Accolade cherry blossoms

After five years of cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver, I’ve learned two things:

  1. cherry blossoms don’t last
  2. sunny days are rare.

So if you’re lucky enough to have both sunshine AND cherry blossoms, you just have to pick up your camera and go because it’s a scientific fact that cherry blossoms won’t wait for you and the next day will (probably) be overcast.

Yesterday I picked up my camera to visit the Accolade cherry tree on Richards (corner Robson) for the third time.  This Accolade tree (which is blooming exceptionally early)  is doing well.

As some petals fall gently with the breeze, new blossoms are opening.  It is not fully bloomed yet.

 

The cherry tree is surrounded by tall buildings in Downtown Vancouver so the tree will be in the shade for most of the day. The best time to go is between 3.00-4.00 when the sun shines directly on the tree from down the street. (All these pictures were taken between 3.15-3.30pm.)

 

As I was taking picture, a passerby shouted: “YEAH! SPRING!”

 

So get out there Vancouver and say hello to spring! (We’re lucky to have cherry blossom blooming so early this season!)

 

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Crazy for cherry blossoms!

Accolade cherry blossom on Richards (corner Robson) in Vancouver.

After five years of cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver, I’ve learned two things:

  1. cherry blossoms don’t last
  2. sunny days are rare.

So if you’re lucky enough to have both sunshine AND cherry blossoms, you just have to pick up your camera and go because it’s a scientific fact that cherry blossoms won’t wait for you and the next day will (probably) be overcast.

Yesterday I picked up my camera to visit the Accolade cherry tree on Richards (corner Robson) for the third time.  This Accolade tree (which is blooming exceptionally early)  is doing well.

Accolade cherry tree on Richards (corner Robson) in Vancouver.

As some petals fall gently with the breeze, new blossoms are opening.  It is not fully bloomed yet.

Accolade cherry blossom on Richards (corner Robson) in Vancouver.

The cherry tree is surrounded by tall buildings in Downtown Vancouver so the tree will be in the shade for most of the day. The best time to go is between 3.00-4.00 when the sun shines directly on the tree from down the street. (All these pictures were taken between 3.15-3.30pm.)

Accolade cherry blossoms on Richards (corner Robson) in Vancouver.

As I was taking picture, a passerby shouted: “YEAH! SPRING!”

Accolade cherry tree on Richards (corner Robson) in Vancouver.

So get out there Vancouver and say hello to spring! (We’re lucky to have cherry blossom blooming so early this season!)

Zoobie Doobie!

Last week, I rented a movie called “3 idiots”.  The title seemed really familiar, but it’s only in the middle of the movie (at 1 hour 14 minutes to be precise), when the characters started to sing and dance to the “Zoobie Doobie” song that I realized it was the famous movie soundtrack that we had danced to during the Cherry Blossom Umbrella Dance in April 2012 .

The “Zoobie Doobie” sequence in the movie is really fun.  The characters even use umbrellas at some point! This brought back good memories of my experience at the umbrella dance last year.

So, if you miss last year’s umbrella dance, you can do two things:

  • watch the movie and reminisce to the song of Zoobie Doobie (we had so much fun last year!)
  • and register for this year’s World Umbrella Dance. This year, we’ll be dancing to the song of Shabop, which means dance without worry to celebrate life.  Hurry up! The first rehearsal dates are coming soon!

3 idiots

My Umbrella Dance experience

I’ve always wanted to be in a flash mob, and last year, my dream came true thanks to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival: I joined the 500 dancers who celebrated spring with the Umbrella Dance at the Vancouver Art Gallery on April 14, 2012.  (Okay, perhaps it wasn’t a real flash mob because the date and time were set in advance, but nevertheless, it felt very much like a flash mob)

At first, I was really scared to register.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to learn the choreography and dance in public. I hesitated for days. Then finally, I decided to just register. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulder. Now, there was no turning back. I had no choice but to learn the dance routine and go through with this.

The music

First, I started by listening to the music “Zoobie Doobie” over and over again to familiarize myself with the rythm and the change of tempo.

The practice

Then, one month before the rehearsal date, I started learning the dance routine with the Youtube videos.  I was simply adding “learning the umbrella dance” to my regular exercise routine. After two sessions of 15 minutes every week,  I was now familiar with the dance routine.

The Rehearsal

The day of the rehearsal, I discovered I had learn the dance “backwards”. I realized I wasn’t supposed to mirror the instructor’s moves on the Youtube videso (if he moved to the left of the screen, I moved to the left as well), but I was supposed to “pretend” I was the dancer (if he went to the left of the screen, meaning he would move to his right, I had to move to my right).  But since I knew all the moves already, it was easy to adapt. Basically, in a dance choreography, you always start on the right side (then left).

Note: It’s possible to learn the dance routine in only 1 hour during rehearsal but if you have no dance experience (which was my case), learning the routine prior to rehearsal is a good idea.

The Big Day!

I went to the Vancouver Art Gallery early to pick up my umbrella (there was no early pick-up location that year). A crowd of excited dancers had already assembled, dressed in black pants and white shirt. There were three dance scheduled. I was assigned to dance with at the second  group (perhaps I was offered the first block, I can’t remember, but I probably turned it down, because I wanted to see how the first dance would turn out.)

Prior to the Umbrella dance, Shiamak Davar dance group members were warming up the participants with great bollywood music and routine. It was so much fun.  All my nervousness went away. Then, it was time for the Umbrella Dance. The familiar music started, with participants saying hello to each other (as per the dance routine), then we “striked a pose” and danced our heart out to the sound of Zoobie Doobie.

I wanna do it again!

What a great experience.  It was so exhilarating!  I can’t wait to do it again this year, so I signed up early and I carry my umbrella with me on every rainy day and tell all my friends and colleagues to join. Don’t miss this great event, buy your umbrella now and sign up for rehearsal. You won’t regret it.

The World Umbrella Dance will take place at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday April 13, 2013.

See you there!

— Jessica

Whitcomb in the West End

Wendy Cutler broke the good news that “The ‘Whitcomb’ cherries are OPEN in the West End and they’re looking excellent. These are spring cherry blossoms. They were open around this time last year, and that turned out to be a late-blooming year. We really can’t predict what the timing will be later in the season based on the blooming time of these early ones.”

Check out our Festival map to see what’s blooming now.

Whitcomb cherry blossoms in Vancouver's West End.

Whitcomb cherry blossoms in Vancouver’s West End (Photo: Wendy Cutler)

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden

Did you enjoyed the Chinese New Year parade in Vancouver today?  On your way there, if you took a few minutes to stroll through the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden, you might have noticed this beautiful cherry tree right next to the entrance. With red lanterns suspended in the garden, it was quite beautiful.  The tree is in the public part of the garden so the entrance is free.

Here are pictures taken today:

Cherry Blossoms at the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden in Vancouver on Feb. 17 2013

Cherry Blossoms at the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden in Vancouver on Feb. 17 2013

Cherry Blossoms at the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden in Vancouver on Feb. 17 2013

Autumnalis Rosea (Lost Lagoon)

Wendy Cutler intrigued me with the photo of an Autumnalis Rosea (a winter blooming cherry tree) that she shared with us on January 13.  The picture showed a small tree with tiny pink blossoms near the completely frozen lagoon. Brrr!

I’ve never seen an Autumnalis Rosea cherry tree, so I decided to go take a look today.

Autumnalis Rosea, may not be as spectacular as other cultivars –  the petals look a bit messy, often appearing twisted, and the branches are twiggy and untidy – but I found them really charming and worth a visit.

Location: West End/Stanley Park – Lost Lagoon near daycare, 3 trees.

Here are some pictures taken today:

AutumnalisRoseaLostLagoonFeb102013byJT

Autumnalis Rosea cherry tree at Lost Lagoon in Vanoucver BC on Feb 10 2013 taken by JT

Autumnalis Rosea cherry tree at Lost Lagoon in Vanoucver BC on Feb 10 2013 taken by JT