Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

(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  
1100 B/O K ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
 07/25/16
1200 B/O HALF ST SE   BURGLARY
Burglary Two
 07/24/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/23/16
900 B/O 5TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/23/16
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/22/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Shoplifting
 07/20/16
900 B/O 4TH ST SE   ROBBERY  07/20/16
500 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
Theft First Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/19/16
1400 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 07/19/16
1000 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   BURGLARY
Burglary One
 07/15/16
300 B/O L ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  07/15/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 07/14/16
1400 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/13/16
1000 B/O 8TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny) - Highway/ Road/ Alley/ Street/ Sidewalk
 07/12/16
1000 B/O 3RD ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
 07/10/16
1230 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON
Assault W/i To Kill
 07/09/16
900 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 07/06/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 07/06/16
900 B/O 2ND PLACE SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 07/06/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree - Felony (theft From Building)
 07/05/16
900 B/O 4TH ST SE   ROBBERY  07/04/16
1000 B/O HALF ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/02/16
1100 B/O 3RD ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 07/01/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 06/29/16
400 B/O I ST SE   ROBBERY  06/28/16
700 B/O M ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
 06/27/16
400 B/O M ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
 06/27/16

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1331 2ND ST SE   
07/18/16 
DC WATER
AH1600880 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours work for structure excavation and support for B1605659 DC Water, Corman Construction 202863-0052
1220 12TH ST SE   
07/22/16 
COPT COPT / COPT COPT; STEPHEN PALMER ELE
SG1600378 / CONSTRUCTION
Install 1 Illuminated wall sign - BAE Systems
1210 HALF ST SE   
07/08/16 
HINES GLOBAL REIT 55 M STREET LLC / KOSTAS RIKOS
M1602654 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
07/09/16 
HINES GLOBAL / ALAN CARTER; HINES GLOBAL; ALAN CARTER
E91123768 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE   
07/22/16 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC; JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
D1600714 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR DEMOLITION TO 1ST, 2ND AND 3RD FLOOR OFFICE SPACE COLUMBIA PROPERTY TRUST AS SHOWN ON THE ELECTRONICALLY SUBMITTED ARCHITECTURAL DEMOLITION PLANS. NO STRUCTURAL WORK INVOLVED. NO CHANGE IN USE. INTERIOR WORK ONLY. 66,684SF
515 M ST SE   
07/14/16 
FOREST CITY / FOREST CITY; KILLETTE AND ASSOC
B1610381 / CONSTRUCTION
REMOVE 2 NON LOAD BEARING PARTITIONS TO CREATE OPEN SPACE AND REPLACE EXISTING DOORS WITH NEW GLASS DOORS IN KIND.
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
07/19/16 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / THOMAS P MCGUIRE
E1608268 / SUPPLEMENTAL
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
07/08/16 
MRP RESIDENTIAL / JASON OLYMPIA SWIMMING POOL CO., INC.
SP1600008 / CONSTRUCTION
838 s.f. swimming pool inside existing concrete sub-structure of 9 story building. building permit B1408697. This Permit submission for pool construction only. All MEP work for pool equipment, Architectural work, and Structural work of the building slabs to be completed per approved building permit previously mentioned.
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
07/14/16 
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL RESIDENTIAL, L.L.C. / GLENNWOOD ROGERS
P1607382 / SUPPLEMENTAL
355 WATER ST SE   
07/08/16 
JANET WAEMA AMERICAN KIDNEY FUND
TN1600173 / CONSTRUCTION
SPECIAL EVENT KIDNEY ACTION DAY 2 20X40 TENTS 1 14 X 24 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  
No commercial transaction records added or modified in the past two weeks.


Project Directory
Completed
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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