Saturday, April 01, 2006

Cherry Blossom Magic

It's the beautiful, dreaded time of year here in Washington DC : the National Cherry Blossom Festival. All along the tidal basin, thousands of trees are in full bloom (peak to be this monday or tuesday) and appropriately, thousands of tourists. These tourists are a well-documented source of frustration for those of us who call DC "home". They descend upon the city in their sneaker-and-fanny-pack outfits, wander through traffic, pester you for directions, clog the subways (stay AWAY from the Smithsonian stop if you have heart problems), stand on the left, and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

Still, my handsome man-friend and I braved the tourists on Friday afternoon and headed down to the tidal basin. Such was the beginning of an awesome evening.

It was a gorgeous seventy degree day, and after a rough week at work, it was nice to sit on the basin, watch tourists and witness the sunset. We poked around the burgeoning tulip garden and then went to Les Halles, a french bistro across the street from the Ronald Reagan Building on Pennsylvania Ave. Even though the service was less than desireable (we waited for over twenty-five minutes to get water and bread, let alone attention from our waiter), they did have amazing salmon. They also ended up comp'ing our kir.

After that, we headed back to my place to get ready for the real main event: Bhangra Blowout. Actually, the offical blowout competition is tonight at George Washinton, but my handsome man-friend and I met up with two of his Sikh friends last night at a U-street lounge for the kick off party. Fan. Tas. Tic!

We ended up falling asleep and not getting there until about midnight (which, for those of you who know me, is quite a coup for me to take a nap and then get up and go out afterwards!) but I was so glad that we forced ourselves to go.

Bhangra is a type of dance from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan, with lots of shoulder shrugging and sultry hip movements. I was originally very self conscious - there were about three other whitey mc-whites there - but the night was not to be wasted. After the initial "pet-the-dog-screw-in-the-lightbulb" moves, I began to channel my inner bollywood star (not to mention copy the women around me).

I had a blast! It was amazing to watch people dance, spin, twirl, squat, wiggle, shimmy and shine. Of course, all the women were stunning. Apparently, I wasn't doing to shabby myself, as I wasn't hurting for dance partners. One of my friends teased me for being a "Sikh magnet" @:P

We ended up dancing until 2:30 am, about the time that my tummy began grumbling. We decide to head up the street to the DC institution, Ben's Chili Bowl, black owned since 1958 and home of chili that would revive your dead grandmother. Hoo-Haa! We had chili fries, chili dogs, chili chips and two tums (just me, not the guys).

I ended up getting home around 4:30 in the morning, which I haven't done since college. I slept until noon, sufficiently ignoring the paper I'm supposed to be working right now. However, right now, I must say - it was totally worth it :)

Back to reality;

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