Since January, 2003
 (a random before-and-after moment)
September 7, 2003
March 28, 2015
2nd (East) at K, Looking North (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  
100 B/O L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 05/15/15
200 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 05/15/15
1000 B/O 7TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 05/12/15
70 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
Theft 1st Degree
 05/09/15
1100 B/O 2ND ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Unauthorized Use Of Vehicle
 05/05/15
UNIT B/O I ST SE   BURGLARY
2nd Degree Burglary (Armed Or Otherwise)
 05/02/15
1000 B/O 8TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 05/01/15
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 04/26/15
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2 (Theft F/Building)
 04/25/15
   THEFT
Theft 2 (Theft F/Building)
 04/23/15
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 04/22/15

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE   
05/14/15 
COLIN CLARK / MICHAEL BIANCO; COLIN CLARK; MITCH PERMUY
E98099105 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1200 1ST ST SE   
05/12/15 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / WILL TEASS / PE TEASS - WARREN ARCHITECTS; WILL TEASS TEASS
BCIV1500073 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLATION OF EROSION SEDIMENT CONTROL FEATURES
1277 1ST ST SE   
05/15/15 
ANCHOR CONSTRUCTION
AH1500439 / CONSTRUCTION
EXCAVATION CATCH BASINS MANHOLE INSTALLATION SEWER ML TRENCH SEWER SERVICE LATERAL ABANDONMENT INSTALLATION OF VAULTS WATER LATERAL CONNECTION OVER 2 INCHES WATER SERVICE LATERAL ABANDONMENT WATER METER MANHOLE
1150 5TH ST SE   
05/04/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / DOUGLAS FOSTER
D1500504 / CONSTRUCTION
SELECTIVE DEMOLITION FOR 49 500 SF.OF SPACE FOR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PUBLIC SCHOOL.
1015 HALF ST SE   
05/01/15 
PRUDENTIAL / KRISTINA DELGADO
B1506909 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR ALTERATION TO PARTIAL 1ST FLOOR SECURITY SUITE MAILROOM AND STORAGE.
   
05/01/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / JOSEPH J FLYNN
E1505425 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/06/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / KRISTINA DELGADO
B1506055 / CONSTRUCTION
REVISION TO PERMIT NUMBER B1501688
   
05/12/15 
HALF ST SE LLC /
P1505751 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/20/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / JOSEPH J FLYNN
E1505972 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1256 HALF ST SE   
05/05/15 
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC / ANDREW WILLINGHAM BOHLER ENGINEERING; ANDREW WILLINGHAM
BCIV1500047 / CONSTRUCTION
PROPOSED ALLEY WORK WILL CREAT A 10' WIDE BENCH ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. WILL CASUE REGRADING AND RELOCATION OF EXISTING SHEETING AND SHORING.
82 I ST SE   
05/01/15 
CSX TRANSPORTATION INC / KIM MITCHELL
FD1500026 / CONSTRUCTION
FOUNDATION TO GRADE WORK FOR NEW 13-STORY RESIDENTIAL PROJECT AT EYE STREET AND NEW JERSEY AVE SE
   
05/13/15 
GREYSTAR DEVELOPMENT GREYSTAR DEVELOPMENT / MARKO CZERKAS; GREYSTAR DEVELO GREYSTAR DEVELOPMENT; MITCH PERMUY
E77539507 / SUPPLEMENTAL
306 L ST SE   
05/14/15 
MICHAEL THOMPSON
B1507715 / CONSTRUCTION
FIRST EXTENSION TO PERMIT# B1311538 TO EXPIRE 10 / 17 / 2015
601 L ST SE   
05/05/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / EDUARDO L. LOPEZ
E1505414 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE   
05/08/15 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
B1504197 / CONSTRUCTION
RENOVATION TO 5TH FLOOR OFFICE SPACE TASC PHASE II AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED MECH. PLUMB. ELECT. FIRE PROTECTION DEMOLITION AND ARCHITECTURAL DWGS. INTERIOR WORK ONLY. NO CHANGE IN USE.
20 M ST SE   
05/05/15 
SOUTHEAST REALTY LLC / SAM HOLLEN RAMCO OF DC INC.
B1507131 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR RENOVATION TO 7TH FLOOR OFFICE SPACE. PARTITIONS MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL AND LIFE SAFETY. BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON
50 M ST SE   
05/01/15 
KCG 50 M LLC
SH1500032 / CONSTRUCTION
REVISION TO SH1400087 TO CHANGE SHEETING / SHORING DESIGN AND TO CHANGE THE CONTRACTOR.
55 M ST SE   
05/04/15 
HINES GLOBAL REIT 55 M STREET LLC / GREGORIA G. ISRAEL
E1505446 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/07/15 
UNKNOWN UNKNOWN / PATRICK BARRON; UNKNOWN UNKNOWN; ROBIN MALLEY
E92336177 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE   
05/12/15 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / RONNIE E WRIGHT
E1505712 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/12/15 
WELLS REIT LI 80 M STREET LIC / FRED MILLER; WELLS REIT LI 80 M STREET LIC; DOMINIC TOTARO
AR28204267 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/13/15 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / NEIL NUTWELL; WELLS REIT II 8 WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC; NEIL NUTWELL
P21967258 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
05/07/15 
SQUARE 743 INC. / JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
B1506295 / CONSTRUCTION
RENOVATIONS TO EXISTING 8TH FLOOR OFFICE SPACE TECH-MARINE BUSINESS AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED THIRD PARTY REVIEWED AND APPROVED MECH. PLUMB. ELECT. FIRE PROTECTION AND ARCH. DWGS. BY KTA GROUP. INTERIOR WORK ONLY. NO CHANGE IN USE NO STRUCT. WORK.
   
05/08/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / ROB HOHL
P1505689 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/08/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / GEORGE S OWEN
M1501845 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/09/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / JOSE UMANZOR-ALVAREZ; SQUARE 743 INC; ROBERT LAWALL
E99685352 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/13/15 
UNKNOWN UNKNOWN / PATRICK BARRON; UNKNOWN UNKNOWN; ROBIN MALLEY
E65875186 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1201 M ST SE   
05/06/15 
WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT CO / BERNARD G KALB
E1505525 / SUPPLEMENTAL
909 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
05/07/15 
909 NEW JERSEY AVENUE ACQUISITION LLC / MATT LOSIGNOR
P1505667 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
05/06/15 
NAVY YARD 10127312 / VELOCITY WIRELESS
AN1500153 / CONSTRUCTION
REMOVE AND REPLACE 3 EXISITING PANEL ANTENNAS
125 O ST SE   
05/04/15 
DC WATER / MARIA WILSON
B1507037 / CONSTRUCTION
AMEND PERMIT B1402631 TO CHANGE SOME INTERIOR PARTITION WALL LAYOUT.
   
05/06/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / JAMES A. WILLIAMS
E1505521 / SUPPLEMENTAL
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
05/15/15 
BARR CONCRETE
AH1500438 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTERHOURS TO POUR CONCRETE WITH PUMP TRUCK FROM 11PM 5 / 15 / 2015 TO 1159 PM 5 / 16 / 2015
1200 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
05/14/15 
AMY PHILLIPS / MIKE YASEK
SB1500274 / CONSTRUCTION
FIVE 75-FOOT GEOTECHNICAL SPT SOIL BORINGS WILL BE PERFORMED WITH AN AUGER DRILLING RIG UTILIZING CONTINUOUS FLIGHT HOLLOW STEM AUGERS CREATING APPROXIMATELY 6-INCH DIAMETER BOREHOLES.
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
05/11/15 
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL RESIDENTIAL L.L.C. / ROBERT S. WATTS
E1505679 / SUPPLEMENTAL
301 WATER ST SE   
05/12/15 
FC LUMBER SHED LLC /
P1505749 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/19/15 
LUMBER SHED LIC. / ROBERT WATTS; LUMBER SHED LIC.; ROBERT WATTS
E82501860 / SUPPLEMENTAL
355 WATER ST SE   
05/06/15 
FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT SERIES / LINDSEY GORE
TN1500047 / CONSTRUCTION
SPECIAL EVENT FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT 1 16 X 24 TENT NO GENERATORS 1 16 X16 STAGE
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  
1022 - 1109 M ST SE   03/27/15
$ 5,000,000
WASHINGTON HUMANE SOCIETY
 
9TH ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
POTOMAC AV SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
POTOMAC AV SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
POTOMAC AV SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
1103 9TH ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
1105 9TH ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
816 POTOMAC AVE SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 
0819R L ST SE   03/03/15
$ 3,730,000
818 POTOMAC AVENUE SE LLC
 


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