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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: JDLand stuff

JDLand.com's Official Unofficial Guide, Updated for 2016!
In the Pipeline
One M/10 Van
Yards/Icon Theater
DC Water HQ
Yards/Parcel O
Lynch/Half St.
JBG/Half St.
Capper/Square 769N
2 I Street
1000 South Capitol
25 M
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
New Douglass Bridge
More Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
SC1100
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)
 
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81 Blog Posts Since 2003
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There's no good "art" to go with any of these tidbits, so instead I present to you the northwest corner of Half and N, SE, taken May 4, 2003, which now looks like this and will someday look like this.
* HAMBURGLARY: Fresh on the news of its pending demise, the McDonald's at South Capitol and I was robbed early Saturday morning, with the three suspects jumping through the drive-through window to get to the cash. And here's MPD's Persons of Interest video. (WaPo, MPD)
* CSX DERAILMENT: The derailment in Northeast of a CSX train carrying hazardous materials has reignited {sorry} the concerns over both the city's need to boost its oversight of freight rail and the movement of hazmat through the Virginia Avenue Tunnel. (WaPo, plus a City Paper piece as well)
* TENANT NEWS: "Global public strategy firm" Mercury Public Affairs, LLC has signed a lease for the 8,020 square feet of office space in the upper levels of the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards, and will move in this summer. As for other Yards tenants, I hear that Whaley's could be opening Any Minute Now, with Philz not far behind. (Elsewhere, the Brig is probably still a couple of weeks away.)
* THE VERY MODEL OF A MINOR MODIFICATION: Forest City is back to the Zoning Commission with some changes to the design of the planned Showplace Icon movie theater. But you might need a microscope to spot the difference between old vs new on the exterior renderings. (And it's technically not a "minor modification," but I was feeling all Gilbert and Sullivan this morning.)
* BEHIND THE CURTAIN: DCist profiles a crazy blogger who has spent years taking photos of construction sites. I mean, honestly! Get a life!
 

This was buried in a tidbits thread a week ago, but it's time for a more full-throated invitation to all:
Want to meet some of your fellow neighbors/office workers/generally interested citizens from in and around Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard/Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards (#NeCaBaRY)?
Then come hang out at Scarlet Oak this Thursday, March 10, starting at 5:30 pm--and give me the chance to meet you, as well.
Even if you don't ever comment on blog posts, even if you're thinking you won't know anyone, at least stop by and say hello, and join in what I'm sure will be a rollicking conversation about the Nats, the new I Street, and whether any of us could ever possibly live long enough to ever see the Southeast/Southwest Freeway demolished. If that doesn't entice you to swing by, I don't know what could.
I'll also have some coveted JDLand t-shirts available for purchase, for $12.
A peachy time will be had by all!
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Hey, kids, d'ya like the "slider"-type displays that take two photos of the same location and allow you to scroll across the two photos to compare the differences?
Do you like them even more if they are made with images that are actually in focus and not washed out, and aren't taken by robots with fish-eye lenses, as some offerings out there are?
Then you are in luck, because the crack JDLand staff of developers has finally come up with a more automated way to display sliders of various locations around the neighborhood.
You can now watch for them on project pages, in the Photo Archive, and even via a browseable list.
It also means there's another way to see and inspect my oldest photos in a larger format, which is a nice addition.
I hope to next come up with a way to add them into the random before-and-after display on the JDLand home page, but for now, I'm at least glad that the light bulb went on for how to make using them a much less onerous process. (Actually *creating* them is not quite as easy, though--but I'm going to keep slowly plugging away at making them for all of my favorite angles.)
Right here is where you'd think I'd include one or two of them--alas, they won't work in a blog post. But here's thumbnails of just some of the locations that have been slider'ed, so click a thumbnail and slide away, and note that below the sliders are the full lineup of photos I've taken for that location, proving that the sliders aren't faked (these days, you never know what people will be suspicious of!). More to come.
Then browse the whole list, which is also filterable by street.
UPDATE: I'm continuing to add them, so I've made the list of sliders sortable by date, most recent additions/updates first.
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I know it's been pretty silent around here, and will probably be that way for a few more days. I'm just continuing to be knee-deep in the Post's move from its 15th Street location to the spiffy new digs at One Franklin Square.
If you spent any time on social media on Wednesday, you were probably hard pressed to avoid the avalanche of photos and videos and updates from the newsroom's "decommissioning" celebration (some of which I took/shared), but it really was a nicely done send-off that deserved the saturation coverage. (Be sure to watch the video here looking back at the old building and at how newspapers used to be produced, including lots of Watergate-related memories.)
Even as a relative newbie at the Post compared to some people (I've only been there 18 years, while the reigning longtime employee, Marty Weil, arrived in November 1965), there's certainly wistfulness about all of the memories, but there's no getting around the fact that that space had long outlived its ability to keep up with the times. And so we will now be in a state-of-the-art space, befitting the parallel change from being a newspaper to being a news/media company.
In the meantime, at least there doesn't appear to have been much news in the neighborhood, though I did at least take one photo lately, of the clearing progress at 1244 South Capitol. So I'm not completely useless.
Continue talking amongst yourselves, and hopefully normal output will return here before too much longer. (Except then there's that new Star Wars movie coming out, and then Christmas, and and and...)
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A Look Back, eight years ago today: The southwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE, with Normandie Liquors long closed and in its final few months.
* SIDE YARDS: Back for a second year is "Side Yards," an "evening of quirky amusement and wonder" showcasing top sideshow performers at the Yards Park on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 6 to 10 pm. Contortionists, magicians, juggling, escape artists and snake handling will all be showcased (sounds like a typical day in Congress!). There will also be burlesque acts, live music, and a beer garden. Tickets are free, but available in advance.
* DC BEER FESTIVAL: Also on Saturday, Nov. 7 is the DC Beer Festival at Nats Park. Admission is $40 and includes unlimited tastings (wheeeee!).
* PERCEPTION SURVEY: It's time for the Capitol Riverfront BID's annual Perception Survey, so take a few moments to tell them your feelings about the neighborhood, whether you are a resident, office worker, or visitor.
* OKAY, HOW ABOUT DECEMBER: Back in September I posted about reservations being accepted for the new Hampton Inn at 1st and N starting November 19. It's now December 9.
* THE NEW VIRGINIA AVE. PARK: ANC 6B commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg looks at the ideas that came out of last month's public meeting to come up with a post-tunnel-construction design for Virginia Avenue Park.
* THE OLD VIRGINIA AVE. (NOT) PARK: And speaking of Virginia Avenue between 9th and 10th streets, SE, this week's Lost Capitol Hill series on The Hill is Home looks at the owner of a lumber yard in that spot during the mid-1800s.
* INSTAGRAM: I'll just mention again that JDLand is now on Instagram, if that's your social media landscape of choice.
* MOBILE: I've been tweaking the mobile version of the JDLand home page to add some of the items that have only been on the desktop page--a random Look Back photo, the Highlighted Projects development map, and even the Latest Tweets box. Visit on your phone to see what I mean.
 

The abacus has been dusted off, my fingers are sore from being used as calculators, and I've now tabulated the responses to the 2015 JDLand reader poll.
I applaud the 380 of you who responded (even if that's less than 10 percent of the site's unique visitors during the time the nine days the poll was running, so boo to the other 3,000 or so visitors who passed).
Let's get right to the headlines, before taking a deeper dive. And of course you can look at the full numbers yourselves, should you wish. (While keeping in mind that this is of course not in the least bit scientific.)
Favorite Lunch Spot: TaKorean
This was the closest of all categories, with TaKorean edging out next-door neighbor Sweetgreen by all of two votes, though together they only accounted for a little less than 30%of the vote. Third place went to Nando's Peri-Peri, with Cornercopia landing in 4th place and pretty much every other option in the neighborhood (and some not in the neighborhood, ahem) getting at least a couple votes.
Favorite Dinner Spot: Osteria Morini
This category's top vote-getting shouldn't really be a surprise, but Chef Michael White's Italian restaurant in the Lumber Shed pulled away from the competition, with 37% of the vote and 85 more votes than second-place finisher Bluejacket. And after only a few weeks in operation, Due South took 3rd place. followed by a tie between Agua 301 and Nando's Peri-Peri.
Favorite Drink Spot: Bluejacket
This category was even more of a runaway victory, as the highly regarded brewery received 44% of the vote, and about 100 votes more than Justin's Cafe, which took second place with 13% of the vote. The neighborhood's other brewery, Gordon Biersch, took third place, and Agua 301 finished fourth. (Lots of votes for some variation of drinking alone at home, though, which perhaps means the neighborhood needs an intervention.)
Looking Forward To: Whole Foods
It wasn't a resounding victory, but when forced to choose, about 29% of respondents indicated that the new Whole Foods at New Jersey and H is the next development of most interest to them, with 24% wanting Half Street north of the ballpark to get built and 20% itching for the Showplace Icon movie theater to open.
As for the other questions I asked, here's a few bullet points hitting the highlights:
* It may shock you, but it absolutely does not shock me that more than 68% of respondents were male. Definitely kind of a guy thing to be interested in photos of buildings getting built.
* Nearly two-thirds of readers are between the ages of 25 and 44. (I remember being between the ages of 25 and 44!)
* Despite my thoughts to the contrary, only 33 respondents reported owning a dog. Which mainly serves as the clearest indication that I don't have anywhere near the neighborhood readership I ought to.
* About 63% of respondents reported themselves as being neighborhood residents. And of the 55% of that group who then answered, the own/rent breakdown was 64%-36%.
* I appreciate all the sucking up by the 75% of respondents who choose "JD's witty reportage" as one of the parts of the site that is of most interest.
* Only a smidge more than 16% of those who responded said they primarily get word of new content from Twitter or Facebook. This is still Web 1.0 territory! (Mailing lists/RSS feeds and visiting the site a few times a week account for about 60% of that vote.)
* Yeah, yeah, "Navy Yard." BAH.
Feel free to check out the report and then add your own analysis in the comments.
And, to be serious for a moment, a lot of you wrote a lot of really nice things on your questionnaire, and for that, I thank you most sincerely. (And a few of you didn't, but oh well.) It's great to know you are out there and are getting some use out of all of this. And I'm resolved to perk things up a bit in return.
Three people have been chosen to as winners of JDLand t-shirts, and have been notified. (But if you want to buy one, they're $12, and are still available in S-M-L-XL.)
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The 2015 JDLand Reader Poll is entering its final hours, as I will stop accepting entries at 11:59 PM EDT Tuesday, Oct. 13 (a little more than 24 hours away as of this writing).
If you haven't yet taken the moment or two to fill it out (WAAAAAAH), you may not realize that it gives you the chance to vote for your favorite lunch, dinner, and drink spots in this neighborhood--and also gives you the chance to declare on your preferred name for the neighborhood, what your favorite amenities are, and what upcoming projects you are the most excited to see completed.
There's also a couple of demographic-type questions to help me better know my audience, because I can't pass up the opportunity to be nosey.
You can also enter yourself in the random drawing for a coveted JDLand t-shirt, which wlll tell everyone you pass on the street and at the gym that you are one of the tens of people getting news and snark from this little outpost of the web.
I originally said that I'll give away t-shirts to two random poll respondents, but if I get a big response during these final few hours, I may up the count. So make it worth my while!
I'll then take a little time to digest the results, and will then post the winners and the other details.
If you've already responded, thank you so much!
If you don't fill it out, just remember that you are breaking my heart and making me question whether I should even continue blogging. No pressure.
LATE UPDATE: With less than three hours to go, one of the Favorites categories has only a one-vote margin between the top two. Make sure your voice is heard!
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The gray weather of the past few days has seemed to take a bite out of everyone's energy level (except apparently for Max Scherzer), and with October now not offering the lure of playoff excitement in the neighborhood, I found myself wanting to come up with some content that might inject a bit of a spark around these parts.
I last ran a poll in 2011, but while there are some similar questions, the neighborhood is a very different place from just four years ago--so I figured why not find out a little more about favorite haunts and activities while at the same time getting some sense of who exactly JDLand's readers are.
I often say that blogging can very much feel like whistling into the wind, or talking into a phone when you aren't 100 percent sure someone's on the other end of the line, so it really does help me to know who is out there--are you a bunch of millennials Bikesharing over to Sweetgreen for some healthy eats, or a bunch of commercial real estate workers lunching on the information I post, or a bunch of Nats fans who only visit the site during baseball season? (All that and more, I imagine.)
I also decided to use this poll to finally answer the question that has nagged at me for years--is it in fact true that every Near Southeast resident owns a dog?
And if just taking a couple minutes of your time to help me out isn't enough motivation, I'm going to give away JDLand t-shirts to two random poll respondents. That right there should really do the trick.
I'll leave it up for a few weeks, then crunch the numbers and post the results.
But don't wait until the last minute! Go ahead and fill it out right now. Pretty please. With sugar on top. (And no ballot-box stuffing!)
If you run into any errors, let me know.
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I think I can start breathing again.
JDLand.com runs on a shared server, and late last week one of the other sites on the server must have made someone veeeery angry, because a Denial of Service attack was launched that ran until Monday evening. On Monday morning, I decided it was time to get off that rickety server and into a new shared environment (with the same company), but it took another 24 hours for them to get me my files from the old server.
I have no doubt there are still bugs to be squashed, and I will be spending my day looking for them.
In the meantime, thanks for everyone's patience. I know it didn't matter anywhere near as much to you readers as it mattered to me, but I hated knowing how annoying it was to come to the site and have it not respond.
Hopefully things will be back to normal now. Though as long as I stay in a shared environment (which is about four times less expensive than getting a virtual private server), these sorts of things can happen.
UPDATE: A few things are not yet back to life--the RSS feed, the little box on the home page showing the most recent comments, and an updated Permits/Crime list. Otherwise, so far, the move itself hasn't been too bad, other than the very sore jaw from five days of clenching my teeth.
UPDATE II: The above lingering items are now fixed. I imagine there's still other stuff somewhere that's not working, but nothing leaping out at the moment.
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Catching up a bit:
* CHEF SCOUTING: Master chef Peter Chang and his partners are "looking in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood for a 6,000-square-foot space that could, when finished, serve as Chang's fine-dining flagship." He is about to open restaurants in Rockville and Arlington, alongside his existing Richmond and Charlottesville offerings that all showcase his "genuine, flame-throwing Sichuan cooking" considered to be some of the best Chinese food in the country. However, given that the word "peripatetic" is often used to describe him, we'll see what happens. (WaPo)
* FESTIVAL FESTIVALING: The National Cherry Blossom Festival will close this year with a new event, the Anacostia River Festival, on April 12 from noon to 4 pm at Anacostia Park. A joint effort by the 11th Street Bridge Project and the National Park Service, it is expected to feature boating, fishing workshops, tours of historic Anacostia, and "other unique programs to engage families with the environment."
* POOL CLUBBING: VIDA's Penthouse Pool Club opens on May 1. Assuming it has stopped snowing by then.
* AHEM: I've referenced this in a few unofficial places, but might as well just give it the full-on treatment. Recently Mr. JDLand was struck by a creative bolt of lightning (or perhaps was just tired of listening to me rant and rave), and presented me with the design at left. With tongue most firmly in cheek, I admit it cracks me up. If you would like to be among those making such a bold statement, the shirts are $12, available in S-M-L-XL. An in-person hand-off can probably even be arranged if you live within the general JDLand listening area. Shoot me a message if you are interested.
 
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