Ok…so it’s not really week 15 in terms of posting. By that metric it’s actually week 1. I made a ridiculous list of New Years resolutions this year, and among that list was an obligation to write 100 blog posts and post an Instagram photo every day.
Seeing as this is my third post of the year, I’m a bit behind on one of those goals. But, I’ve been good with the Instagram thing…so far I’ve only missed three days.
The principle behind both goals is simple: a bit of self-motivation to recognize what is unique/interesting/beautiful about everyday life. At the beginning of this project I had envisioned a weekly roundup of the photos…with some insight into where/why I took the picture. Also, I’m including the Soundcloud files if the photo has to do with a story I covered. So, 15 weeks later, let’s give this a shot:
Friday, April 10th: Busy ending to an exceptionally busy week. But, I got to cover two opening days: Monday at Nats Park, which came with a bonus interview of the new MLB commish, and then Friday at Camden Yards. The weather Monday was marvelous, 75 and sunny…Friday, not so much. It was about 60 and misty, even though the forecast called for 80 and sunshine. Nevertheless, O’s fans were pumped. And that’s what I enjoy about Baltimore, it’s a blue-collar town that’s been through a lot. Minor inconveniences like weather don’t get in the way of some well-earned baseball fandom after a long, cold winter. It helps that Camden Yards is one of the great parks in all of baseball…I’d give it top-5 status.
Saturday, April 11th: I led a tour on along the Tidal Basin. 75 were booked, 24 showed up. Me and another guide split the group in half. Within minutes my 12 was 5…it was absolute chaos around the Basin because the cherry blossoms were at peak bloom, I wrote about the madness earlier in the week. Seeing a group dwindle like that is like watching money fall out of your pocket; but, at least I got to enjoy the blossoms and take some decent pics.
Sunday, April 12th: Some new friends moved to town, so Lauren and I met them in Georgetown for brunch and then led them on a historic Georgetown walking tour (this is probably why we have no friends;). As we were walking I saw this girl with bright pink hair, wearing an outfit to match. A little later I saw her again, but she was sitting and texting under this massive magnolia tree outside a church. She looked like a complementary tree nymph. I snapped the shot and then played around with one of the color saturation apps and ended up with this:
Monday, April 13th: A big piece of my beat is Metro. They’ve been testing new railcars for close to a year and a half. The cars are dramatically different than what’s currently rolling down the tracks. I’ve followed this story as it’s developed from concept to reality, and I was there Monday for the “official” rollout. It’s the photo-op for the politicians and industry insiders to take the first ride and talk about how they contributed to making development “fill-in-the-blank” a reality. This event drew the northern Virginia congressional delegation, DC councilmembers and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe…who’s not exactly shy about showing up to ribbon cuttings. There was also a big Japanese media contingent covering officials from their embassy, who were on hand because Kawasaki built the cars. Needless to say, the accompanying press gaggle was…suffocating. Call me crazy, but I still enjoy the scene of rows of television cameras set up for the shot, as everyone (including me) jockeys for the best picture/sound.
Tuesday, April 14th: The sesquicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination…a big event for a town full of huge history nerds. I wrote about the scene earlier this week. I knew I had to stop by Ford’s Theatre no matter how late, and I was happy I did. You just can’t miss out on opportunities that make history more real. Even though I missed the main event, this night will forever stick out in my mind, and I really believe it gave me new insight into those harrowing hours:
Wednesday, April 15: This is a good example of why I’m really enjoying this project. There was no special event, or story or scene that I knew would be Instagrammable. This meant I had to keep on the lookout for something eye catching. As I was biking to work along 15th Street a flash of red caught the corner of my eye. It was a row of red tulips ringing the statue of William Tecumseh Sherman that sits on the south side of the Treasury Department, just next to the White House. Usually, I’m zooming down the cycletrack watching out for wayward tourists who stumble into my path. This time I slammed my brakes, jumped the curb, grabbed my phone and snapped the shot. A shot I would have otherwise likely ignored:
Thursday, April 16th: Back at Nats Park, but not for work. Lauren bought tickets for my birthday so we could see the Phillies. The outfield is ringed with 14 Kwanzan cherry blossom trees. These are different from the Yoshino cherry blossoms which dominate the Tidal Basin, those bloom a cloudy white. The Kwanzan are brilliant pink and the flowers look more like carnations. You’ll find a Kwanzan or two along the Tidal Basin and throughout DC…but these are neat because they frame the ballpark and it’s not often that they bloom with baseball season. Also, the Phillies lost, and I may or may not have been rage-texting much of the evening. Still 3 ballgames in the first two weeks of the season, no complaints here.