Hanami Hustle

T he best place in New Haven to practice the Japanese custom of hanami—cherry blossom-viewing, with optional sake-fueled feasts and poem-writing sessions under the pink and white blooms—is Wooster Square, whose outer edges are lined with Yoshino cherry trees.

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You don’t have to be Japanese to practice hanami, but you do have to be punctual. Cherry blossoms emerge just once a year, with each tree blooming and shedding over the course of an unpredictable week or two in spring. In a grove of cherry blossoms, there’s a peak—an even shorter period when the trees’ different schedules overlap to the greatest pink and white and fluffy effect.

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One thing’s for certain: Wooster Square’s peak hasn’t happened yet. But it’s close. Many of the Yoshinos there were well underway as of yesterday afternoon, when these photos were taken. Their collective crescendo might even top out this weekend, when forecasts of mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s herald high hanami happiness indeed.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories, helped in no small part by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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