Baltimore: The Wire locations, part two
When The A.V. Club originally considered potential locations from The Wire for Pop Pilgrims, we had more options than we could handle, hence the two-part episode devoted to one of our favorite shows. One of the first ideas we had for a location was the detail office—the shabby building used by Lt. Daniels and his crew after season one—but location scout Eric Bannat informed us the building was only used for exteriors. (We still visited it anyway.)
Another one of our early location ideas was Hamsterdam—the legal drug zone created by Major “Bunny” Colvin in season three. (The name came from a neighborhood resident mishearing the police referencing Amsterdam.) We’d heard that most of the buildings had been torn down, but it turns out they all had been. What’s left is a couple blocks’ worth of empty lots and a fire hydrant.
Plenty of locations from The Wire remain, though, and many are in close proximity to each other. As Bannat mentioned in the first of our two Wire episodes, a lot of that came from practicality: They didn’t have a lot of time to shoot, so locations needed to be close to each other. The detail office is about a five-minute walk from the Greek’s diner, and both of those locations are near the port area that occupied The Wire’s second season. We never spent more than a few minutes driving from one location to the next.
At each one, the people were friendly and said nice things about the show, though a couple also mentioned The Wire’s unrelenting bleakness rang a little false. While we missed a squatter in the second floor of Cutty’s gym by minutes, judging by what was left, we also met a guy who was single-handedly making Marlo’s format hangout safe for skaters. Although the plentiful Plexiglass around his cash register may suggest otherwise, Donald Lee from Novak’s says his neighborhood isn’t bad. Like a lot of cities, Baltimore can vary by block. Novak’s corner, at Federal and Chester in the shadow of the cool old American Brewery building, is fine, but a few blocks over may be sketchier, Lee said. As far as we could tell—spoiler ahoy—there were no gun-toting tweens in the store, either. Bad timing, Omar!
If you ever visit locations from The Wire, also check out the extensive, browser-choking tour at the Baltimore site welcometobaltimorehon.com. Also make sure to swing by Fells Point, the location of the police building from Homicide: Life On The Street. There’s a giant plaque out front. Can a statue of David Simon be far behind?
- Die Hard's Nakatomi Plaza
- Los Angeles: The Graduate church
- Los Angeles: Dining with Reservoir Dogs
- San Francisco: Jimmy Stewart's Vertigo apartment
- San Francisco: City Lights Books, birthplace of a literary revolution
- Memphis: Ardent Studios - Home to Big Star, The Replacements, Isaac Hayes, and more
- Memphis: Arcade Restaurant - Set of Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train
- Memphis: Sun Studio - Home to Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis
- New Orleans: St. Louis Cemetery - Set of Easy Rider's acid freak-out
- New Orleans: We visit locations from David "The Wire" Simon's jazz-heavy HBO series Treme
- New Orleans: Preservation Hall - Keeping the history of jazz alive
- Austin: We visit fictional Dillon, TX, home of Friday Night Lights
- Austin: The Texas Chain Saw... family restaurant?
- Austin: We're gonna need you to go ahead and visit the Office Space building
- Seattle: Kurt Cobain Park
- Seattle: The diner from Twin Peaks, Twede's Cafe
- Seattle: Fantagraphics Comics
- Eugene: The cafeteria from Animal House
- Philadelphia: The Rocky stairs
- Philadelphia: The Blob movie theater
- Philadelphia: The John Coltrane House
- Baltimore: The Wire locations, part one
- Baltimore: The Wire locations, part two
- DC: The Exorcist stairs
- New York: The Royal Tenenbaums house
- New York: The Ghostbusters firehouse
- New York: The Paul’s Boutique corner
- Chicago: The Blues Brothers bridge
- Chicago: The Wilco towers
- Chicago: The Ferris Bueller high school
- Cleveland: A Christmas Story house
- Cleveland: The Shawshank Redemption prison
- Cleveland: The Superman house