Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
September 20, 2009
October 5, 2014
9th at Virginia, Looking West (see more)

The news seems to be well known at this point, but I will still note here officially that Bill Walsh, known colloquially in these parts as Mr. JDLand, died on Wednesday of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, a rotten cancer of the bile ducts and liver made more rotten by the frequency with which it isn't found until it has spread.
I won't run down his biography here, especially since the fabulous Washington Post obituary does a great job sketching the portrait of the "rock star" of copy editors. And my grief-soaked Facebook farewell gives a hint of the heartbreak I am not only now facing, but have lived with for the past nine months, knowing that it was highly unlikely this cancer was going to be beat.
But I wanted to ruminate for a moment or two about the part Bill played in JDLand, and not just as the chauffeur on that fateful day in January 2003 when I took the series of photos that really started this adventure.
When Bill moved to this area from Phoenix in 1989, he lived in Alexandria at first, but with a commute to the Washington Times building on New York Avenue, NE, he was soon drawn to Capitol Hill, and found a place not far from Eastern Market. The Hill of the 1990s, of course, had a very different feel than today, as did the entire city, but he fell in love with the walkability, and even the slight edginess of the time.
While I had been born on the Hill, my family had left the area when I was a toddler and when we came back we settled in Chevy Chase, so while I very much considered myself a Washington-area native, I was pretty firmly ensconced in the world of Upper Northwest, Bethesda, and points west and north. Sure, I had spent more than my fair share of time at the original 9:30 Club on F Street, drank yards of beer at the old Tiber Creek Pub (where Bistro Bis now resides), served two summers as a Hill intern, worked at a couple of jobs near 16th and K, and wasn't a-feered of going downtown in the late 1980s and early 1990s as many of my cohorts were, but it still just really wasn't part of my orbit.
Until in April 1993, when I met a guy living on Capitol Hill.
By 1995, we had bought our house on the south side of the Hill, much to the chagrin of many people who thought we were crazy to buy in such an "unsafe" place, a feeling that intensified for many who came to our housewarming party via the 6th Street exit off the freeway who were not happy to be greeted by the boarded up shells of the old Ellen Wilson Dwellings and the only slightly less foreboding, not-yet-boarded up Capper apartment buildings.
But we loved it. We loved walking the neighborhood for hours. We loved Eastern Market. We loved walking to the Hawk n Dove or the Tune Inn or La Lomida Dos. We loved going to open houses just to look. We loved the House and Garden Tour. We loved being 10 minutes from National Airport. We loved seeing the Capitol just as part of the neighborhood landscape.
And we loved watching it change, as it really began to in the early 2000s. Somewhere on his hard drive is actually a running list, going back to well before we arrived, of which businesses occupied which addresses on Pennsylvania Avenue and on Barracks Row. He loved telling people about how 8th Street had transformed from "our little slice of Queens" to the restaurant row it is today.
Then I extended the boundaries of our interest when I started hearing about the various plans to transform the blocks south of the freeway, an area we rarely ventured into and in fact would sometimes jokingly subreference Bonfire of the Vanities when telling people how to get back to the freeway and "safety": DON'T GO UNDER THE OVERPASS.
When I get asked to tell the story of how I began to follow the neighborhood, I almost always mention how Bill and I used to stand on 3rd Street and look southward under the freeway to catch a glimpse of the Anacostia River, and how we used to say to each other, "Wouldn't it be great if someday we could walk down there from here and then along the river?" (which was usually followed by loud ironic guffaws) And then I was off on my one great hobby, watching Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards grow from nothing to what it is today.
Of course, through all of this, the rest of DC was changing too, and we became even more intensely in love with our city and what it offered. We ate at as many of the city's restaurants as we could. He began biking to and from work at the Post. We would walk to Caps games at the Verizon Center and then home. We Bikeshared. We Car to Go'ed. We Ubered. We waited for the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail to be extended. We walked to Nats games on a whim. We rode the H Street Streetcar on the first day. We reveled in referring to ourselves derisively as urban hipsters.
Much of our daily running messaging commentary to each other was news of what we had seen and heard--did you hear Hank's is opening on the Hill? The weird florist at 8th and E is gone! Matchbox is almost open! Wait, let me guess, you want to go to Morini again.
And in 2015, when he began a walking regime to combat a bit of fatigue that was probably a missed early sign of his cancer, his route covered all the bases--down 8th Street to the freeway, back up to Pennsylvania Avenue, down New Jersey under the freeway, over to 1st Street, down to the ballpark, along the river, and home. And I received bulletins all along the way of whatever he saw that was new. He became the first and only official JDLand stringer.
We just loved living here. Every minute of it.
A few weeks ago, I felt he was stable enough to allow me a little time to go take some Hood pics for the first time in a few months. It was a beautiful day, I was doing what I have loved doing for more than a decade now, and was on autopilot--until I looked at the large as-yet unleased corner retail space in one of the new buildings. And then I couldn't breathe. Because I knew it would be a restaurant, and would be a restaurant that he would never know about. That we would never eat at.
When my brother brought me home to the Hill after leaving the hospice center for the final time (I can't even believe Bill died in Arlington and not DC), we came across the 14th Street Bridge. I caught sight of the Wharf construction, and burst into tears.
We may not have been activists, or preservationists, or even particularly involved in the culture of the Hill and surroundings, but our neighborhood(s) infused every part of our days. These streets and buildings and businesses and history united us as much as our life at the Post, our love of travel, our cats, and our expert-level pop-culture referencing.
Now I just have to figure out how on earth to watch it all alone.
I will continue to pop in and out in the coming weeks, because he would not be pleased if JDLand was collateral damage in all of this, but it will take a long while before I return to full steam.
However, having moved through the aftermath of my mother's heartbreaking death three years ago, I do know that time heals, and what feel like machete strikes to my chest today will eventually be wistful pangs. There will come a time that roaming these streets will not smack me with what he is missing, but remind me of everything we shared and enjoyed so very much.
Comments (25)
 More posts: JDLand stuff
   
 

My focus is now zeroing in on a very targeted area in my world, so I am going to be pulling back from full-sized posts here for the foreseeable future. I may still pop up in the comments, and may find a moment or two to pipe up for whatever reason on Twitter, but for now my time is best spent elsewhere. Continued thanks to the "erstwhile" JDLand commenters for keeping the chatter up in my absence.
But at least before I go I can post links to the news of Dacha coming to Dock 79, and that maybe a bowling alley will go into some of the retail space in the Jair Lynch residential/retail project above the Half Street Hole just north of Nats Park. And a reader reports this morning that steel beams have arrived at the NAB HQ site at South Capitol and M, so work might be starting there.
And thanks to everyone for your patience and good thoughts in these past months.
Comments (42)
   
 

These days I'm generally the last person laying eyes on something new in the neighborhood, but I still find it necessary to conduct photo documentation when the calendar and forecast align. Which they did on Sunday.
Let's look at signs and entrances, starting first at F1rst and its Residence Inn, where it looks like the homestretch has been entered (click to enlarge, of course):
Then, let's go over to 4th Street, where the District Winery building continues to zip along. It's also where the Bower is now signed, as is Conte's space in Arris:
Then we'll double back westward (you're getting a sense for how far I walk on these excursions), taking a look at the new sidewalk on New Jersey Avenue in front of Insignia on M. Shake Shack's signage at the Homewood Suites, and the One Hill South entrance (very New York, isn't it). (I caught the Bethesda Bagels signage back in December, just in case you think I'm missing it.)
I even caught the view from the bridge of the new Bardo beer garden at Florida Rock, with a few hardy souls in attendance. Plus, views of both Agora on New Jersey Avenue (aka the Whole Foods Building) and 1221 Van (aka That Big Building On South Capitol Immediately North of the Ballpark):
All the links above to project pages have additional brand spanking new pics, and of course Before photos.
Next up, checking out holes in the ground, both current and coming soon.
Comments (37)
   
 

It was announced on Thursday that fall 2017 is expected to see the opening at Arris of Chloe, a multi-genre restaurant from Chef Haidar Karoum, late of Estadio, Doi Moi, and Proof.
The press release says that "Chloe will be a showcase of Karoum's personal culinary journey, including his Lebanese roots and extensive travel around Western Europe and Southeast Asia, all grounded in and linked by the seasonal bounties of the mid-Atlantic."
It will have 103 seats inside, with counter seating for 14 at an open kitchen and another 27 spots in the bar, plus 32 outdoor seats for warm months (like February?).
Washingtonian has much more about the venture, including a couple of renderings of the interior, one of which seems to hint that the restaurant will be located in the corner space at 4th and Tingey, but I am trying to confirm the exact location for sure.
Chloe will join Arris's other existing and coming-soon retail tenants Philz Coffee, Conte's Bike Shop, the Juice Laundry, and the Cosmpolitan Nail Lounge. And it also joins the ever-increasing list of eateries across the neighborhood slated to open in 2017.
Comments (18)
   
 

* The first sit-down restaurant at the F1rst development has been reported by WBJ: Declaration, a 3,500-square-foot restaurant from the Presidential Restaurant Group, which is Lincoln and Teddy & the Bully Bar as well as the first Declaration at 8th and V NW. WBJ says that it will be in the ground floor of the Residence Inn next door to the actual F1rst apartment building, and will have entrances from both the street and the hotel lobby. It also will apparently "be significantly larger and therefore offer a broader menu" than the V Street location, including "Philadelphia-oriented menu items." This location "aims to open by the end of 2017." It joins the previously announced F1rst lineup of Taylor Gourmet, Chop't, Rasa Indian Grill, Chipotle, and Roti.
* Also reported by WBJ, Cava Grill has signed a lease to open in the Homewood Suites on the northeast corner of Half and M, SE, which expectant taste buds may also know as the location-to-be for Shake Shack.
* Bardo says that its new riverfront brewery location on Potomac Avenue across from Nats Park "will open sporadically" between now and April, based on the weather, on a weekend-by-weekend basis.
My food map shows the full lineup of offerings, both open and announced. In addition to the coming-soons mentioned above, 2017 should see the opening of The Salt Line, All-Purpose, Bethesda Bagels, Slipstream, the Juice Laundry, and District Winery.
Comments (35)
   
 

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For past mile markers in the neighborhood's evolution,
see my Near Southeast DC Timeline.

 
Thousands and thousands of photos showing the neighborhood changing. More than 150 buildings no longer with us. All the news, since 2003. Photos from various archives showing the neighborhood in the more distant past. Maps from the early 1900s. Overhead Photo Comparisons: 1949, 1988, 2002-2008. All Blog Entries, 2003 - Present Major Events, 1799 - Present A series of blog entries looking at the neighborhood's history.
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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 03/20/17
100 B/O D ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft First Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 03/20/17
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 03/10/17
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 03/08/17
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 03/08/17
500 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 03/06/17
100 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 03/05/17
200 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 03/05/17
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 03/04/17
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/27/17
1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/26/17
1100 B/O 1ST ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
 02/21/17
1100 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/19/17

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Project Directory
Completed
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)


Overviews
Capper/Carrollsburg
Anacostia Riverwalk
New Jersey Avenue
M Street
South Capitol Street
The Yards
Lower 8th Street
East M Street
Boathouse Row





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