Since January, 2003

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 (a random before-and-after moment)
February 7, 2005
October 23, 2011
4th at Virginia, Looking South-Southwest (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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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
900 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 07/02/15
500 B/O M ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 06/28/15
1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree - Parking Lot/ Garage
 06/28/15
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
 06/28/15
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree - Grocery/ Supermarket
 06/25/15
300 B/O TINGEY ST SE   THEFT
 06/24/15
900 B/O 3RD ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
Theft From Auto 1 - / Unknown
 06/23/15
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
2nd Degree - Construction Site
 06/23/15
1100 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree - Residence/ Home
 06/22/15
1000 B/O K ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Unauthorized Use Of Vehicle
 06/22/15
1100 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
- Parking Lot/ Garage
 06/21/15
1000 B/O 8TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 06/20/15
800 B/O L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 06/20/15
   THEFT
2nd Degree
 06/19/15
54 B/O M ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 06/19/15
400 B/O M ST SE   ASSAULT W/DANGEROUS WEAPON
Adw -- Other Dangerous Weapon - Public Housing Project
 06/19/15
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
 06/14/15
K & HALF ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 06/11/15
1300 B/O 4TH ST SE   ASSAULT W/DANGEROUS WEAPON
 06/11/15
UNIT B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 06/11/15
VIRGINIA AVE & 8TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 06/10/15
8TH & L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 06/10/15
500 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
 06/09/15
1100 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
 06/09/15
900 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
 06/07/15
L & HALF ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
 06/06/15

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE   
06/24/15 
NA NA NA
EHOP1590680 / HOME OCCUPATION
1265 1ST ST SE   
06/25/15 
HAMPTON INN / TIM MEALEY SIGNS; NONE
SG1500270 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL SIGN 37.3 FT X 4FT INSTALL 1'X9' SIGN ABOVE THE DOOR
1277 1ST ST SE   
06/23/15 
ANCHOR CONSTRUCTION
AH1500523 / CONSTRUCTION
EXCAVATION CATCH BASINS MANHOLE INSTALLATION SEWER MAIN LINE SEWER SERVICE LATERAL
1331 2ND ST SE   
06/29/15 
CORMAN CONSTRUCTION
AH1500543 / CONSTRUCTION
TUNNEL BORING MACHINE ? EQUIPMENT
1000 5TH ST SE   
06/17/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA /
P1506682 / SUPPLEMENTAL
909 HALF ST SE   
06/29/15 
23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES / PITTINGER-DUNHA CAPITOL PERMITS
FD1500043 / CONSTRUCTION
FOUNDATION-TO-GRADE ONLY UNDER THIS TPR / PROJECTDOX SUBMISSION.
82 I ST SE   
06/23/15 
CSX TRANSPORTATION INC / MILLER?LONG
TC1500024 / CONSTRUCTION
TOWER CRANE FOR JOBSITE USE
   
06/25/15 
CRANE SERVICE CO / CHRISTINE LONG
AH1500530 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED FROM 4:00AM THRU 9:00PM
125 L ST SE   
06/26/15 
CRANE SERVICE CO / CRANE SERVICE CO; CHRISTINE LONG
AH1500526 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED FROM 4AM SATURDAY THRU 9PM SUNDAY
55 M ST SE   
06/16/15 
HINES GLOBAL REIT 55 M STREET LLC / DENNIS R. WOODE
E1506693 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/17/15 
HINES GLOBAL REIT 55 M STREET LLC /
P1506705 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE   
06/19/15 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC /
P1506802 / SUPPLEMENTAL
50 M ST SE   
06/19/15 
WASHINGTON DC / FRANCISCO CRANERENTAL CO.
AH1500511 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTER HOURS PERMIT TO WORK SATURDAY 5AM TO 7PM SUNDAY INCONJUNCTION WITH D-DOT PERMIT # 10194482
55 M ST SE   
06/16/15 
HINES GLOBAL REIT 55 M STREET LLC / DENNIS R. WOODE
E1506692 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/17/15 
HINES GLOBAL REIT / JOHN KITTELBERGER; HINES GLOBAL REIT; JOHN KITTELBERGER
P65815829 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE   
06/16/15 
UNKNOWN UNKNOWN / PATRICK BARRON; UNKNOWN UNKNOWN; ROBIN MALLEY
E70224790 / SUPPLEMENTAL
400 M ST SE   
06/17/15 
EDGEWOOD MANAGEMENT CORP.
B1508977 / CONSTRUCTION
FIRE DAMAGE REPAIR TO ORIGINAL CONDITION .ALL INTERIOR WORK NO STRUCTURAL DAMAGE. REMOVE AND REPLACE AS NEEDED DRYWALL DISCONNECT RECONNECT PLUMBING FIXTURES . REWIRE AS NEEDED IF NEEDED FINISHES AND PAINT.
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/18/15 
BAKER DC / CHRISTINE LONG
AH1500510 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED FROM7:00PM THRU 7:00AM MONDAY THRU SUNDAY
1000 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/25/15 
DANIEL WHITE
PC41402425 / POST CARD
INSTALLATION OF NOT MORE THAN 10 NEW OUTLETS AND NOT MORE THAN 10 NEW LIGHTING FIXTURES FOR A RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL PROJECT.
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/30/15 
DC WATER
AH1500545 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLING AND MAINTAINING FLOW METERS AT SPECIFIC MANHOLES ON THE STREET AT 1100 BLOCK OF NEW JERSY AVE SE AND ALONG BEACH DRIVE NW STREET FROM 7PM TO 7AM MONDAY TO FRIDAY FROM 07 / 06 / 15 TO 07 / 01 / 16
   
07/01/15 
SQUARE 742 LLC / ADVANTAGE ENGINEERS O/B/O SPRINT
AN1500181 / CONSTRUCTION
SPRINT PROPOSES TO REMOVE 2 ANTENNAS FROM THE NORTHERN FACE OF THE PENTHOUSE WALL AND INSTALL ONE ANTENNA TO THE SOUTHERN FACE OF THE PENTHOUSE WALL. THE CURRENT TOTAL IS 6 ANTENNAS. AFTER CONSTRUCTION THERE WILL BE 5 ANTENNAS. SPRINT WILL INSTALL 3 RRUS BEHIND THE EXISTING SCREEN WALL.
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/15/15 
MILLER?LONG
AH1500500 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTER HOURS TO POUR CONCRETE ON JOBSITE 6 / 16 / 2015 FROM 4AM TO 9PM
   
06/23/15 
MILLER?LONG
TC1500021 / CONSTRUCTION
TOWER CRANE FOR JOBSITE USE
1236 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
06/16/15 
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL RESIDENTIAL LLC / WILLIAM G WATT
E1506682 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
06/17/15 
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL RESIDENTIAL LLC C/O THE JBG COMPANIES / PITTINGER-DUNHA CAPITOL PERMITS
B1508279 / CONSTRUCTION
APPLICATION IN SUPPORT OF A TEMPORARY CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY ALLOWING A POP-UP FOOD VENDOR TO SELL PREPARED FOODS INCLUDING BEER AND WINE ON A PRIVATE VACANT FORMER GAS STATION LOT ADJACENT TO THE NATIONAL'S STADIUM. CERTIFICATE WILL GAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE OF OCTOBER 5TH 2015. NO ALTERATION OR REPAIR WORK NEEDED FOR THIS USE OTHER THAN THE ERECTION OF 2 TEMPORARY 10'X10' TENTS.
   
06/19/15 
244 SOUTH CAPITOL RESIDENTIAL LLC C/O THE JBG COMPANIES / PITTINGER-DUNHA CAPITOL PERMITS
D1500624 / CONSTRUCTION
DEMOLITION OF A FREESTANDING CANOPY FROM VACANT LOT.
1500 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
06/15/15 
WASHINGTON NATIONALS /
P1506602 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/16/15 
NATIONALS PARK / RANDAL COX; NATIONALS PARK; RANDAL COX
E24923456 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/17/15 
WASHINGTON NATIONALS / STEPHEN J. EXELBERT
P1506712 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/17/15 
NATIONALS PARK / NATIONALS PARK; GEORGE DELGADO
F1500177 / CONSTRUCTION
REPLACEMENT OF 6 EXISTING FENCES AND GATES.
   
06/17/15 
NATIONALS PARK / GEORGE DELGADO
B1504325 / CONSTRUCTION
REMOVING EXISTING EXTERIOR CUSTOM ENTRY EXIT SWING GATES AND REPLACING THEM WITH PERIMETER SECURITY MAGNETOMETER IN CUSTOM ENTRY GATES SYSTEM.
   
06/19/15 
WASHINGTON NATIONALS / KRISTINA DELGADO
B1506810 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL A NEW PIZZA OVEN TO REPLACE EXISTING STONE COUNTER AND REFRESH ADJACENT FINISHES
   
06/23/15 
HEE YEOL HWANG
E1506849 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/23/15 
WASHINGTON NATIONALS / WILLIAM P SAUREST
P1506904 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/23/15 
LERNER / GEORGE DELGADO
B1509214 / CONSTRUCTION
FIRE ALARM WORK
   
06/23/15 
LERNER ENTERPRISES / NELSON TYLER SR; LERNER ENTERPRISES; NELSON TYLER
G94674970 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/23/15 
LERNER ENTERPRISES / NELSON TYLER; LERNER ENTERPRISES; NELSON TYLER
P39325856 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/27/15 
KRISTINA DELGADO / KRISTINA DELGADO; KRISTINA DELGADO; PHIL HAUHN
E79532492 / SUPPLEMENTAL
301 WATER ST SE   
06/18/15 
ATHUR LI / ALTAMERA GROUP / PETER NETTELBEC TEASS-WARREN ARCHITECTS
TL1500091 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW TENANT LAYOUT OF EXISTING CORE AND SHELL SPACE PERMITTED UNDER B1306803 / ZC #08-04A FOR A NEW RESTAURANT {PIZZA KIOSK} IN TENANT SPACE A WORK TO INCLUDE NEW MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING.
   
06/25/15 
FC LUMBER SHED LLC /
P1507016 / 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   04/10/15
$ 20,000,000
25 M STREET HOLDINGS LLC JOHN AKRIDGE COMPANIES
 


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