Lake Balboa "Sakura" Series 2008
March 15  Van Nuys, CA
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There were a variety of activities to choose from today.  There was a basketball game in Carson featuring the legends of
the Philippine Basketball Association.  Also, Loyola Marymount University had their Japanese Cultural Night, which I've
attended the past two years.  Instead, I chose to come here and take cosplay photos featuring the cherry blossoms at
Lake Balboa.  I knew that I wanted to do a few things this year that I had never done before.  I just didn't think that this
would be one of them.

This event was started a few years ago by  It was an event that was covered by very few photographers and
attended by a handful of cosplayers.  This year, this event grew to a massive size, attracting more than a hundred people.
 This is quite remarkable considering news of the event was spread primarily through blogs and word of mouth.  The
cherry blossoms themselves are difficult to predict and if you want to make it to this event, you have to go on short notice.

I had never been to this location before and was quite amazed by the beautiful scenery at this park.  The cherry
blossoms were a nice touch, but this park also had a lot of wide open grassy areas and forest-like areas that were very
impressive.  I think some of my favorite photos from this day have no cherry blossoms at all.  Weather was also a big
player today.  We had a little bit of everything--cold, heat, sun, clouds, rain, wind.  With all that to consider, result ranged
from super-crappy to spectacular.  Nature is awesome.

In all, it was an incredible day.  I'm impressed by the cosplay and anime community that we have in Southern California.  
Some people drove for hours to get here.  I saw people here that I hadn't seen in years.  Independent events outside of
conventions are becoming more popular across the country, but no region does it better than Southern California.  It's
like we're one big family and that's beautiful.  I'm happy to be a part of this community and make my small contributions
where I can.

Nergene Arquelada