Since January, 2003
 Sliding from Before to After

After nearly a decade of documenting the changes in Near Southeast DC, the time has come for some change of my own, as I've decided to dial back the intensity of my blogging at JDLand.
Astute readers have probably already noticed the beginnings of a shift over the past few months, but it's time to make an official declaration of intent.
Since I've always been a historian at heart, I'll still write about the neighborhood's major moments, its new developments and other big arrivals. (Call it Milestone Blogging.) But while sometimes my output won't really seem that different from what it's been, it won't always be with the speed I prided myself on in the past, and I probably won't post about all the tiny steps in a project's road to fruition.
And there will still be plenty of photos, not only for the block-by-block archive that really is the heart of the site but also from big events and projects under construction, as my schedule allows.
But the day-to-day life-in-a-neighborhood stuff and aggregation-type "tidbit" and event items will mostly fall by the wayside on the blog, though should continue on Twitter/Facebook, where a mouse click or two can get the word out easily. And really, it's not so much me giving it up as it is finally admitting that I mostly gave it up already and have no intention of getting back to it.
When I started back in 2003, there were few places to get information about Near Southeast. (Remember, there wasn't even a ballpark back then--South Capitol Street was just one of four potential locations for a team that no one ever really thought would come to town.) The major news outlets might publish something once in a while, and there was the monthly Hill Rag and the late Voice of the Hill, but if I really wanted to know what was going on with development plans, I had to dig pretty deeply for it myself.
Now, as the neighborhood becomes a destination, not only for Nats fans but also for people heading to the Yards Park or other spots, coverage of goings-on in the area has expanded considerably. Plus, the number of outlets has expanded considerably--not only are there the newspapers and TV stations, but all manner of web sites covering development, entertainment, nightlife, food, urbanism, and whatnot. And then you have Twitter/Facebook feeds coming directly from developers, and the BID, and the restaurants, and the parks, and the politicians, and the city, and the residents....
With all that easily accessible information, my original goal of posting the things I dug up so that other people wouldn't have to do the digging seems pretty outmoded, and it makes it hard for me to keep doing what my brain tells me isn't really "needed." (I'm just not wired to be mostly an aggregator.)
There's probably all sorts of ways that the site could evolve to keep up with this high-volume new world, but there's also the reality that, after years of pretty intense commitment, I am starting to want to do other things, and to perhaps find some other kewl new concept to channel my energies to. But it can be hard to let your mind wander enough to figure out The Next Thing when you're still buried in The Current Thing.
Plus, there are now some new realities in my life that aren't leaving quite so much room for JDLand.
I hope that, by stepping back a bit from the content firehose, I can find a comfortable niche to continue writing about and photographing Near Southeast's continuing redevelopment, especially since I think I still have a lot to contribute in terms of "institutional knowledge" of how the area has evolved.
This probably would have happened awhile ago if it hadn't been for all of the great interest and feedback I've had during this amazing ride, and all of you have my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all the interest and support. I've often described blogging as "whistling into the wind," but the incredible amount of positive response this little endeavor has received over the years has truly been what's kept me going. (It certainly ain't the money!)
I do hope some folks will continue to stick around as I transition into this new Blogger Emeritus role. After all, the comments threads are always open!
So, this isn't a goodbye. It's more like a necessary nod to the fact that things change, and it's time to allow JDLand--and JD--to change too.
Comments (29)
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laratani says: (8/30/12 9:42 AM)
Thanks for all your great work. Am glad to hear you're not hanging your blogging cap up all together. Good luck in all your new ventures and will still keep checking out the site!

David Garber says: (8/30/12 10:12 AM)
Noooooooooo! Thanks, JD, for your dedication and hard work!

SWag says: (8/30/12 10:37 AM)
I made an account to say thanks all the way from Southwest! SWag!! But in all honesty, you really shouldn't stop ;)

JD says: (8/30/12 10:58 AM)
Not stopping! Mainly just finally giving myself permission to do only the parts that interest me. And to not have to write when I don't want to. :)

V Dizzle says: (8/30/12 11:01 AM)
Same here, made an account to say thanks. You made working in the neighborhood, and its development, more exciting. I don't like the idea of not knowing things ahead of my coworkers! Thanks for the dedication ! :)

Bruce says: (8/30/12 11:47 AM)
Thanks for the dedication !!

Maelstrom says: (8/30/12 1:51 PM)
Thanks for all you've done. I really enjoy watching change and progress, and this site has always been the best comprehensive source for such info about the neighborhood.

conngs0 says: (8/30/12 1:56 PM)
JD, thanks for all of your dedication in documenting the neighborhood's development over the years. Your contribution via this blog rises far above that of an "aggregator" of information. I sincerely look forward to continuing to read your insights and opinions about the neighborhood's continued developments (even if they come a little less frequently).

Jaybird says: (8/30/12 5:02 PM)
No one has covered the rise of a neighborhood like you have JD.

Look forward to your new approach.

Andrew in DC says: (8/31/12 12:08 AM)
JD - thanks for everything you've done for the neighborhood and its residents over the last decade.


Shogungts says: (8/31/12 12:42 AM)
I moved into the hood (just north of the freeway) about 5 1/2 years ago and have frequented your site several times a week since(I even have the a RSS feed for high on my homepage). I actually had the pleasure of meeting you once at a performance parking meeting in a SW church when they were first putting it in place and you were great in person too. Even though you are a Gator, I want to thank you for all of your hard work; it really has and is appreciated.

Thanks again,
Go Canes! :)

Bob says: (8/31/12 9:34 AM)
Thank you very much for your time and effort. I hope your new priorities are resolved in a positive and satisfactory manner.

G ST SE says: (8/31/12 9:49 AM)
Thank you so much. As a resident here since 1996, I've enjoyed every morsel and could not have understood what was happening for the past nine years without your work. Your blog is the biggest community booster cite ever. I share it with family, friends, coworkers and folks considering a move to DC. It is also a cite that gives folks considering a move away from DC great reason for pause. There is no replacement and it is now cemented in so many people's lives, it has to be maintained even if only as you describe, with capstone or milestone event updates and not every single nugget of activity. If you turn further away, consider the talent within your audience to make sure the baton is at least passed to others so invested in the area.

You are trend-setter and tireless worker. Looking forward to your next big thing. SW Waterfront, Buzzard Point St. Elizabeth's? Great content there and both communities need the resource. DC Government should follow your lead!

Best wishes.

Packinblackandred says: (8/31/12 9:49 AM)
Thanks for everything, JD! Onward and upward.

SWag says: (8/31/12 10:54 AM)
@Shogungts GO CANES!!!

JD says: (8/31/12 10:57 AM)
@SWag @Shogungts You guys are starting to edge toward an orange and blue-tinged JDLand death sentence. :-)

JD says: (8/31/12 11:31 AM)
But seriously, thanks everybody for all the incredibly kind words. I'm looking forward to being able to keep updating JDLand at a more forgiving pace, with less stress and a lot less guilt. But still (I hope) with really good content.

Wkk says: (8/31/12 10:39 PM)
I wish you the best of luck in rearranging and changing! I also registered so I could comment. You have provided the neighborhood with an invaluable resource with your reporting and photos. I have been following your blog for a few years and am impressed with your work; the blog is so well written, with humor and authenticity, and the information timely and helpful. I know this is hard to achieve. You are a natural community/ urban planner. Thank you for the service you provided to SW, Capitol Hill and D.C. I am sure that your next venture will be a success.

Blue says: (9/1/12 5:43 PM)
JD, I committed to buy in Southeast 1 year ago, and can honestly say I would not have done it had it not been for this site and your information. There just wasn't enough info about the area available, I didn't know anyone, and moving in from the suburbs, I was a little wary about the neighborhood. Your site, and all the commentors made me realize that this would be a great community for me. I've now lived here for 5 months and couldn't be happier. Thanks JD. I'm sorry you don't get paid for your blog --- you should. Your info made me willing to plunk down a nice chunk of change on a new house!

IMGoph says: (9/2/12 9:29 AM)
Thank you so much for being the most dedicated and thorough neighborhood blogger DC has (or ever will) have.

I hope that the next neighborhood blog update article from the WaPo won't call you a "failure" because you weren't able to turn this into a multi-million dollar business (yeah, I think their last article on the subject SUCKED).


JD says: (9/2/12 11:43 PM)
IMGoph, at least articles like those do a great job of proving that my working in the Post newsroom doesn't mean that they automatically show me any favoritism!

And thanks for the plaudits, though it was trying to keep the "dedicated" and "thorough" titles over the past couple of years that almost did me in. :)

JJG says: (9/4/12 11:20 AM)
I have been reading the blog for awhile and its definitely one of the best out there! Thanks for keeping us all well informed. Keep up the great work and look forward to continuing to follow the blog through its changes!

bkt says: (9/5/12 8:52 AM)
JD, I read your blog daily. I feel like I know you even though i've never met you. I hope that you continue, the near SE story is getting good.

FullSailDan says: (9/5/12 1:22 PM)
JD, maybe it is time to transition to a new format or something. Have you considered getting additional writers for the blog to cover topics that may have less interest to you?

JD says: (9/5/12 1:33 PM)
Hi Dan, as I said in the post, I know there's lots of ways I could adapt, and adding other writers would be one of them. But that wouldn't necessarily result in my getting more free time, since I'd still have to edit, assign, etc. etc. etc. I don't think that would lower my stress level, either. :-)

SBS says: (9/8/12 5:55 PM)
JD -- So very thankful to you for all that you've done to give this emerging neighborhood a sense of identity as well as history. You were responsible for the new neighborhood's first new residential tenants finding each other and organizing to get a reluctant developer to communicate with us. As I said when introducing you one night, you "single-handidly redefined local journalism" with this blog -- and the many people who have followed your lead are a testament. I'm thrilled to know you'll keep chronicling major events and look forward to hearing about your next project. Cheers!

JD says: (9/11/12 2:16 PM)
SBS, you are and have always been such a great supporter of my little Time-Sucking Vortex, and I thank you from the bottom of my burned-out heart. :)

MalS says: (9/11/12 2:54 PM)
What a fantastic project this has been - it is an absolutely amazing record of what can happen under certain conditions in a 21st century U.S. city. Please keep in mind that the value of something like this is not necessarily measurable in immediate profit.

I hope you have considered the possibility of eventually storing JDLand someplace like the Library of Congress.

Also I want to mention how much I have enjoyed all my time browsing JDLand over the last (yikes almost 10) years!

I look forward to whatever you do with JDLand. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

JD says: (9/11/12 5:29 PM)
Thanks so much, MalS. My approach always was to create something that people researching the area years from now would find useful--didn't really occur to me at the beginning that people would be interested "during". :-)

And if anyone is reading from LoC or any other interested repositories, drop me a line, let's chat. link

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Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1300 4TH ST SE 1001   
1346 4TH ST SE APT 1M   
null / NA NA NA
1331 4TH ST SE R-2   
FC 1331 LLC / FC 1331 LLC
BP2101814 / POST CARD
10 I ST SE   
Installation of up to six (6) 3-inch diameter direct-push Geoprobe borings to depths of up to 30 feet below grade as part of an environmental assessment.
555 L ST SE   
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 20003   
Dismantling of tower crane.
FC 1275 NJ LLC / null
FC 1275 NJ LLC / null
Installation of up to six (6) 3-inch diameter direct-push Geoprobe borings to depths of up to 30 feet below grade as part of an environmental assessment.
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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Virginia Ave. Tunnel ('19)
99 M ('18)
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ORE 82 ('16)
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Dock 79 ('16)
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Twelve12/Yards ('14)
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Camden South Cap. ('13)
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225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
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1015 Half Street ('10)
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909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
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70/100 I ('08)
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400 M ('07)
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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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