Bravo to CityCenterDC, the downtown, mixed-use complex that has figured out how to reach out to the community and engage D.C.’s residents where they work and live. Despite D.C.’s reputation as home to the nation’s top nerds and geeks, this is a city that loves a parade, an artistic installation and any oddball outdoor activity that illuminates the “darkness.”

CityCenterDC is using its Palmer Alley to brighten up the downtown landscape, offering brilliant overhead installations of Chinese lanterns and kites (above) this spring. Of course, that follows on their holiday light show in December and the rustic leaves of fall in October and November. Working with Design Foundry of Hyattsville, CityCenterDC promises a fascinating and novel vision for the alley and the complex.

This spring, CityCenterDC also unveiled D.C.’s first festival of tulips (below). The installation had visitors wandering among a field of urban tulips, numbering near 40,000, in The Park at CityCenter. It painted a canvas of pastels and green at a time when the notion of leaves on nearby trees was just a dream. Congratulations to CityCenterDC for figuring out a way to brighten our days.