Since January, 2003

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 (a random before-and-after moment)
April 2, 2006
August 3, 2008
South Capitol at P, Looking East (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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Latest News
  
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.
Near Southeast's Rearview Mirror


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  
200 B/O M ST SE   THEFT /  10/12/14
200 B/O I ST SE   THEFT /  10/08/14
70 B/O I ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  10/08/14
800 B/O L ST SE   BURGLARY /  10/07/14
9TH ST SE AND POTOMAC AVE SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  10/03/14
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  10/03/14
VIRGINIA AVE SE AND 8TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  09/28/14
6D   THEFT F/AUTO /  09/27/14
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT /  09/26/14
300 B/O WATER ST SE   THEFT /  09/24/14
50 B/O M ST SE   THEFT /  09/24/14
6D   THEFT F/AUTO /  09/23/14
6D   THEFT F/AUTO /  09/23/14
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT /  09/23/14
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT /  09/23/14
700 B/O M ST SE   THEFT /  09/23/14
1200 B/O 12TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  09/23/14

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
301 TINGEY ST SE    Potbelly Sandwich Works LLC 
Issued
new  
 03/21/12
to
11/27/14

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1212 4TH ST SE   
10/10/14 
FORREST CITY
TL1500006 / CONSTRUCTION
CHANGE OWNER ADDRESS ON EXISTING BUILDING PERMIT TL1400136
1019 4TH ST SE   
10/14/14 
JOHN SHORT
F1500026 / CONSTRUCTION
WE WILL INSTALL AN ORNAMENTAL IRON FENCE IN THE FRONT YARD WITH A GATE. THE FENCE IS 3 FEET HIGH AND THE FENCE WILL BE BLACK IRON. FENCE IS ENTIRELY ON PUBLIC SPACE.
1212 4TH ST SE   
10/16/14 
FC 1212 LLC / PAUL R. JABLONSKI
E1500411 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/16/14 
FC 1212 LLC / ARK SIGN SERVICES INC.; NONE
SG1500034 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL ONE WALL MOUNTED ILLUMINATED SIGN.
1103 9TH ST SE   
10/10/14 
ICP PARTNERS POTOMAC 810 LLC / HARRY RIDGEWAY
P1500293 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1220 12TH ST SE   
10/10/14 
WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT CO /
P1500284 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE   
10/10/14 
VEIC / GEORGE DELGADO
B1411521 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR ALTERATION TO SUITE 310 AS REQUIRED FOR EXPANSION. WORK TO INCLUDE ELECTRICAL MECHANICAL AND PLUMBING
20 M ST SE   
10/17/14 
SOUTHEAST REALTY LLC / DAMON ELLIS; .
SG1400457 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLATION OF NEW NON ELECTRIC SIGN 10FT L 1FT 8IN H 3IN W
99 M ST SE   
10/07/14 
BALLPARK SQUARE 701 LLC / STEVEN ADAMCHAK ECS MID-ATLANTIC LLC
SB1400475 / CONSTRUCTION
TWO GEOTECHNICAL BORINGS TO A AN APPROXIMATE DEPTH OF 60 FT BELOW EXISTING SITE GRADES TO BE LOCATED WITHIN PRIVATE PROPERTY. TWO BORINGS WILL BE CONVERTED TO TEMPORARY MONITORING WELLS.
100 M ST SE   
10/10/14 
SQUARE 743 INC /
P1500281 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/07/14 
SQUARE 743 INC / ANTHONY G SAMBURG
E1500145 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/15/14 
NORTHWOOD INVESTERS LLC / STANLEY HUBBARD; NORTHWOOD INVESTERS LLC; STANLEY HUBBARD
E14516088 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/17/14 
WASHINGTON D.C. / GARY MCVEY; WASHINGTON D.C.; GARY MCVEY
E50257566 / SUPPLEMENTAL
901 M ST SE   
10/16/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1500035 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
1201 M ST SE   
10/14/14 
COMCAST CABLE / MICHAEL SONESEN
AH1500018 / CONSTRUCTION
PLACING INNERDUCT IN EXISTING VERIZON MANHOLES. OCTOBER 9 2014 ? NOVEMBER 9. 2014. 7PM ? 2AM WEEKNIGHTS ? SATURDAYS
   
10/16/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1500034 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
1000 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
10/14/14 
CAPITOL HILL TOWER HOUSING COOPERATIVE INCF / RICHARD G. FINFROCK
P1500331 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
10/10/14 
DONOHOE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY / HERB LAWHORN
SB1400488 / CONSTRUCTION
A HOLLOW STEM AUGER WILL INSTALL 10 TEMPORARY DEWATERING WELLS BY ADVANCING A 12 INCH OUTER DIAMETER / 8 1 / 4 INCH INNER DIAMETER BORE HOLE TO A DEPTH OF 70 FEET BGS. AT DEPTH A 4 INCH PVC FLUSH JOINT THREADED WELL ASSEMBLY WILL BE SET AND SELECT FILTER PLACED. INTO EACH WELL WILL BE INSTALLED 2 HP TURBINE SUBMERSIBLE PUMPS. EFFLUENT WILL BE DIRECTED THROUGH A COMMON MANIFOLD TO A BAFFLED SETTLIN...
   
10/16/14 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT / THOMAS P MCGUIRE
E1500402 / SUPPLEMENTAL
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
10/08/14 
MRP REALTY / JASON BENTLEY
SH1400037 / CONSTRUCTION
SHEETING AND SHORING FOR NEW BUILDING
300 TINGEY ST SE   
10/06/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC FC BOILERMAKER LLC / FC BOILERMAKER FC BOILERMAKER LLC
B1500169 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLATION OF KITCHEN FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM
   
10/15/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / BIRKHEAD ELECTRIC INC.; ERIN ANCHOR SIGN INC
SG1500023 / CONSTRUCTION
2-COMMERCIAL SIGN INSTALLATION
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  
CUSHING PL   09/11/14
$ 9,000,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
HALF ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
N ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
CUSHING PL   09/11/14
$ 9,000,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
N ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
N ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
HALF ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
MR BP RESIDENTIAL #1A LLC
 
N ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
MR BP RESIDENTIAL #1A LLC
 
0025 POTOMAC AV   08/08/14
$ 78,486,500
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC
 


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