The weekend before last, Yuriko and I went to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Philadelphia at Fairmount Park. Although the festival was smaller than I thought it would be, it was still quite lovely. The trees were blooming and beautiful, and there were some great drum and dance performances. It's always a challenge for me--not the tallest guy in the world--to get a good view of a stage without graded seating, but I did manage to get a couple decent shots of the performers. I'll post one below.
Pardon the tops of heads at the bottom of the image.
After the festival, we drove into Center City and had dim sum at Joy Tsin Lau in Chinatown. It had been years since the last time I had dim sum. I used to go in Boston, when I lived there, with a friend of mine who is Taiwanese-American and who knows what to pick of the carts and what to let pass by. Then I went in Oakland, while visiting, maybe 3 years ago. This was my first time trying it in Philly. The food was good--dumplings of all sorts, turnip cakes, short ribs--I avoided the things that are beyond my palate (chicken feet, snails). But as usual with dim sum, I ended up over-eating and feeling a little sick.
Last weekend I attended my first Reading Phillies game (so much cheaper than the real Phillies). This was fun, but of course it's not the same thing as a major league game. Tomorrow Yuriko and I are flying to L.A., and on Saturday we will be in Anaheim for the Sox / Angels game. It's a long way to go for a ballgame, but we got a really cheap flight (Yuriko's mom works for American Airlines) and we have a free place to stay (a friend of mine from graduate school lives in Ventura). I've been to southern California a couple times before, and it's not my favorite locale, but I do appreciate the weather and natural beauty once you get beyond the awful traffic of that massive, sprawling metropolis.
I can see in the faces of my students that they are all longing for the summer, and they are probably picking up on the fact that their professors are longing for the same thing! Hang in there, everyone--we're almost there! Stay focused, finish strong, and the beach days will be our reward.