springtime in d.c.

This is one of my favorite times in D.C. – long and glorious spring days. I love the longer days, the warmth, the breeze, the flowers, and the happier dispositions of D.C. habitants and visitors alike. New life is breathed into the city. People are out and about, animals pop out more, tulips and cherry trees open up.

Cherry blossom season is always a crazy, wonderful time in D.C. The cherry trees bloom all over the District but most noticeably and famously at the Tidal Basin, where 1.5 million people flock to every year. There was no exception this year, despite the cold front that nearly ruined all potential blooms. However, flowers are some of the most resilient things in nature and we were fortunate enough to witness plenty of these irrepressible blossoms spring to life.

After the cherry blossom season comes the tulip season. You can find these perennials all over the city but most notably at the Floral Library, the National Arboretum, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Brookside Gardens, and Hillwood Estate. Anytime I see a bed of tulips, I can’t help but stop and admire these blushing beauties.

With that, enjoy the gorgeous flowers and flowering trees below!

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Magnolia trees in the Smithsonian Garden

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Infinity Kusama

If you’re in D.C. or if you’re a big art fan, you probably know about Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. In any city this exhibition travels to, it becomes one of the most popular art experiences in that city. From February 23 to May 14, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Rooms is at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.!

For those unfamiliar with Yayoi Kusama, she is a legendary Japanese artist. Her career has spanned over 60 years and she has influenced many other legendary artists, such as Andy Warhol and George Segal. She has dabbled in paintings, collages, sculptures, performance arts, and installations with thematic elements of patterns and psychedelic colors. Ever since she was a young girl, she has been inspired by polka dots and nets in her works. She has even stated that “polka dots are a way to infinity.” Her history is complex and intense, and I would recommend readers take the time to briefly review her story.

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windy times

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“Chicago’s one of the rare places where architecture is more visible.”
There’s a reason why John Hughes shot so many films in Chicago. This metropolitan city is as cosmopolitan and internationally cultured as New York but comparatively underrated. It’s a city that has inspired more writers, innovators, and creators than anywhere else in the world, but it is often forgotten the impact Chicago has on some of the most renowned and famous people – people such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Mark Twain, and Orson Welles.

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Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year!

This is the biggest holiday and celebration observed by many populations, including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mauritius, and Macau. This year, Lunar New Year falls on Saturday, January 28, and it’s the Year of the Rooster.

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Chinese New Year feast!

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the art of hot potting

Now that winter has come, it’s the perfect season for hot pot! This is one of my favorite winter activities, as well as one of favorite winter foods.

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Hot pot is the ultimate winter food and activity

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winter walk of lights 

I couldn’t resist going back to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (which I talked about in a previous post) for their Winter Walk of Lights. From mid-November to a little after New Year’s Day, Meadowlark is transformed into an animated walk of lights. It runs daily from 5:30-10 pm, with last tickets being sold at 9:30 pm.

Having heard about this annual tradition, I knew I needed to see it for myself. I was debating between going to this, the Chinese Lantern Festival, or the Bull Run Festival of Lights. I read some negative reviews about the lantern festival and Bull Run Regional Park was a bit of a drive on a weeknight, so that quickly narrowed the choices down to Meadowlark!

I have no regrets though. It’s a beautiful light display. The entire Meadowlarks staff and many volunteers personally install all of the lights and displays in the garden, so there’s a lot of hard work being put into this event. I also love that they incorporate various animal and flower light displays, which is very fitting for them as a botanical garden.

Check out some of my photos before and go see the Winter Walk of Lights for yourself! You can purchase tickets online (tickets are not available for on-site purchase Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays). Tip: use promo code prime16 to get $2 off each ticket.

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eat drink man woman

If you’re unfamiliar with the title of this post, it’s from this popular 1994 Taiwanese film directed by Ang Lee by the same name. I love the opening scene (which I wouldn’t recommend watching if you’re hungry, FYI) and it only increases my love for Chinese cuisine a million times fold.

With that on replay, I thought it’d be fun to craft a post surrounding some of my favorite Chinese restaurants to eat in the Northern Virginia area. I’m Chinese by heritage and growing up, I ate 97% Chinese food and 3% everything else. My parents are phenomenal cooks and they make some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. Moving away though, I’ve had to find a few other restaurants to fill that gap.

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Homemade beef noodle soup

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