial. 
The railroad bridge over the Potomac.
Getting in a run at Hains Point,  a park that has the Potomac on one side and the Washington Channel on the other. 
The view of the Wharf development, looking across the Washington Channel from Hains Point.
Whatever the Washington neighborhood, there is spring color to behold. Lady Bird Johnson’s legacy thrives along the George Washington Memorial Parkway — worth the drive from the Beltway to Mount Vernon — and other spots supervised by the National Park Service.

The Japanese cherry trees framing the Jefferson Memorial may own a festival and a week of their own, but after they fade to brown, other varieties of cherry and apple continue to bloom on the vast parkland of the Tidal Basin. We made a sunrise visit to the FDR Memorial, quiet and calm before the tourist onslaught. In Dupont Circle, tulips, daffodils, red bud, lilac, dogwood and tulip magnolia spruce up townhouses, office and apartment buildings.
Townhouses at Dupont Circle.
Outside a Dupont Circle apartment building.
On N Street near Dupont Circle.
In another week all the trees will have their young green leaves, and the azalea, rhododendron and mountain laurel will join the dogwood, and then the peonies and roses, and later the crepe myrtle. Pollen aside, it is a time that happily reminds us of our southern climate, so welcomed after a very northern winter.
The Big Bear Cafe in Bloomingdale — literally, blooming on a Saturday morning. 
A house on First Street NW in Bloomingdale.

Follow Carol on twitter @caroljoynt