What's the deal with this site?
It's a common question, and the answer is actually pretty simple. I live just north of the Southeast Freeway, and as it became clear that the neighborhood two blocks to my south was going to undergo a huge transformation, I knew I wanted to document the changes, and have a record of what the area looked like before, during, and after. I took some initial photos in September 2000, but started for real in January 2003, 20 months before it was announced that a new baseball stadium would be plopped down in the neighborhood I was tracking.
Originally the site was just photos and a few links, but as more and more news about the 'hood began to flow, I moved into the information aggregation biz as well, followed somewhat reluctantly by beginning to report on public meetings and events myself. And as the interest in the neighborhood has grown, so has my perfectionist need to make this site as complete as possible, making it the beast you see here today.
My background is not in urban planning or development; many moons ago I received a History degree from the University of Florida, which probably explains why I initially undertook the chronicling of Near Southeast as a historical project as much as anything else. (I started my college career intending to major in journalism, but in one of my life's great ironies, I decided against that career path after realizing I couldn't stand covering public meetings.)
This web site is a purely personal undertaking--I don't work for the city, or a developer, or a real estate company, or the Nationals, or a PR firm, or anything. I do work for the Washington Post, but as a computer geek, not as a reporter or editor: I created and maintain the newsroom's internal web site, and also develop web applications for internal newsroom use.
In 2007 and 2008, the Post's District Extra section published excerpts from this blog, as a column called "Ballpark and Beyond." But the Post has never exerted any editorial control over this site (beyond my own generalized fear of not wanting to do anything that would get me fired)--it's still completely my own obsession.
As for the name of the site, "JDLand" was not coined as part of my coverage in Near Southeast--it's just the domain name I made up for myself back in 1996 when I wanted to post my own web page.
So, if you're out and about in the neighborhood and you see a goofball standing in the street taking pictures (with hair a color of red that may or may not be found in nature), feel free to say hi, because that's me.
I should also note that I'm nowhere near the most famous web personality in my immediate family. My husband, Bill Walsh, was the proprietor of TheSlot.com and author of three books on editing and language before his death from cancer in March 2017. My brother, Jamie Dupree, is Washington correspondent for the Cox Radio Network.
Interested in licensing my photos for other uses, or getting prints?
Interested in advertising?
If you want to get in touch with me, drop me a line.
(known in real life as Jacqueline Dupree)
JD at work, September 2007. (Photo by BW.)
A Three-Minute video profiling JDLand.com, produced by J-Lab as part of the Knight-Batten Awards:
Press clippings about JDLand.com: