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1244 South Capitol
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1333 M St.
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250 M St.
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1000 South Capitol
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225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
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1015 Half Street ('10)
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55 M ('09)
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70/100 I ('08)
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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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74 Blog Posts Since 2003
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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. 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.

I've checked off another long-time JDLand To Do item, this one being to improve the timeliness of the Crime Reports box down in the right-hand margin.
It used to be that the city offered the reports in an XML feed, but when that disappeared, I had to start going to the MPD reports page, go through a series of 15 clicks to download a usefully filtered file, open the file, and paste it into an import page I had created. Needless to say, this was not something I was interested in doing daily or even weekly.
But now I've built a new importer that parses a pasted version of the daily crime report sent out on the MPD-1D mailing list, stuffing each Near Southeast entry into my crime database.
This also means that I'm now getting additional "method" and "location" information that wasn't coming in the download from MPD.
I then went back through all non-theft from auto reports for the neighborhood back to the beginning of 2014 and updated the full database.
I also tweaked the display when you click on the red pushpins on both the homepage map and the archive database map.
I'll probably still need to go do the download from the MPD site every so often, to be sure that the data is complete, but at least now that's not the only way the data is coming in. And while I can't guarantee that this will always be updated daily, it's now a lot less likely to go three or four weeks between updates.
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More posts: crime, JDLand stuff

For probably about six years now, I've been shielding my eyes and sticking my fingers in my ears and shouting LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA every time I looked at my poor excuse for a development map. It so desperately needed a makeover, but I never had the time, creative spark, or technological chops to turn it into anything like what I would want it to be, so I just left it alone, even during the big JDLand redesign a few months back. The map's information was accurate, at least!
But a few weeks ago I saw a blurb about Google's My Maps upgrade, now called Maps Engine Lite. You can draw lines and shapes! You can have layers (well, a few of them)! You can have Google as your maps base!
So I went off to play with it, and quickly decided that it could make a likeable enough successor to my original Web 0.1 map.
You can also always get to it by clicking on "View Full Map" on the mini-map at the top right of most JDLand pages, or the "Project Directory" link in the black menu bar.
It still isn't quite everything I dreamed of, but at least now you can zoom in, pan around, and filter the display by layers--if you only want to look at completed residential projects, or projects under construction, or projects not yet begun, or some combination thereof, click the little menu icon at top left and make your choices.
It may not be optimal for phones, and so I have to think about that for a while, but the big static list of projects is still available beneath the map if you are a words-and-not-pictures type of information ingestor.
I'll wager that my Parking Lots map will get migrated as well before Opening Day 2015.
And if you have any complaints with how it functions, feel free to let Google know!
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While I have appeared mostly AWOL from these parts for the past 10 days or so, I've actually been working harder on JDLand than I have in years, as out of nowhere the psychological energy arrived to drive a desperately needed redesign of the site's interior pages.
Click on one of the links on the map at the top right of the home page, or maybe go here or here or here, and you'll see what's going on:
* White space! Lots of it!
* Fewer words!
* A design that responds to your device--if you're on a big monitor, you'll see a rail of links to the latest news on a project. If you're on your phone, you'll see the basics (without having to drag the page around). With plenty of changes in between.
* For larger devices, the "peek" link at the left of the header box on project pages brings you a nifty (and not small) look back in time.
I've also been tinkering with the home page, but still have some things I want to do and so it's not quite as "responsive" as the interior pages. However, starting today you'll also see that clicking on photos in blog posts pops up a larger version, without having to load a new page.
I've done my best to test, but I'm sure there are configurations where this will all look pretty ghastly. If so, please let me know your browser and device, so I can troubleshoot.
There are also still a fair number of pages with the old design, and no doubt bugs aplenty, plus I may have been a bit too draconian in some of the content removal on the project pages. I'll be mopping up for a while yet.
It won't please everyone, of course, but it was definitely time for a change. And I've garnered a lot of enjoyment out of all of this work, which maybe isn't a feeling I've had related to JDLand very often in the past few years or so.
And now the In the Weeds discussion of the redesign, for those who might be interested:
It's safe to say that web design has changed just a smidge since I threw together my first pages about Near Southeast back in 2003, but since I've known for years exactly how enormous the task would be to implement a new design, I just closed my eyes to the aging look and feel and concentrated on, you know, the actual content.
This wasn't a matter of just changing some code at the top and bottom of a template somewhere--thanks to the rather, ahem, organic way that JDLand grew over the years, the code (and the site, really) had become embarrassingly dense and messy.
I've had to go into more than 100 pages and rip out the old web 1.0/table-based layout approach and replace it with boatloads of CSS. Which meant that pretty much every element on every one of those pages needed editing. (At least now this means the NEXT redesign will be simpler.)
And since I was editing every page, this also was finally my chance to move away from a navigation configuration that had worked well early on but had left me increasingly hamstrung, where, say, the Velocity and River Parc pages were both subsections of a Square 699N page. Now I've pretty much given every project its own page. But that meant building about 20 new pages.
I also found myself sort of arriving back full circle at where JDLand began a billion years ago--as a project about a changing neighborhood, with an eye toward being more of a historical document and less of a breathless minute-by-minute tracking of minutiae. (Though I admit the breathless minute-by-minute tracking was fun for a few years there!)
And even though I've barely come up for air while working on this, it's been a great process, and reminded me of how much my enjoyment of JDLand used to also come from back-end development, such as when I built the automated photo archive on the site, or the even more massive full archive I keep elsewhere.
There's more I need to think about--it may be time to go to larger photos across the site, but that's about 10,000 photos that would need to be re-saved at higher resolutions. So maybe not this week. But I admit that picking out the huge header photos--looking for the oldest ones of each particular site--made me want to think about a better way to have everyone be able to look at the large versions--while still protecting them from nefarious non-approved uses.
I'll still be tinkering plenty--for instance, the notion of going to a "lightbox" display of blog post photos came to me while I was starting to write this entry, so I had to scurry off and implement that before I could go any further. It never ends.
So, it's best to remember that, at heart, JDLand will always really be just my own history-photography-writing-web development hobby, which of course leaves the site much more vulnerable to my mercurial whims than a real business would ever be. But that's how I roll.
And, who knows, maybe someday another flash of sudden psychological energy will strike at the actual blogging portion of JDLand....
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* RESULTS: Last week I mentioned how concerned parents and neighbors were organizing a drive to call David Catania's office on May 1 to impress upon him the importance of opening Van Ness Elementary as scheduled in 2015. It didn't even take until the end of the day to get results, as evidenced by this quote sent to the Van Ness Parents Group from Catania's office: "[Councilmember Catania] supports the on-time opening and modernization of Van Ness. And while the Committee does not finalize and markup its budget until May 15th, it is the Councilmember’s intention to keep Van Ness’ $15 million FY15 renovation in the budget as proposed. Thank you again for your hard work and advocacy!"
* AWARDS: The US Green Building Council has officially awarded LEED Gold status to Canal Park, thanks to its sustainable development design that includes electric car charging stations, an extensive storm water collection and reuse system, as well as tree boxes and bio swales that provide filtration for street-level runoff surrounding the park.
* SPOTLIGHTS: The spring edition of the 11th Street Bridges newsletter is out, without any actual news on the project but instead spotlighting the small and local businesses that have partnered with DDOT on the project.
* TWEEPING: If you are wanting to keep up with the ever-growing lineup of nearby businesses and organizations, feel free to bookmark my Near Southeast Businesses Twitter list, as an easy way to quickly scan their latest missives in one spot.
* PROPERTY FOR SALE!: Over the years I've had a lot of people contact me desperate for leads on available property. I finally have acres of empty land to offer, but the commute might be a bit rough.
* BETA TO THE MAX: I've been down the rabbit hole over the past few days, as I have finally begun to redesign the interior pages of JDLand, which have needed a refresh since about 2006. (I already mentioned my first cut at redesigning the home page.)
It's a pretty mammoth undertaking, and will take a while to implement, but if you want to see an early prototype of what I'm going for, you can look at the Community Center page, or the Square 701 page, or the Akridge Half Street page, or my Past News page for Yards Parcel A. Note that some stuff will be broken as of now, but the pages do respond to different screen sizes, which also means that the non-blog portion of the site should become much more mobile friendly. As of now it's probably a bit screwy in older browsers, but should be okay if you're using up-to-date Chrome, Firefox, or IE. And the irony isn't lost on me that I haven't been posting much work on JDLand over the past few days because I've been working so much on JDLand.

* RANDOM PHOTO 1: Progress on the new exit ramp from the eastbound Southeast Freeway down to 11th Street SE, which is expected to open this summer. A lot nicer than getting off at 6th Street for anyone needing to get to the eastern end of the neighborhood.
* VAN NESS LOBBYING: Members of the Van Ness Parents Group are urging interested parties to pick up the phone on Thursday, May 1 and call councilmember David Catania's office to urge that the full $15 million earmarked for the modernization of Van Ness Elementary be kept in next year's budget. Back on April 17, Catania, who chairs the Education Committee, commented that he would consider reallocating all of the Van Ness funds to other schools, postponing the school's reopening until Fall 2016, which would be a significant blow to the parents who have been working for a number of years to get the neighborhood's elementary school reopened. The Hill Rag has more on this issue, along with other current issues affecting nearby schools.
* RANDOM PHOTO 2: It seems hard to believe that construction of the long-delayed Capper Community Center could actually be about to start, but this sign erected at 5th and L last week would appear to be another step in that direction.
* TASTE OF 8TH: It's a little outside the JDLand lines, but since hunger knows no boundaries, I'll mention that Taste of 8th is back, on Saturday, May 3, from 1 to 4 pm. For $5 for a single taste or $20 for a five-pack, you can get an appetizer-sized "taste" from many of the restaurants along Barracks Row.
* TINKERING: In my quest to never leave well enough alone, I'm doing some work on the site that may cause things to look (unintentionally) odd. Hopefully if that happens, I'll notice relatively quickly, but I'd be happy if you'd let me know. And, if you're brave, feel free to test out a beta version of the home page that resizes various elements based on your screen width. (Rejoice, ultra-big-screen users!) Just remember that "beta" means I may break it while working on it.

* PACHYDERMS ON PARADE: The annual DC Elephant Walk, which gets the stars of the Ringling Bros. circus from their train to the Verizon Center, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 18, at 8 pm. It starts at New Jersey and Virginia avenues, so it can be seen from the overpass (and perhaps from Garfield Park?), before heading toward downtown. UPDATE: Alas, DCist says that the parade has been cancelled.
* ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM: On March 21, there is to be a forum with DC mayoral candidates focusing on sustainability and environmental issues, at the Boilermaker Shops at 300 Tingey St., SE, from 6 to 8 pm. It has been organized by the local chapter of the Sierra Club along with the Capitol Riverfront BID, the neighborhood group Near Southeast Community Partners and a coalition of multiple groups now operating under an umbrella group called United for a Healthy Anacostia River. The clock is ticking down toward DC Primary Election Day, on April 1.
And, speaking of the river, the Anacostia Riverkeeper group is having a fundraiser on April 3 from 5 to 8 pm. Bring this flyer (and your appetite) to Nando's Peri-Peri at the Boilermaker Shops to help support its efforts to clean up the Anacostia watershed. They'd like an RSVP in advance, for an accurate head count.
* AT THE DRIVE-IN: Presumably in anticipation of their not-as-yet-underway Ballpark Square office/residential/hotel/retail project, developers Grosvenor, McCaffery and Skanska are co-sponsoring with the BID a "Groundbreaking at the Capitol Riverfront Drive-In Movie Weekend" on Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22. They are inviting folks to "pull into the converted drive-in movie theater at 1st and M Streets, SE to watch great films and purchase popular DC food truck cuisine." Friday's movie will be Toy Story, and Saturday's will be The Matrix. Both screenings start at 7:30 pm.
* TRUCKEROO: The monthly DC food truck festival is returning to the Fairgrounds at Half and M SE for another year, starting on April 11.
* LA LA LA LA LA: The always successful Opera in the Outfield is back for another year, this time on May 3 with a simulcast of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." Gates open at 5 pm for the variety of "pre-game" activities, and the show starts at 7 pm.
And, I suppose I should mention that, nestled in between these various events, there will also be the Nationals' exhibition game against the Tigers on March 29, and the team's home opener on April 4 against the Braves. Just in case you weren't aware.
Have an event happening in the neighborhood? Let me know.
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More posts: Events, opera, politics, JDLand stuff, Square 701, Stadium Events, truckeroo

Selling your house? Renting out your pad? Getting rid of some stuff? Looking for something? Place a classified ad on JDLand and micro-target not only your Near Southeast neighbors but other people interested in the area (office workers, Nats fans, residents of nearby neighborhoods, etc).
A mere $5 gets you a two-week listing, and the home page now has a box where pointers to the ads will live (over to the right--scroll down a bit).
Someone's already placed an ad--so go ahead, give it a shot!
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