Since January, 2003
 (a random before-and-after moment)
February 8, 2006
March 26, 2015 
Van at N, Looking East-Southeast (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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Comments

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  
0 B/O POTOMAC AVE SE   ROBBERY
Robbery/Attempt To Commit Robbery
 03/28/15
600 B/O VIRGINIA AVE SE   ROBBERY  03/22/15
300 B/O TINGEY ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 03/22/15
500 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
Theft 1st Degree
 03/21/15
50 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 03/10/15
300 B/O L ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Unauthorized Use Of Vehicle
 03/08/15
700 B/O L ST SE   ROBBERY
Robbery -- Force & Violence
 03/07/15
1300 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 1 (Theft F/Building)
 03/02/15

Active Public Space Permits Archive  
No records added or modified in the past two weeks.

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1233 1ST ST SE   
03/25/15 
BALLPARK HOTEL LLC / APS INSPECTIONS
B1403486 / CONSTRUCTION
THE SCOPE OF WORK FOR THE 1233 1ST ST SE SUBMISSION IS THE CORE AND SHELL ONLY OF A NEW 12 STORY BUILDING. THE APPROXIMATELY 127 200 SF BUILDING IS INTENDED TO BE A HOTEL. THE FUTURE INTERIOR FIT-OUT WILL BE SUBMITTED SEPARATELY. THE BUILDING WILL SIT ON TOP OF GROUND FLOOR RETAIL / LOBBY LEVEL SUBMITTED AS PART OF A SEPARATE SUBMISSION FOR 1277 1ST ST SE.
1277 1ST ST SE   
03/25/15 
BALLPARK RESIDENTIAL LLC / BALL PARK SQUARE LLC
B1403488 / CONSTRUCTION
THE SCOPE OF WORK FOR THE 1277 1ST ST SE SUBMISSION INCLUDES 2 LEVELS OF BELOW GRADE PARKING TOTALING 370-380 PARKING SPACES A GROUND FLOOR RETAIL / LOBBY / LOADING LEVEL WITH APPROXIMATELY 26 500 SF OF RETAIL AND AN APPROXIMATELY 304 000 SF 13 STORY APARTMENT BUILDING CONTAINING APPROXIMATELY 326 UNITS.
1299 1ST ST SE   
03/16/15 
BALL PARK SQUARE LLC / PHYLLIS STEVENS
B1403487 / CONSTRUCTION
THE SCOPE OF WORK FOR THE 1299 1ST ST SE SUBMISSION IS THE CORE AND SHELL OF A NEW APPROXIMATELY 7 600 SF 2 STORY RETAIL BUILDING WITH A SINGLE BASEMENT LEVEL. THE BUILDING IS INTENDED TO BE A RESTAURANT. THE FUTURE INTERIOR FIT-OUT WILL BE PERMITTED SEPARATELY.
1331 4TH ST SE   
03/30/15 
FC 1331 LLC / OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY
EN1501335 / SHOP DRAWING
TYPE OF ELEVATOR : ONE (1) TRACTION / STEEL / CENTRAL / VERTICAL TRANSPOTATION LICENSE NUMBER : ELC1300386 ISSUE DATE : 08 / 04 / 2014 EXPIRATION DATE 11-30-2015
909 HALF ST SE   
03/26/15 
23 I LLC / WAYNE REEP; 23 I LLC; WAYNE REEP
E37408577 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1015 HALF ST SE   
03/27/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / JOSEPH J FLYNN
E1504436 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/27/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / ROBERT L HUNTER
M1501489 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/17/15 
BON CHON / PHILIP GODAIRE; BON CHON; PHILIP GODAIRE
P42469697 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/17/15 
EVAN OBRIEN / JOSEPH ABRESCH; EVAN OBRIEN; ROBERT HUNSBERGER
E74054014 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/25/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / GEORGE DELGADO
B1501688 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR ALTERATION TO 3 4 5 FLOORS AND PARTIAL 6TH FLOOR. WORK TO INCLUDE ELECTRICAL MECHANICAL AND PLUMBING
   
03/25/15 
SAM HOLLEN / GARY MCVEY; SAM HOLLEN; GARY MCVEY
E58849835 / SUPPLEMENTAL
82 I ST SE   
03/17/15 
CSX TRANSPORTATION INC / MITCH A. PERMUY
E1504130 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 I ST SE   
03/26/15 
NA NA NA
EHOP1590452 / HOME OCCUPATION
300 M ST SE   
03/13/15 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / GREGORY E LIGON
E1504060 / SUPPLEMENTAL
250 M ST SE   
03/12/15 
DAN MCCABE / MICHAEL YASEK
SB1500183 / CONSTRUCTION
FIVE 70-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.
909 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
03/16/15 
909 NEW JERSEY AVENUE ACQUISITION LLC / DENNIS LEE WINDSOR
M1501348 / SUPPLEMENTAL
ONE UNIT IS A 10 TON UNIT AND 2 ADDITIONAL UNITS ARE 7.5TONS
   
03/17/15 
909 NEW JERSEY AVENUE ACQUISITION LLC / DAVID L. HAHN
P1504255 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1000 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
03/14/15 
PHILIP BROWN
PC93167082 / POST CARD
REPLACEMENT OF NOT MORE THAN 1 GAS APPLIANCE ON A RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL PROJECT.
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
03/19/15 
NJA ASSOCIATES LLC / THOMAS P MCGUIRE
E1504215 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/30/15 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT / THOMAS P MCGUIRE
E1504472 / SUPPLEMENTAL
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
03/18/15 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / GLENNWOOD ROGERS
P1504172 / SUPPLEMENTAL
301 WATER ST SE   
03/13/15 
FOREST CITY / FVI 2020
TL1500054 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW RESTAURANT TENANT LAYOUT AT THE LUMBER SHED PARCEL FOR AN OYSTER BAR WITH 55 INTERIOR SEATS (55 AT 1ST LEVEL AND 30 AT MEZZANINE) 10 STAFF AND 38 OUTDOOR SUMMER GARDEN SEATING.
   
03/13/15 
FC LUMBER SHED LLC / FLACK
TL1500055 / CONSTRUCTION
FULL SERVICE RESTAURANT LOCATED ON THE GROUND FLOOR WITH A TOTAL NUMBER OF SEATS OF 170. INDOORS SEATING IS 86 OUTDOORS SEATING IS 84 ALL OUTDOOR SEATS ARE LOCATED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. TOTAL OCCUPANT LOAD OF 189 WHICH INCLUDES 19 STAFF.
   
03/18/15 
FC LUMBER SHED LLC / SEAN O JOHN
P1504295 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/19/15 
FC LUMBER SHED LLC / DONALD V. ELLENBERGER
M1501405 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/20/15 
LUMBER SHED LIC / ROBERT WATTS; LUMBER SHED LIC; ROBERT WATTS
E99575145 / 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  
1201 HALF ST SE   02/19/15
$ 9,000,000
WEST HALF RESIDENTIAL II LLC
 
N ST SE   02/19/15
$ 36,000,000
WEST HALF RESIDENTIAL III LLC
 
0038 N ST SE   02/19/15
$ 36,000,000
WEST HALF RESIDENTIAL III LLC
 
0036 N ST SE   02/19/15
$ 36,000,000
WEST HALF RESIDENTIAL III LLC
 
R N ST SE   02/19/15
$ 36,000,000
WEST HALF RESIDENTIAL III LLC
 
0030 N ST SE   02/19/15
$ 36,000,000
WEST HALF RESIDENTIAL III LLC
 
0032 N ST SE   02/19/15
$ 36,000,000
WEST HALF RESIDENTIAL III LLC
 
N ST SE   02/19/15
$ 36,000,000
WEST HALF RESIDENTIAL III LLC
 
1275 HALF ST   02/19/15
$ 36,000,000
WEST HALF RESIDENTIAL III LLC
 
HALF ST   02/19/15
$ 36,000,000
WEST HALF RESIDENTIAL III LLC
 
M ST   02/19/15
$ 36,000,000
WEST HALF RESIDENTIAL III LLC
 
1ST ST SE   02/10/15
$ 1,913,472
BALLPARK HOTEL LLC
 
1ST ST SE   02/10/15
$ 1,913,472
BALLPARK HOTEL LLC
 
1ST ST SE   02/10/15
$ 1,913,472
BALLPARK HOTEL LLC
 
1ST ST SE   02/10/15
$ 6,600,000
BALLPARK RESIDENTIAL LLC
 
1ST ST SE   02/10/15
$ 6,600,000
BALLPARK RESIDENTIAL LLC
 
1ST ST SE   02/10/15
$ 6,600,000
BALLPARK RESIDENTIAL LLC
 
1ST ST SE   02/10/15
$ 6,600,000
BALLPARK RESIDENTIAL LLC
 


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