Spring Is in Bloom in D.C. This Weekend
They’re here! The cherry blossoms are out and are in peak bloom for viewing this weekend. There’s plenty to do from a visit to the tidal basin to the Cherry Blossom parade to the annual Sakura Matsuri Japanese street festival. But there are non-blossom events happening in the DMV this weekend too. Get out and smell the blossoms.
In honor of the cherry blossoms and the tourists they bring, Metro has suspended work on the subway system through this weekend. Trains will run at regular weekend intervals on all lines. During daytime hours, normal weekend intervals are every 6-12 minutes.
Thai Restaurant Week
As people in Thailand celebrate their traditional Thai New Year, Songkran, this month, the Royal Thai Embassy brings the celebration to the DMV by organizing a Thai Restaurant Week 2014 this week. The week features special lunch and dinner menus of noodle dishes from participating area Thai restaurants showcasing the vibrancy of Thai food.
Apr. 10-17 at 48 participating Thai restaurants in the DMV. Click the link above for a list of participating restaurants.
After a long, harsh winter, the monthly food truck festival Truckaroo is back at the Half Street Fairgrounds near Nationals Park. While you nosh on the treats from more than 20 mobile eateries, enjoy music, cold beer and games like cornhole.
Apr. 11 from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. at the Half Street Fairgrounds, 1299 Half St. SE. Admission is FREE!
Damaged City Fest
The second annual Damaged City Fest is a celebration of hardcore punk in the nation’s capitol. The two main shows will be held in the District’s DIY venue, St. Stephen’s Church. The historic venue has been hosting punk shows since the 80s and offers intimacy, energy, and a perfectly sized stage. Performing sets are Government Issue, Pure Disgust, Infest, Give, Priests, Clear, Vile Faith and more. Advance tickets are sold out but limited tickets will be available at the door.
Apr. 11 at 7 p.m. and 12 at 1 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Church, 1525 Newton St. NW. Tickets are $5 at the door.
Meet the Filmmaker: Satoshi Miki
Japanese director Satoshi Miki presents his latest film, Its Me, Its Me. This surreal, Kafka-esque comedy won the audience award at the 2013 Udine Far East Film Festival. It stars J-Pop star Kazuya Kamenashi (of the band KAT-TUN) as 33 different characters. In the beginning, he is Hitoshi, an aspiring photographer in a dead-end job. He finds a lost cell phone and impulsively calls the owner’s mother, impersonating her son and asking for money. She complies, but he is so wracked with guilt that he goes to her apartment to return it. Hitoshi is surprised to be welcomed with open arms as her actual son — an exact copy of himself. From there, things get even weirder, as copies of Hitoshi begin to proliferate and a nationwide plot to “delete” them unfolds. (Japanese with English subtitles)
Apr. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery Meyer Gallery, Jefferson Drive at 12th Street SW. Admission is FREE!
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Vibrant costumes and blossom-inspired décor set the atmosphere at the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, one of the festival’s largest spectator events, Giant colorful helium balloons, elaborate floats, 14 marching bands from across the country and performers burst down Constitution Avenue in a grand spectacle of music and showmanship seen only once a year. Among this celebrities in this year’s parade are American Idol winner Candice Glover, pop star Aaron Carter, four-time Grammy Award winning R&B/gospel singer Regina Belle, Grammy Award winner Sheena Easton, Branden James from America’s Got Talent! and Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri. If you can’t make it downtown for the parade, WUSA 9 airs the parade locally in a delayed telecast from noon-2 p.m.
Apr. 12 from 10 a.m.-noon along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets NW. FREE! Grandstand seating is $20.
Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival
The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival stretches for six blocks through downtown D.C. on Pennsylvania Avenue from 9th to 14th Streets NW. Enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere of the largest Japanese cultural festival in the United States, featuring food, arts and culture, merchandise, and live traditional and J-Pop performances on four stages, including martial arts demonstrations. Sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C.
Apr. 12 from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Admission is $10 in advance online or at the gate. There are four enterances: 13th and E Streets NW, 13th Street and the Ronald Reagan Building, 12th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, and 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW.
Explore the Universe Family Day
Explore the Universe at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museums annual event. Understand how other cultures see the sky. Learn how telescopes work and make your own observations through them. And enjoy hands-on activities, story times and other family-friendly activities.
Apr. 12 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Sixth Street and Independence Avenue SW. Admission is FREE!
Cherry Blossom Family Celebration
Celebrate D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Cherry Blossom Family Celebraton. Craft activities include tissue paper blossoms, drawing your own cherry blossom tree, coloring sheets, folded Japanese screen painting and origami. Learn how to “invite” birds into a garden with SI Gardens and make an origami passenger pigeon. Get your face painted and then watch a kimono dressing demonstration on stage. Enjoy performances of traditional Japanese music, dance and taiko drumming, and explore how Japanese art and culture have influenced American artists for decades with a scavenger hunt in the galleries.
Apr. 12 from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Kogod Courtyard, Eighth and G Streets NW, Chinatown. Admission is FREE!
Adrift in Tokyo screening
Director Satoshi Miki and actress Eri Fuse present Adrift in Tokyo, a brilliant ode to the city’s street life and eccentric denizens. The comedy stars Jo Odagiri as Fumiya, a slacker (in his eighth year of college) who receives an unorthodox proposition from a debt collector named Fukuhara (Tomokasu Miura): If Fumiya accompanies Fukuhara on a walk across Tokyo, his debts will be cleared. But Fukuhara’s proposal has a dark side: Their journey’s end will be the police station, where he will turn himself in for the murder of his wife. But is he telling the truth? What these two oddballs discover as they meander, talk and bicker makes for a charming, surprising and hilarious comedy, as well as a rarely captured street-level portrait of Tokyo by a filmmaker clearly in love with his city. Adrift in Tokyo is considered Miki’s masterpiece. (Japanese with English subtitles) Prior to the screening, Miki, whose vision of Tokyo in this picaresque comedy is similar in sensibility to Kobayashi Kiyochika’s depictions of the city made nearly 150 years ago. Miki joins Jim Ulak, curator of Kiyochika: Master of the Night, to discuss the intriguing links between these two artists’ perceptions of Tokyo.
Apr. 13 with discussion at noon followed by the screening at 2 p.m. at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery Meyer Gallery, Jefferson Drive at 12th Street SW. Admission is FREE!
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.