Since January, 2003
 (a random before-and-after moment)
July 18, 2006
October 19, 2014
Half at M, Looking Northeast (see more)

(Warning: Navel gazing ahead!)
Even in my semi-retired state, I'd like to believe it is still worth noting that Saturday marks the 10-year anniversary of my first real photographic excursion* south of the Southeast Freeway, when on lark on a cold Sunday afternoon I had my husband drive me around while I took some furtive shots with an early generation digital camera.
There was no rhyme or reason to the pictures I took, and there certainly was no grand plan that I'd spend the next decade amassing more than 60,000 additional photos** of the changes and events along the path of Near Southeast's redevelopment.
All I knew was that were some plans to redevelop the neighborhood, especially the areas along the water as well as the public housing project a few blocks south of my house. I thought it would be cool to have some "before" photos, especially having watched other areas of the city change so radically from what I had first remembered as a high schooler and then college kid in the 1980s, venturing to the original 9:30 Club or the Tiber Creek Pub. I put a few of them up on my web site (already called JDLand, I'll have you know), mainly so that my dad could see them.
When I took these pictures, the notion of a baseball stadium anywhere in DC, let alone on South Capitol Street, was still thought of as a "maybe someday" dream, not anything that was actually only five years from opening. There was no hulking US Department of Transportation on M Street, and no public access to the entire 55-acre Southeast Federal Center with its long stretch of Anacostia waterfront. There were no parks, though there were school buses! And there were certainly no brightly colored townhouses selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
There were a couple of new office buildings built a few years earlier when NAVSEA moved to the Navy Yard, and one additional one was under construction. There was a banner announcing a coming shiny new apartment building at New Jersey and K, which my husband and I laughed at every time we saw it--who would ever want to live THERE?.
There were a lot of small businesses, a number of carry-outs and market/liquor stores, four gas stations, concrete plants, auto repair garages, warehouses, Metrobuses, and of course nightclubs, gay and straight. And a lot of trash-strewn empty lots.
I look now at the photos from those early years, and it just doesn't seem like it can really have been 10 years. I remember when the boarded up gas station at 3rd and M was demolished in October 2003, thinking "FINALLY!"
I remember working up the courage to go to public meetings, and feeling like a dingbat trying to explain who I was ("yeah, so, I have this web site, and I, like, take pictures and stuff?").
I remember walking around the neighborhood for hours on Sunday mornings in 2006 and 2007, rarely crossing paths with another human.
I remember the exhaustion of the all-details-blogging about the construction and opening of Nationals Park, especially at the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008. I laugh about how my fraidy-cat tendencies were shoved aside while I traipsed around the site in a hard hat (me! in a hard hat!), sometimes climbing rickety ladders, to get to spots where the best pictures would be had.
I think about how it seemed like the documenting of the stadium's birth was the main subject of this site, and yet I realize that I've now written about the neighborhood for almost as long with the stadium open as not.
I imagine I should have some grand What It All Means theory, for the neighborhood, or for "citizen journalism" or "hyperlocal blogging," or my life, or whatever. But, mainly I'm lucky that the stars aligned to have this particular neighborhood undergo such a transformation, in a way that tied in with my history-journalism-photography-web development backgrounds (and my obsessive-compulsiveness).
I do think it's been shown, though, that a project like this isn't as easy to replicate as it might seem (so maybe I did deserve that award!).
I'm also lucky that so many people have helped me along the way, with information, tips, tutorials on commercial real estate development and construction, and zoning, and urban planning, and all the other things I really knew nothing about before I started down this path.
And I'm really lucky that over the years people who have stumbled onto the site have found it interesting, which is what has pushed me to keep going, even if it's in a somewhat less-than-optimal fashion right now. Because, really, all I wanted was some cool pictures to be able to look back on.
Without getting into detail, my pulling back somewhat has definitely been the right thing to do, and the times when I go days or even weeks without posting aren't really just me being lazy. But the funny thing is, I still research and track all the minutiae the same way--it's just that final step of writing it out that I can't always get through.
I think, though, that 2013 is going to have a lot of the "milestones" that still propel me to post--restaurants will open, other retail may come along, and maybe some buildings will get started. And there still will be pictures to be taken. Because, even if I wanted to, I don't think I could ever really stop watching the neighborhood change, and if I'm going to watch it, and photograph it, I might as well keep blabbing on about it, and might as well share it with anyone still interested.
So go look at the pictures from January 19, 2003 (and all the others that I've put online), since that's what this was really all about. And accept my deep appreciation for being along for the ride.
*I say "real excursion", and date the blog's anniversary to Jan. 19, 2003, because that was the first time I took photos and then put them on the web, and really began this life-consuming project. But I need to note that I did also take some photos of the neighborhood back in the fall of 2000, during the reconstruction of M Street and the Navy Yard's renovation for NAVSEA, with my old film camera--but I forgot about them and didn't even develop the film until sometime in 2004 (hence the rotten quality!).
**Only about one third of the photos I've taken are actually on the web site, by the way.
Comments (7)
 
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Boris says: (1/18/13 10:45 AM)
Congrats, JD. I've been following you for 4 years now and love the site. As a native of DC and a former Hill staffer, I remember having to park down NJ Ave because I was so low on the office totem poll. It was a pretty scary experience. Your photo history reminds me of those days and how far this neighborhood has come. I'm very proud of being a part of it now. Thank you for doing this!


Bruce says: (1/18/13 11:01 AM)
When a few of us were on line overnight waiting to purchase at CQ in 2006, the police drove and asked us what we were protesting! We told them the story and they drove by almost every 1/2 hour to check on us....lol. There was no one else around except some "squatters" coming from the last remaining Capper apts on L and 3rd waiting for demolition.
Times have changed!


Jaybird says: (1/19/13 7:00 AM)
JD,

Now you have me all nostalgic. I think I met you at the corner of First and N. Was it 2003 or 2004?

Anyway, congrats on the big one-zero! Very few bloggers last that long, much less as prolific as you. Take a bow!



VelocityChris says: (1/19/13 10:29 AM)
Not only do I enjoy your blog as a resident now, it was a part of helping me pick this neighborhood to move to when I was researching areas! So thank you very much!


BillP says: (1/21/13 9:49 AM)
JD - Congratulations on your anniversary, Jen and I love your photos and your blog and we have enjoyed and corresponding with you as well. Here's to another few decades. Can you imagine what this place will look like then?


John Marson says: (2/11/13 12:01 AM)
Happy anniversary! I truly love reading your blog! Thank you for all the time and energy you've investing in it.


yard resident since 09 says: (2/16/13 6:29 PM)
You're amazing! Many thanks for time, effort and insight about the neighborhood. Found your site prior to us moving into Navy Yard years ago; while we wanted to be in the neighborhood, your site 'connected' us, and still does. It helps me be a more informed citizen and neighbor.

Here's to another 10 years!


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City Government Data for Near Southeast Records added or updated recently displayed here; click the "archive" links to see additional detail and older records. All data from DC Government databases and RSS feeds. JDLand takes no responsibility for errors, omissions, etc. (read CapStat disclaimer). Data is retrieved daily.

Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
1300 B/O M ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
Theft From Auto 1
 01/27/15
1200 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 1st Degree
 01/26/15
70 B/O I ST SE   SEX ABUSE
2nd Degree Sexual Abuse
 01/25/15
1000 B/O 8TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 01/25/15
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2 (Theft F/Building)
 01/22/15
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 01/20/15
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 01/19/15
1000 B/O 7TH ST SE   ASSAULT W/DANGEROUS WEAPON
Adw -- Knife
 01/15/15
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 01/12/15
1000 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 01/12/15
1100 B/O 5TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
Theft From Auto 1
 01/05/15

Active Public Space Permits Archive  
1331 2ND ST SE    Carlton Ray 
Assigned
paving; streetfixture; excavation  
 02/10/14
to
02/09/15
1331 4TH ST SE    Forest City Forest City 
Issued
excavation; new  
 01/10/14
to
02/10/15

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1025 1ST ST SE   
01/13/15 
FRANCISCA OTERO
PC52706432 / POST CARD
INSTALLATION OF NOT MORE THAN 1 NEW AIR CONDITIONING UNIT UP TO A MAXIMUM OF 10-TONS OF EQUIVALENT REFRIGERATING EFFECT.
801 2ND ST SE   
01/22/15 
BAKER DC LLC / CHRISTINE LONG
AH1500209 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED FORM 7:00 PM THRU 7:00AM
1201 4TH ST SE   
01/13/15 
JGB/FEDERAL CENTER LLC / JIM CALABRESE
AN1500018 / CONSTRUCTION
REPLACE 10 EXISTING ANTENNAS WITH 10 NEW ANTENNAS. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ANTENNAS PER SECTOR / MOUNT WILL NOT EXCEED 5 PER DCRA CODE. THEREFORE NO OFFICE PLANNING LETTER IS REQUIRED. AS PER PLANS AS PER CODE.
1240 12TH ST SE   
01/14/15 
AECOM TECHNICAL SERVICE / ERIKA FERGERSON - CARROLL
B1503361 / CONSTRUCTION
CONTRACTOR TO PLACE CONSTRUCTION TRAILER ON PRIVATE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 1240 12TH ST SE PROPERTY.
1015 HALF ST SE   
01/30/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / SAM HOLLEN RAMCO OF DC INC.
TL1500016 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR TENANT LAYOUT OF OFFICE SPACE AND RADIO STUDIOS ON THE 2ND FLOOR. PARTITIONS FURNITURE EQUIPMENT MEP AND LIFE SAFETY WORK. INSTALL 2000 GALLON DOUBLE-WALL CONTAINMENT ABOVE GROUND FUEL OIL STORAGE TANK ON B2 LEVEL. CBS BROADCAST STUDIOS
82 I ST SE   
01/23/15 
RUSSELL WHITWORTH GREYSTONE / SHELDON WILLIAMS WILES MENSCH CORP; RUSSELL WHITWORTH
BCIV1400098 / CONSTRUCTION
RELOCATE A 12 INCH WATER LINE THIS SUMMER.
100 I ST SE   
01/24/15 
NA NA NA
EHOP1590258 / HOME OCCUPATION
125 L ST SE   
01/12/15 
SOK C REED ANN'S BEAUTY SUPPLY & WIG CO / PAPA-KWESI COLEMAN
B1501967 / CONSTRUCTION
CONVERTING A PORTION OF EXISTING BEAUTY SALON TO OFFICE FOR CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY PURPOSES.
20 M ST SE   
01/12/15 
SOUTHEAST REALTY LLC / JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
TL1500021 / CONSTRUCTION
REVISION TO PLANS AND PERMIT TL1400132 SUBWAY SANDWICH SHOP AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED ARCH ELECTRICAL PLUMBING AND MECHANICAL DWGS. AND WRITTEN DESCRIPTION OF CHANGES BEING MADE. INTERIOR WORK ONLY. NO STRUCTURAL WORK INVOLVED. NO CHANGE IN SEATING CAPACITY STAYING AT 41.
50 M ST SE   
01/26/15 
ENGLEWOOD LLC / FVI 2020
SH1400087 / CONSTRUCTION
SHEETING AND SHORING ACTIVITIES RELATED TO CONSTRUCTION OF NEW HOTEL 11 ABOVE GRADE 1 STORY BELOW GRADE 195 HOTEL SUITES
100 M ST SE   
01/20/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / JOHN MCDONALD
P1502784 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
01/14/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / MATTHEW WERT
P1502642 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
01/20/15 
SQUARE 743 INC. / SAM HOLLEN RAMCO OF DC INC.
B1503542 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR RENOVATION FOR 7TH FLOOR TENANT CORRIDOR. PARTITIONS DOORS MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL AND LIFE SAFETY.
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
01/28/15 
CSX TRANSPORTATION / CSX TRANSPORTATION; INTERAGENCY CONSULTANTS; ; JUSTIN DONNELLY
BCIV1400064 / CONSTRUCTION
THE VIRGINIA AVENUE TUNNEL RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT WILL MODIFY THE EXISTING CSX OWNED-AND-OPERATED TUNNEL AND TRACKS IN SE WASHINGTON DC APPROXIMATELY FROM SOUTH CAPITOL STREET TO WATER ST SE AND UNDERNEATH THE EASTBOUND LANES OF VIRGINIA AVE SE.
909 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
01/15/15 
SCARLET OAK / EVAN O'BRIEN/ D MCKEEVER SERVICES
TL1500002 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW TENANT LAYOUT FOR NEW 3754 SF RESTAURANT. PARTITION PLAN NEW COMMERCIAL KITCHEN BAR MILL WORK AND DINING AREA INCLUDED NO OUT SIDE SEATING ON THIS PERMIT.
1000 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
01/12/15 
CAPITOL HILL TOWER HOUSING COOPERATIVE INCF / RICHARD G. FINFROCK
P1502547 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
01/23/15 
DONOHOE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY / DANIEL M. NARH
P1502702 / SUPPLEMENTAL
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
01/12/15 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / DANIEL M. NARH
P1502450 / SUPPLEMENTAL
816 POTOMAC AVE SE   
01/13/15 
JAMES ANDERSON 818 POTOMAC AVE SE LLC / WILLIAM WESTERM FROEHLING AND ROBERTSON INC.
SB1400485 / CONSTRUCTION
5 SOIL BORINGS EIGHT INCHES IN DIAMETER TO DEPTHS RANGING FROM 40 TO 60 FEET. SOIL BORINGS WILL BE CONDUCTED IN THE PARKING LOT LOCATED ON THE EAST SECTION OF THE 816 POTOMAC AVE SE PROPERTY. HOLLOW STEM AUGER METHODS WILL BE USED TO CONDUCT THE SOIL BORINGS.
300 TINGEY ST SE   
01/23/15 
CM-YARDS LLC / DWIGHT SMITH; NONE
SG1400461 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL EXTERIOR SIGN ABOVE DOOR.
1301 WATER ST SE   
01/28/15 
EASTERN POWER BOAT CLUB / STANLEY HUBBARD JR
E90564415 / SUPPLEMENTAL
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

Real Property Sales Archive  
M ST   11/26/14
$ 2,000
LHREV WASHINGTON M STREET LLC
 
0770 M ST SE   11/14/14
$ 23,900,000
770 M STREET LLC
 


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