Tulip Mania on the Streets of Washington

tulips and blacktop

Tulip mania was the original economic bubble. Long before the dotcom bust and the housing crash, 17th Century Europeans speculated in tulip bulbs. You read that right – tulip bulbs.

Introduced to the continent by the Ottomans, tulips became a status symbol commanding top prices at a time when Holland was developing into an economic giant. Tulip bulbs became a sort of substitute currency and were widely speculated upon – after all, we’ll always need tulips, right? You could trade a tulip bulb for a ton of butter! Men even speculated in tulip futures and other derivative products. Everyone was getting rich.

But like shady Internet companies and Arizona condos, the market eventually crashed, as recounted in this excellent Wikipedia entry on tulip mania.

All that was left were the tulips themselves. Fortunately, they are beautiful and bloom on the streets of DC every April. Seeing them, it’s hard not to get a touch of tulip mania. Good thing that tulip futures aren’t listed on the NYSE – otherwise, I’d be buying.

Here are some colorful photos of tulips around Washington.

15th St Cycletrack is now a tulip-track
Biking past tulips at 15th and K.
southbound on 15th St by tulips
The man in the tie wonders what the hell am I doing. I’m taking tulip pictures!
Biking by the tulips #bikedc #IGDC #spring #dc
15th St has a protected bike lane running in both directions.
Running by the tulips #rundc #IGDC #spring #dc
The weather has been beautiful for running.
Tulips gone wild at the Capitol #IGDC #spring #dc
Tulips on the west side of the Capitol.
Tulips and the Capitol #latergram #IGDC #spring
Tulips on the east side of the Capitol.

I have a lot of tulip shots #IGDC #spring #dc

cyclist returns home from the store
Cyclist returning home along the Metropolitan Branch Trail.
Tulips along the Metropolitan Branch Trail, which runs from Union Station to Catholic University.
where to begin?
I’m not the only one taking pictures.


Tulips even along the Metropolitan Branch Trail #bikedc
That’s my bike, a Specialized Sirrus.
It's tulip mania at the White House #IGDC
Tulips in Lafayette Park, across from the White House.
Tiptoeing through the tulips #selfiesunday #bikedc
A tulip selfie.


Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is a writer, photographer and web person from Washington, DC. The author of several novels, Joe won the City Paper Fiction Competition in 2020. In his free time, he enjoys wandering about the city taking photos.

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