A few years later, when news started to break about the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, Dupree started to pay attention. And a few years after that, Dupree made her husband drive her around so she could take pictures so that her father could see what the area looked like.
Soon after, she built a couple of webpages to keep track of links to plans.
Dupree said growing up in the Washington, D.C., area — she spent much of her childhood in Chevy Chase — was what inspired her to keep track of the development. Going east of 16th Street Northwest was unheard of when she was in high school because that’s where the hookers were. Going to the old location of the 9:30 Club on Ninth and F streets Northwest felt like “taking your life into your own hands.”
But as she watched development take place downtown and along Massachusetts Avenue Northwest during the 1990s, she couldn’t help but wonder what would happen to the area she lived in.
“If this sort of thing can start to happen in these neighborhoods, what about this neighborhood that’s south of the freeway and is less than a mile from the Capitol?” she asked. “There’s just no way that this development is not coming down there too.”
And she was right. “JDLand” took off in September 2004, before it was announced Nationals Park would be built in the area.
The following years were a flurry of posts, plans and photos for Dupree, all a side project to her full-time job at the Washington Post.
Since Nationals Park opened in 2008, there’s been less work for Dupree to do. But she continues on, whether it’s a blog post about the new name of the Navy Yard Metro stop or asking her readers for feedback on what they’re looking for.
“It’s a labor of love,” she said.
The spectrum of the Hill blog stretches on, from the anonymous posts of H Street Great Street to the newsy reports from the Eastern Market Metro Community Association.
But that’s the beauty of covering the Hill, Christian said. She doesn’t think there’s an overabundance of blogs because there’s so much to cover and, in her opinion, not enough people to cover it.
“There’s a need here, especially with all the development,” she said. “I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”
Visitors get their first look at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which opened to the public on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. The new memorial is located off Independence Ave. SW between the Rayburn House Office Building and HHS. Buy photo here.