DC Cherry Blossoms and Other Features of World Class Cities

by Karen Briscoe
March 29, 2017



The National Cherry Blossom Festival is in full swing in Washington, DC.

After fits and starts with the weather this year, the blossoms have arrived! Tour buses clogging the roadways and people swarming the Tidal Basin to catch a glimpse of the world famous trees are indicators of spring in DC.

Every year my husband and I make plans to take the iconic walk around the monuments of Jefferson, FDR and now Martin Luther King along with the crowds. Sometimes we bring a picnic and bask in the beauty on one of the banks. This year we enjoyed a twilight bike tour which offered a different perspective.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, DC from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo. The annual celebration honors the gift and the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. The website provides more information on attractions that are associated with the arrival of the cherry blossoms: www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org

 The United States Capitol of Washington, DC is located on the banks of the Potomac River and is affected by the tides that flow from the Atlantic Ocean through the Chesapeake Bay thus creating the need for the Tidal Basin. This led me to think that a key similarity of many world class cities is the location on a river or major waterway.

 Ten European Capitol cities are sited on a river bank. London is on the Thames; Paris is on the Seine; Rome is on the Tiber River; Dublin on the River Liffey; Budapest on the Danube; Moscow on the Moskva River; Amsterdam on the Amstel; Berlin on the Spree River; Prague on the Vltava River; and Madrid on the Manzanares River.

 Other prominent US cities are sited adjacent to bodies of water as well. By way of example: New York City is on the Hudson River; Chicago is on Lake Michigan; major cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco on the west coast are on the Pacific Ocean; New Orleans is on Lake Pontchartrain; Miami is on the Atlantic Ocean. The waterways provide opportunities for commerce and recreation.

 Another primary feature of a beautiful city is its parks and gardens. London has the magnificent grounds of Hyde Park. Paris offers Champ de Mars parks around the Eiffel tower. High on the hill overlooking the Danube, the Prague Castle has magnificent gardens.

 In Washington, DC in addition to the cherry trees gardens located on the banks of the Tidal Basin, there is green space between the Washington Monument and the White House, known as the Ellipse. The National Mall is the open area with the U.S. Capitol banking the northern end, the Washington Monument on the southern with various Smithsonian Museums flanking both sides.

 New York City has the iconic Central Park, which serves as the hub of outdoor life in the largest city in the United States. There are walking, jogging and biking paths. There are carousels for children and those young at heart to enjoy in the warmer seasons and ice rinks in the winter. Art and architecture, history and culture, nature and sports events all are offered in the park designed decades ago by Olmstead.

 It is a key to success for a professional real estate agent to understand core fundamentals to value for real property. Knowledge of the key features that makes a city world class is part of the repertoire.

Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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