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It’s hard to picture spring in Washington without thinking of the city’s (now in-)famous collection of pink and white cherry trees. Images from peak bloom—the period when 70% of the blossoms are open—are quintessential postcard material, and over 1.5 million people trek to the Tidal Basin to see these trees each year. Unfortunately for tourists and locals alike, the peak bloom window, which is expected to end March 24, has been hit hard by coronavirus concerns. City officials and the National Park Service are urging people to practice social distancing and stay away from the basin; WMATA shut down the two metro stations closest to the trees to emphasize that point. Thankfully, the Trust for the National Mall, along with the National Park Service and the National Cherry Blossom Festival, is here to save the day with Bloom Cam. You can tune into a live, 24/7 feed of the trees to enjoy what the Trust sees as Washington’s symbol of “hope, renewal, and friendship.” And in case you’re worried about missing out on any specific one of the 3,700 trees along the Tidal Basin, the feed changes its view about every five minutes. Now you have no excuse not to stay inside. The live footage is available atnationalmall.org/bloomcam. Free.—Sarah Smith
Emergency & I
Ah, the late 1990s: the last time, geopolitically speaking, that most of us truly felt safe. Back in 1999, you could still bring jugs of iced tea through airport security, and the Y2K bug was the only epidemic that anyone had reason to fear. The world is, um, different now, but we can still hearken back to those happier days by revisiting the best album by one of the best indie-rock bands to ever come out of Washington, D.C. Released in October 1999, Emergency & I was The Dismemberment Plan’s third album, and the first in which the D.C.-based quartet honed their spastic, exhilarating sound into a cohesive whole. In songs such as “A Life of Possibilities,” “You Are Invited,” and “The City,” lead singer Travis Morrison spins oblique tales of post-collegiate ennui, loneliness, and displacement, while bassist Eric Axelson, guitarist Jason Caddell, and drummer Joe Easley sound simultaneously tighter and more volatile than ever. The album is a pristine sonic artifact of an era when the biggest question for many in their mid-20s was “what am I going to do with my life?” rather than “will I die if I touch this doorknob?” There is no better time than now to listen to it again. Stream it, buy it online, or dust off your CD player and really commit to the whole late-’90s nostalgia thing. The album is streaming on Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, and YouTube Music or available to purchase in the iTunes Store. Free–$9.99. —Justin Peters
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