If you haven't been to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden during cherry blossom season, go soon!
In Japan, hanami is the tradition of viewing cherry blossoms (sakura) in the spring. With more than 200 cherry trees, the first of which were planted after World War I, the BBG has one of the largest collections of these gorgeous trees outside Japan. (And hey, you won't need to hustle down to Washington D.C. with much of the Northeast and battle it out for hotel rooms!)
I went this weekend on a sunny yet chilly day. Although the trees in the eastern end of the park were in peak or post-peak bloom, most of the cherry trees were still in prebloom. The ideal time to visit should be next weekend for the Sakura Matsuri, the cherry blossom festival, or shortly after. You can follow the garden's cherry blossom watch map, but keep in mind that the trees go from pre-bloom to peak bloom in the blink of an eye.
So hurry down, preferably with a camera and picnic blanket in tow.