#2: Washington DC

Washington, DC

March is a great time to visit Washington DC. As you may have guessed it, one reason is because March in Washington is famous for its cherry blossom.

According to the National Park Service, these cherry trees date back to 1912 when they were gifted to the United States from Japan as a symbol of friendship. Today, there are about 3750 cherry trees around the Tidal Basin, and they are quite lovely during the blossom.

We left Pittsburgh on Saturday morning and spent about 5 hours driving to Washington DC. Not that it’s a bad idea to drive to DC, but we mentally prepared ourselves for the traffic and decided that we would head to a Metro station first (in Virginia), park there, and take the train to get into the city. By the time we get to the Tidal Basin area, it was already near 4pm. Good thing that days are getting longer!

The main area of attraction is around the Tidal Basin, where most of the cherry trees are planted. But actually there are plenty of cherry trees outside of that area. For example, along the side of the national mall towards the Washington Monument. It’s also very misleading because many tourists would stop and take photos there with the same bunch of branches (!). Like, come on, let it go, there are plenty of cherry trees 10 minutes away.

The Washington Monument.

Jokes aside, the scenery at Tidal Basin is truly magnificent. Especially during the cherry blossom season (I believe we went during the peak of the cherry blossom), where everything over your head is light pink, and the excitement all around you. The sidewalks are packed with people. Tourists are taking lots of pictures on their selfie sticks. Professional photographers have their tripod setup so that they can annoy the hell out of other people (although I am guilty about that as well). Locals have their blankets out and picnic basket with them. The weather was not too warm, not too chilly. All around perfect.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial across the lake.

A timelapse of the sidewalks.

For dinner, we chose a restaurant called Absolute Thai, near the Verizon Center. The interior is a little cramped and run down. But the food is delicious with just the right amount of spice.

On the second day we spent the morning hunting down for some dim sum. Coming from Pittsburgh which doesn’t have a Chinatown, we thought DC has something more to offer in that area. Turned out that it isn’t the case at all. We ended up going to a noodle place which is quite awful :(

Lastly, there are of course lots of other fun things to do in DC. I highly recommend the International Spy Museum, which is a private museum. But don’t let the ticket price hold you back though. It has some truly fascinating exhibitions and the interactive tour is great. Pro tip: skip the line and buy your ticket online ahead of time.

Outside of International Spy Museum.

#1: Welcome

Pittsburgh, PA

Hello? Hi there, you! Welcome!

What a coincidence that we came across each other, here, in the whole wide world wide web! I know we were meant to be with each other.

(Okay maybe not. But I’m cool with that too.)

Welcome to my blog. I’m your host, Josh. I’m sure by now you have read a little more about me on my homepage, www.joshyu.me

The reason I set up this blog is because I want to share something with you. Sharing is so important you know? Not the kind of over-sharing where people post blurry dark photos of their drunk night out, or “Which The Force Awakens Character Should You Hook Up With?”. I’m talking about creating something original, carefully crafting it, and then sharing it. Curation is also cool, as long as it’s not just curation. And by forcing myself to constantly create something and evaluate my work, hopefully I can build up my creative force and become less sucked in by the consumerism in the pop culture.

Consume Less. Create More.

And there are many things that I can share with you. The first thing that comes to mind is photos. Lots and lots of photos. I’ve recently picked up photography as a hobby, and I’ve been tugging my camera with me everywhere I go for the past year. As I travel more and more, I want to not only capture what those places look like, but also how I felt at that time.

Here is a famous quote:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

What a beautiful sentence, and it was definitely not from Mark Twain. I should add that if you don’t record and reflect on those experiences, the details will quickly vanish inside your brain, leaving you with just a generic and plain impression. So I am going to try and capture those experiences while they are fresh. By the way, I might also post photos of me eating, sleeping and pooping, so you should prepare yourself for that too.

Another thing that I would like to share with you is technical journals. As a computer engineer, I follow the tech industry closely. I will try my best to offer some of my observations and comments on recent tech trends, new startups, the consumer markets, and personal electronics. If I am working on a new project, I will post them here as well.

And the last thing that I want to share with you is my more personal thoughts. And bear in mind that I don’t usually like to talk about my feelings, because like everyone I have my own insecurities and my weaknesses. What I do hope to achieve here is to document how I evolve from year to year. This is inspired by one of my favorite podcasts, Millennial, where the host Megan Tan documents her own journey while navigating through her 20s. Similar to that, some of the posts in this category will be about my 20s. The can be opinionated, naive,. and sometimes just downright outrageous. Whatever it is, I hope you don’t mind. If you do, I don’t want to hear about it. Just kidding.

So here it is, my first blog post! I hope you will check back with me for new posts. Until next time, peace.