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Washingtonians should sure feel grateful for Yukio Ozaki, the Tokyo mayor who gave us 3,000 cherry trees back in 1912. If he hadn’t, would the leaders of our city have come up with such a reliable scam to lure millions of people here every spring to spend money? Each year, city tourism officials watch the pink clouds swathing the tidal basin with the concern of a farmer eyeballing his season’s crop—and this year more so than any, given that it’s the 100th anniversary of Ozaki’s generous gift. If you’re truly invested in “promoting the beauty of nature and international friendship through year-round programs, events, and educational initiatives,” you can spend $200 to attend tonight’s Pink Tie Party benefiting the nonprofit that runs the festival. Chefs José Andrés and Roy Yamaguchi, “innovators in the culinary community,” will dish the bites. And you best wear your frilliest frock. The Pink Tie Party begins at 7 p.m. at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW. $200. The Cherry Blossom Festival continues through April 27 at various locations. See a complete schedule at nationalcherryblossomfestival.org. (877) 44-BLOOM. (Lydia DePillis)
Local, emotionally available garage rockers The Jet Age open for U.K. wide-angle post-punkers The Wedding Present at 6 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $15. (202) 388-ROCK.
Looks like Velvet has a solid lineup of noise, drone, and other sonic fuckery. Kuschty Rye Ergot, The Big Drum in the Sky Region, Blue Sausage Infant, and Borborites perform 7:30 p.m. at Velvet Lounge, 915 U St. NW. $8. (202) 462-3213.
Jonah Lehrer, the author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist and How We Decide, reads from his new book on the science behind artistic creativity, Imagine: How Creativity Works. 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919
Beyond his flowing locks, good looks, and star turn on Top Chef Masters, celebrity chef Susur Lee is perhaps best known for his Singapore slaw, a colorful and towering pile of some 19 different ingredients. The tantalizing laundry list generally includes taro root, red onion, rice vermicelli, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, toasted sesame seeds, hazelnuts, fennel, and edible flower petals, among other things, all tossed with a salted plum dressing. Normally, this tasty thicket of veggies would set you back $16 at Lee’s trendy pan-Asian eatery Zentan near Thomas Circle. But, during happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., you can snag a skinny-sized portion of the chef’s signature salad for just $5 at the bar. With the money you save, you can also spring for some duck egg dumplings and a glass of house wine. Zentan, 1155 14th St. NW. (202) 379-4366. (Chris Shott)