St. Louis and Matsuri

April 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

On Thursday, I headed to the Midwest for the first time in my life. The point of my trip was to take a look at Wash. U. in St. Louis and make sure that I’d made the right decision about attending law school there. After spending my first night there wandering around the city with absolutely no idea where I was going, I’ll admit that I started feeling a bit anxious about going to school in a place so different from anywhere I’d lived before.

But, on Friday, after attending a 1L criminal law class, taking a tour of the beautiful facilities (funny thing actually, the law school building is called Anheuser-Busch Hall. Free keg Fridays anyone?), and talking to the admissions officers a little more about housing and career placement, I started to get really excited about next fall. Although the entire process is still a bit daunting (including the whole prospect of finding good housing), I’m officially ready to become a law student! Bring. It. On.

I got back to the apartment on Saturday at 2 AM, and about 9 hours later, I had to get up again so Jia and I could head down to the annual Matsuri street fair and visit the cherry blossoms. As always, the entirety of Pennsylvania Avenue was packed with strollers and tourists (it almost made me not understand why people would bring babies out of the house), and lines for the ATM and various vendors were at least 20 or 30 people deep.

Somehow, we managed to get giant skewers of grilled chicken teriyaki, veg. fried rice, and shrimp tempura udon before starving to death and sat on some moderately clean steps of the Pavilion before heading off to the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial.

Now, every year, the cherry blossom society (or whatever you want to call it) lists the peak days of sakura bloom. This year, it was April 1 and 2, right when I left to go home for spring break. After those two peaks days, the blossoms start to wilt and die, hence the reason they’ve always been a symbol of the ephemeral-ness of spring. So basically, we should’ve known better than to expect anything when visiting a week late, especially after a week where the weather reached the low 90s.

No blossoms in sight. Green, all around the tidal basin. So disappointing, but I guess we couldn’t really complain since we were the tardy ones. However, the weather was still gorgeous, perfect for walking and not too hot, so we wandered around a little more to watch kids fly kites (albeit unsuccessfully) around the National Mall before facing the ridiculous crowds at the Smithsonian metro stop and heading back to campus.

So: lesson learned. When they say peak days, don’t think you can get away with waiting a couple extra days to see those cherry blossoms. They ain’t lying.

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