Since January, 2003

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 (a random before-and-after moment)
May 4, 2003
July 28, 2014
1st at M, Looking East (see more)

When I put out word of my "semi-retirement" since last August, I listed a lot of reasons for my wanting/needing to pull back from the blogging grind, but I only cryptically referred to what was the biggest driver of my decision: my mother's illness.
In early 2012, after a few months of noticing her having problems remembering words, she was diagnosed with a form of dementia (FTD) that has left her memory intact but very quickly stole her speech completely and caused other cognitive issues. This was devastating enough, but within a few months we also found her to be suffering from a form of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) that targeted her throat and mouth muscles, swiftly affecting her ability to chew and swallow food.
This has been such a body blow, not only to see this woman so full of life and energy be stolen away from us week by week, but to have known from the moment of diagnosis that there was absolutely not a thing we could do about it. It's like the entire family has been riding in a car with no hands on the steering wheel.
Because it's a rare combination, and because every patient with these diseases progresses differently, we've been very much on our own in terms of trying to care for her, with my father bearing the brunt of the exhausting day-to-day work while I turned my laser-like research abilities away from hyperlocal real estate and toward trying to come up with the best strategies for keeping Mom comfortable. All while nursing a desperately broken heart, alongside the shock that everyone who knows her has felt--this was not the anticipated ending of the story of this cowgirl from Wyoming who came to the big city at age 19 in 1959. (She was supposed to drop dead on a golf course at age 95, probably after a hole-in-one. And she was certainly supposed to outlive her cranky and lazy daughter.)
We are now seeing a crossroads ahead of us, as they say. So it's time for me to make sure that my focus is where it needs to be, and that I give myself permission to stop trying to keep up with other parts of my life that I just don't have the strength or interest to deal with right now. There's too much going on in the neighborhood now for me to just keep going with a hit-or-miss approach that only serves to make me feel like I'm doing less than my best.
I'll still be around on Twitter at my @jacdupree account, because I will always need an outlet for generalized snark and carping. But I really am ending the Near Southeast news service until the storm clouds clear, whenever that may be.
I'm not 100 percent sure that I'll come back to the same approach of JDLand's past 10 years, but I'll always have my camera in hand.
Thanks to all for your patience over the past few months, and for your readership for all these years. See you around....!
Comments (30)
 
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Comments

MJM says: (6/13/13 12:55 PM)
Thanks JD, you'll be missed and best of luck with your mom


strambley says: (6/13/13 12:58 PM)
Thank you for all that you have done over the years. You have created a wonderful online history of our neighborhood for an upstart community. I wish you all the best and hope you can focus on the truly important things in life. Good luck and I hope one day we will see you out there taking pictures again.


jwg says: (6/13/13 12:58 PM)
Oh wow. I am so sorry to hear that you and your family are having to go through this. Sending you light, strength, and peace as you cope with such a terrible storm. Dementia and ALS are both so cruel; I'm glad that you and your family are able to lean on each other and you'll be able to focus on helping each other get through. Also glad that your mom has you to lean on. Kudos for giving yourself the space to focus on what's important. Will be continuing to send you all good thoughts for your mom and for you and the rest of your family.


jwg says: (6/13/13 1:07 PM)
Also - duh! Of course want to also chime in and add my thanks as well for all you've done for the neighborhood over the years. You'll be missed. All the best. Hope we get to welcome you back one day.


Bruce says: (6/13/13 1:11 PM)
I am sorry about mom. My thoughts are with the family during such a difficult time..
Thank you for all that you have done.
Who knew just how great the area would turn out.


Packinblackandred says: (6/13/13 2:05 PM)
I'm so sorry, JD. Best of luck to you and your family. You can do it.



G Street says: (6/13/13 4:02 PM)
Thoughts and prayers...


JD says: (6/13/13 11:20 PM)
Amazingly, NBC Nightly News ran a piece on FTD tonight:

link

(We have been very lucky that my mom has the even rarer form of this dementia that primarily struck her language abilities rather than her behavior. Families who have a loved one with the behavioral variant of FTD suffer so much, and it can last so much longer than what we've gone through with Mom.)



TheOnyxGuy says: (6/14/13 7:06 AM)
JD, with tears in my eyes as I type, I know first hand what you and your family are going through. Your story is almost identical to my family's.

You all will come out stronger than when you started with more focus. And my only advice is to laugh. Laugh with your mom just like you used to. - Carl


JD says: (6/14/13 7:40 AM)
I'm so sorry that you're been through this, Carl. It's not something any family should have to go through, ever. The impact on my father, who is almost 80, has been so hard to watch.

We are very very lucky that, as Mom's speech disappeared, her communication devolved into laughter, with different laughs signaling different responses. And she is so happy and child-like that it is easy to make her laugh even more. And all she really wants is for people to be with her, so she can hug them and hold their hand and laugh. It makes it easier to be with her, but also harder.


sharon says: (6/14/13 9:29 AM)
JD, I am so sorry for you and your Mom, and your whole family. My prayers are with you all. Many thanks for your "laser" skills at keeping us all up to date on things here in river city.


SWag says: (6/14/13 9:57 AM)
JD Sorry to hear about your mommy! Thanks for all that you do (from your friend in SW) :)


kidbookratings says: (6/14/13 2:10 PM)
JD:

I was on Curbed and saw the link to your story. So sorry to hear about this -- as a fairly frequent visitor to your blog, I wanted to register and offer my condolences. As a fellow blogger, I hope you will come back soon.


ECSLtd says: (6/14/13 2:21 PM)
JD:
Sending positive thoughts your way!
JD Land has been an invaluable resource for me and many others for the past several years!
Wishing you and your family all the best.
Tara (ECS)


SBS says: (6/14/13 5:06 PM)
Thoughts and prayers with you and your family. Thanks for all you've done. You'll be missed.


BillP says: (6/14/13 7:19 PM)
JD, so sorry to hear about your mother. Jen and I wish you the best of luck and I might have to break my self-imposed, life-long twitter moratorium just to get my fix of your local snark! If there's anything we can do to help, please do let us know.


darin says: (6/15/13 9:34 AM)
I am sorry to hear of your family's ongoing crisis. You have my sympathies. Your presence will be missed. I was an avid reader of your blog for a couple of years before moving to DC, and it played a key role in my decision to move to the Navy Yard neighborhood. I wish that there was something similar for Anacostia where I will be moving at the end of the year. God Bless you and your family.


Ed says: (6/15/13 11:20 AM)
Sorry to hera about your family medical challenges. Best of luck to you and the family


Westnorth says: (6/15/13 12:56 PM)
Best wishes, and thank you for sharing so much with us and with your family.


F says: (6/15/13 8:33 PM)
JD,
My heartfelt sympathies for you and your family. You given so much to the neighborhood - now its time to take some time for yourself.


@JayRickey says: (6/16/13 2:35 PM)
You've been a great read for years. I wish you much luck with your family.


Jaybird says: (6/17/13 9:23 AM)
I remember when you introduced me to your Mom JD, I think it was at Five Guys.

My Mom had Alzheimers, so I know about the struggles families face.

We're all pulling for you and her and your family.

You take good care, and know that we care about you.


58Model says: (6/17/13 2:51 PM)
Praying for God to give His strength to you and your family as you endeavor to do right by your mom.


OverbeckProject says: (6/18/13 7:49 PM)
My condolences. This is very sad. Your priorities are the right ones.

WIll the existing material from your blog stay online? I ask because I've always intended to contact you regarding adding links on the website of the Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project, www.CapitolHillHistory.org, to the three postings you made about your father's memories of the 1960s on Capitol Hill. These would fit in perfectly with what we do: record memories from those who've lived in this neighborhood.

Bernadette McMahon
Overbeck Project Manager


JD says: (6/18/13 9:16 PM)
Again, thanks to everyone for the good thoughts.

I certainly won't be taking the web site down--I'd like to believe I am on a temporary hiatus, but I have learned in life to never say never, so I don't want to 100% commit to a return (or to a return to the same sort of operation it's been up to now). I've had one or two requests to just turn my ten years of work over to "the community" for continuation--and the answer on that is, um, no, it's mine. :-)

I know my dad would love for there to be links from the Overbeck Project, and by all means, please do so. But if you ever wanted to interview him separately, I know he would love that, too, and it especially might be a good exercise for him in a few months, when he will probably be trying to find his way.



Blue says: (6/19/13 10:42 AM)
Truly sorry to hear about your mom. I served on the board of trustees for the ALS Association of Georgia. They had a very strong local support system, outdone only by the National Capital Region chapter. The support offered for caregivers is extraordinary. They have a major fundraising walkathon, which many of the patients find extremely motivating and something positive to focus on. It gets a little competitive too! If you get involved, I hope you will solicit team members on this forum. You've built up quite a fan base of people who care about you and your family.


JNB says: (6/20/13 3:21 PM)
JD,

Thank you for what you have done with the site. I have been on it since he beginning. Amazing content has been created. It is truly a living resource. You will be missed.


btz says: (6/24/13 1:10 AM)
I like to think that it's similar to rearing a child. You have different (and the right) priorities in mind. You've done so much to set this kid (neighborhood) off on the right path. He/She will make it now because of your work. I know you're happy about your role and you more deserve anything that comes your way. Your Mother raised an awesome kid.


Brian says: (6/30/13 12:23 AM)
JD, this blog was the primary factor that gave me the faith to move to CHT in 2007; and even though life has taken me elsewhere in the past few years, JDLand remains in my bookmarks toolbar. I have loved being able to check in on my old "new" hood since I left.

Thank you for all that you have done for the community; your work has touched many lives. I know we all hope for your eventual return; but more importantly we send positive thoughts to you and your family.

All the best.


NatsHood says: (7/2/13 10:39 AM)
JD, I just want to say thank you for all your hard work over the years. I would have never purchased in CHT in early 2007 if it wasn't for your site. At that time, CHT was the only residential building in the "hood" and the area was deserted. Empty lots, torn down buildings and school buses :) surrounded the area.

Your blog was instrumental in educating people about this neighborhood, which in turn gave them the confidence to move into a neighborhood that most people would never step foot in. And, I remember back then when I went to your blog, I was taken to a page that had wonderful pictures of you and your family. You have redesigned the site since then but that was a nice treat back in the day.

I know this is a hard time for you and your family. I just want you to know that the people in the "Near Southeast" neighborhood are pulling for you and your family. You have certainly touched many lives here and as 'btz' said above, "Your Mother raised an awesome kid".

And for the record, I think "JDland" would be the most appropriate name for the neighborhood, because w/o you, the neighborhood would not be what it is today.

Take care JD and I wish all the best for you and your family.









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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
200 B/O L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  07/30/14
L ST SE AND 2ND ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  07/30/14
70 B/O I ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT /  07/29/14
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Active Public Space Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE    Pepco Holdings Inc 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/26/14
to
08/26/14
1331 2ND ST SE    Carlton Ray 
Assigned
paving; streetfixture; excavation  
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908 3RD ST SE    Rachel Frankel 
Issued
streetfixture; new  
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to
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1026 3RD ST SE    Wash Gas & Light Co. 
Issued
excavation; new  
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to
09/04/14
1331 4TH ST SE    Forest City Forest City 
Issued
excavation; new  
 01/10/14
to
02/10/15
913 5TH ST SE    Wash Gas & Light Co. 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/26/14
to
08/28/14
1100 - 1199 BLOCK 1ST ST SE    tom cash 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/27/14
to
08/25/14
410 M ST SE    Pepco Holdings Inc 
Issued
excavation; new  
 07/11/14
to
09/08/14
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE    Pepco Holdings Inc 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/20/14
to
08/22/14
880 NEW JERSEY AVE SE    WASHINGTON GAS 
Issued
excavation; new  
 07/28/14
to
09/26/14
301 TINGEY ST SE    Potbelly Sandwich Works LLC 
Issued
new  
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to
11/27/14

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE   
08/06/14 
TOLL DC LP / MITCH A. PERMUY
E1407892 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/11/14 
TOLL DC LP / ALBERT J. PEARCE
FB1400108 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1259 1ST ST SE   
08/11/14 
CAPITAL RIVERFRONT HOTEL LLC / CAPITAL RIVERFR HOTEL LLC
AH1400636 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTER HOURS FOR PERMIT NUMBER B1401471 FOR 8 / 12 THROUGH 9 / 11 FROM 5AM TO 7PM MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY.
1265 1ST ST SE   
07/30/14 
CAPITOL RIVERFRONT HOTEL LLC /
P1407417 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1212 4TH ST SE   
08/07/14 
TAKOREAN / FVI 2020
B1410615 / CONSTRUCTION
REVISION TO TL1400052 TO INCLUDE OUTDOOR SUMMER GARDEN WITH 14 SEATS AND 7 TABLES.
1201 4TH ST SE   
08/12/14 
JBG/FEDERAL CENTER LIC / JIM CALABRESE
AN1400129 / CONSTRUCTION
PLEASE EXTEND PERMIT AN1300174 THIS IS THE FIRST EXTENSION AND PERMIT WILL BE VALID UNTIL 1 / 31 / 2015.
1212 4TH ST SE   
08/01/14 
MIKE LENARD 1451 BELMONT ST NW SUITE 214 / PAUL THIEBERGER; MIKE LENARD 1451 BELMONT ST NW SUITE 214; PAUL THIEBERGER
P93379840 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/05/14 
FC 1212 LLC / THE YARDS
TL1400165 / CONSTRUCTION
FIRST TIME TENANT LAYOUT FOR NEW MANAGEMENT OFFICE 2ND FLOOR TOTAL OF 780 SQ FT RENOVATION LIMIT TO MECHANICAL ELECTRIC AND FIRE LIFE SAFETY ONLY
1331 4TH ST SE   
08/14/14 
F. C. 1331 LLC / FVI 2020
B1402843 / CONSTRUCTION
CONSTRUCTION OF A BRAND NEW 11 STORY BUILDING. THE BUILDING IN TOTAL IS 350 000 SQ FT. ADDING 327 RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNITS 20 000 SQ FT. IN COMMERCIAL SPACE AND 3 BELOW GRADE PARKING LEVELS.
   
08/15/14 
CLARK CONCRETE
AH1400650 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTER HOURS TO POUR CONCRETE ON JOBSITE FROM 7AM TO 7PM FROM SUNDAY TO SATURDAY 8 / 15 / 2014 TO 11 / 15 / 2014
1000 5TH ST SE   
08/07/14 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / KIM MITCHELL CDKM CONSULTING LLC
FD1400029 / CONSTRUCTION
FOUNDATION TO GRADE TO INCLUDE UTILITIES
   
08/13/14 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA /
FD1400132 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW FOUNDATION TO GRADE PERMIT FOR NEW COMMUNITY CENTER INCLUDING UTILITIES. REVISION TO FD1400029 TO REVISE STRUCTURAL DETAILS OF COLUMS.
1015 HALF ST SE   
08/12/14 
HALF ST SE LLC / SAM HOLLEN RAMCO OF DC INC.
TL1400162 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR TENANT LAYOUT OF 1ST FLOOR PERFORMANCE STUDIO SPACE AND OFFICE SPACE. PARTITIONS FURNITURE MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL AND LIFE SAFETY. CBS
   
08/15/14 
HALF ST SE LLC / ROBERT L HUNTER
M1402951 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/16/14 
SAM HOLLEN / DONALD VEALS; SAM HOLLEN; DONALD VEALS
E83010192 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1201 HALF ST SE   
08/01/14 
LIVE NATION / JOSE VEGA A-1 ENGINEERING
TN1400164 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PLACE A TENT IN PUBLIC SPACE FOR SPECIAL EVENT AT NATIONALS PARK
200 I ST SE   
08/08/14 
DANIEL RILEY / OMAR BIAGAS; DANIEL RILEY; JOHN BIAGAS
E47247428 / SUPPLEMENTAL
37 L ST SE   
07/31/14 
GRETA SILVERMAN / JAMES SILVERMAN
B1410329 / CONSTRUCTION
UPGRADE EXISTING ROOF
601 L ST SE   
08/06/14 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / JOSEPH M MAGNOLIA
P1407161 / SUPPLEMENTAL
20 M ST SE   
07/30/14 
JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO / ALEXANDER KIM; JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO; UWE NEUMANN
AR45710386 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/06/14 
SOUTHEAST REALTY LLC /
P1407613 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
08/06/14 
SQUARE 743 INC /
P1407610 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
07/31/14 
SQUARE 743 INC. 100 M ST SE / PAUL THIEBERGER; SQUARE 743 INC 100 M ST SE; PAUL THIEBERGER
P83348948 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/16/14 
NORTHWOOD INVESTERS LLC / STANLEY HUBBARD; NORTHWOOD INVESTERS LLC; STANLEY HUBBARD
E14516088 / SUPPLEMENTAL
901 M ST SE   
08/14/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1400642 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
1201 M ST SE   
08/14/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1400641 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
07/31/14 
SQUARE 742 LLC / SPRINT ADVANTAGE ENGINEERS
AN1400072 / CONSTRUCTION
AS PART OF SPRINT'S 2.5 MHZ LTE PROJECT SPRINT WILL BE ADDING ONE EQUIPMENT CABINET THREE PANEL ANTENNAS AND THREE REMOTE RADIO HEADS TO THE EXISTING WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
08/12/14 
NJA ASSOCIATES LLC / COLIN CLARK
B1308085 / CONSTRUCTION
CONSTRUCT A NEW 13 STORY APARTMENT BUILDING WITH THREE BELOW GRADE PARKING LEVELS FIRST FLOOR RETAIL A PRIVATE SWIMMING POOL PROJECTIONS OF BAY WINDOWS 324 UNITS TO INCLUDE MECHANICAL PLUMBING ELECTRICAL AND ELEVATOR WORK.
1500 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
08/04/14 
LIVE NATION / DAVID VEGA
AH1400629 / CONSTRUCTION
TO CLOSE OFF STREETS FOR LOADING AND UNLOADING OF STADIUM EVENTS 7PM - 7AM
300 TINGEY ST SE   
07/30/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / SHELBY FIGAROORE
P1407430 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
07/30/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / NABIL MUKHAR
E1407660 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/05/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / PHILLIP B MOBLEY
M1402818 / 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;

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