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The Wire Tour

831 bytes added, 18:14, 21 August 2011
italicizing the actual directions (my friend correctly pointed out that this makes navigation far, far easier)
[[Image:West Wire Tour map.png|thumb|380px]]
[[Baltimore/West Baltimore|West Baltimore]] is where it all begins, right on Lexington and Fulton Ave where '''Snot Boogie''', the man of unfortunate name and unfortunate life lay dead in the street. While nearly the whole of the drug gang plotlines theoretically take place in West Baltimore, only the first season was extensively shot here. The directors found East Baltimore's relatively treeless streets much easier to film in, as they could film throughout at least three of the seasons without losing seasonal continuity. To reach the series opening scene, ''head up MLK Jr Ave, turn left onto W Fayette St, then after going a ways, right on Fulton Ave and up two blocks to Lexington''. The scene was filmed on Lexington on the block just to the left. As you drive through West Baltimore, keep a lookout for the famous '''horse cart fruit vendor''' in good weather—he's very much real, and quite the living legend.
''Turn right on Lexington and turn right onto Mount St. Go about four blocks '' and look for the '''Viva House''' (44 S Mount St) soon after crossing Hollins St, where Bubbles cooked and served at the '''soup kitchen'''. ''Turn left on Lombard and left again onto Gilmor St to get back to Lexington St.''
''Turn right on Lexington to go back east towards MLK Jr Blvd. '' Once you reach Amity St, look left—the second building on the right is the famous '''Poe House'''. In the show, a lost tourist asks a local kid where the Poe House is. The local accent pronounces Poe and poor the same way, so the perplexed boy responds, "uh, take your pick!" Fortunately, you brought your Wikitravel map, so you won't have to reenact this silly scene. While closed for winter, the house of Edgar Allen is open for a small fee and tour from April to early December, Th-Sa noon-3:30PM. Just go up to the front door and knock. Street parking right on Lexington couldn't be easier.
''Continue east on Lexington and turn left onto Fremont''. You are now in the thick of The Terraces, a mixed use public housing complex that replaced the once blighted and now demolished Lexington Terrace high rise public housing projects, which served as inspiration for '''Franklin Terrace''', the high rises controlled by the Barksdale Organization.
''Make a left on Saratoga St and then a right onto Arlington Ave. When you reach Lafayette Ave, turn right '' and look immediately on your right for the church where Bubbles attended '''AA Meetings'''. You can't miss the brightly painted red doors. ''Continue east on Lafayette to , turn left on Fremont, after following Fremont for several blocks, turn right on Presstman St and then right down '''Pennsylvania Ave''' ''. While not a filming location, it's worth a short drive down this street to get a sense of history. This stretch of Pennsylvania Ave was once the heart of African-American culture and turn rightcommerce in the city, but still has not quite recovered from the devastation of the 1968 riots following the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. In recent years, though, things have been slowly but surely improving.
''Turn left on Preston St '' to enter the '''McCulloh Homes''', the low rise housing projects that served as location for much of the drug trade in Season One. It's hard to see from the street, but '''The Pit''', where D'Angelo plied his product is just behind the fourth building on the right.
''Turn left on McCulloh St '' to continue your tour through the McCulloh Homes and look left in the middle of the first block for the '''harmonica and dance statues''' of a boy and girl, featured several times throughout the series.
''Continue up McCulloh to Lanvale St and turn left''. On the second block look right for '''Bethel Church''', which was home to one of the prominent and politically powerful church groups throughout the series. ''At the end of the block turn right onto Division St, then turn right back onto Lafayette, then left back onto McCulloh''. Right on the corner with Wilson St is '''Carlton C Douglas Funeral Services''', which served as the West Baltimore headquarters for the Barksdale organization throughout the first three seasons.
Time to turn around to get back to Lafayette—make Lafayette—''make a left on Wilson, a left on Druid Hill Ave, and then a left back onto Lafayette Ave''. This will take you into the relatively small neighborhood of [[Baltimore/Midtown|Bolton Hill]], which while not featured on TV, is undoubtedly Baltimore's most beautiful old neighborhood, former home to the Sage of Baltimore, HL Mencken, and a great place for a little aimless drive.
===North Central===
[[Image:North Central Wire Tour map.png|thumb|250px]]
At the north end of Bolton Hill is Mt Royal Ave. ''Turn right and head back east into [[Baltimore/Midtown|Midtown]] until you reach Maryland Ave. Turn right, then left on Chase St, and then left again onto N Charles St''. This section of Charles St has as good a claim as any to being the hippest stretch of Baltimore, largely unknown to anyone but locals. Immediately on the left is the '''Brewer's Art''', quite possibly the best spot for dinner and drinks in the city, and the swanky place where Marlo was seduced by Devonne. Mark this place down for a later point in your trip—it's a true local favorite and for good reason.
''Head north on Charles '' past '''Penn Station''', where Herc made his abortive arrest of Marlo, and its giant Male/Female Statue. Once you reach North Ave, look right for '''Pearson's Florist''', where Bodie headed into "the back room" to get his gangsta flower arrangement for D's funeral.
''Turn left on North Ave and then right into the parking lot '' of the distinctive '''North Avenue Motel''', where Omar shot Brother Mouzone. Incidentally, you're near another fine food establishment that, while not a filming location, was referred 'Head back out to several times in the first season as North Ave and make a favorite place among the gangsters for their delicious coddies, '''Sterling's Seafood''' (401 W 29th St). To get there, u-turn to start heading back on North Ave, then turn left to head north on Charles St to 29th, turn left again, and drive eight blocks. Here iteast's time to hop out and get yourself some delicious food. The coddies may be an obvious choice, but there's a whole long list of seafood items worth your while. (To get back to North Ave, just turn left, then left again onto 28th, then right on Maryland.)
Turn around and head east on North Ave until you reach Guilford Ave and turn right. Look right down This is a good time for a side trip: You're near another fine food establishment that, while not a filming location, was referred to several times in the first season as a favorite place among the alley gangsters for their delicious coddies, '''BubblesSterling' garages Seafood''' in the later seasons(401 W 29th St). Keep going and once you pass LanvaleTo get there, the ''turn left off North Ave on to Charles St to 29th, turn left again, and drive eight blocks'Tilghman Middle School'. Here it's time to hop out and get yourself some delicious food. The coddies may be an obvious choice, but there' from Season Four will be on s a whole long list of seafood items worth your while. ''(To get back to North Ave, just turn left, then left again onto 28th, righton Maryland, now a Montessori schooland then left on North Ave. )''
Turn left ''Continue east on Federal St, then North Ave until you reach Guilford Ave and turn right on Greenmount Ave to get to ''. Look right down the entrance of alley for '''Greenmount CemeteryBubbles'garage'' on your left' in the later seasons. This was Keep going and once you pass Lanvale, the setting for many scenes in ''The Wire'Tilghman Middle School', some of the more memorable of which include D's funeral, the first meeting between Omar and McNulty, and the fateful meeting between Stringer and Colvin, where the former betrays Avon by giving up the safehouse location. It's certain to from Season Four will be open for cars M-Sa 9AM-4PM (other times are unreliable)on your right, now a Montessori school.
''Turn left on Federal St, then turn right on Greenmount Ave'' to get to the entrance of '''Greenmount Cemetery''' on your left. This was the setting for many scenes in ''The Wire'', some of the more memorable of which include D's funeral, the first meeting between Omar and McNulty, and the fateful meeting between Stringer and Colvin, where the former betrays Avon by giving up the safehouse location. It's certain to be open for cars M-Sa 9AM-4PM (other times are unreliable). Coming out of the cemetery, ''turn right up Greenmount, left back onto Federal St, and then right on Barclay St''. The northeast corner of Barclay and Lanvale should be instantly recognizable as '''Bodie's Corner''', where he ultimately met his end. ''Head straight back up to North Ave, and turn right '' and that's all for North Central!
Several blocks down at 1268 E North Ave on the left you will pass by a location of the oft-filmed '''New York Fried Chicken''' franchise. NYFC begs a bit of background. It started in New York, run by Afghan immigrants, under the name Kennedy Fried Chicken, looking to impersonate both the initials and the look of the giant Kentucky Fried Chicken chain. KFC objected to this, and has tried, rather unsuccessfully, to stamp out all instances of that name. Owing to the Afghan connection, the franchise found itself in the early years of the 21st century investigated for terrorist connections, but fear not the chicken—the investigation was baseless and yielded nothing.
''Continue up to Caroline St and turn right''. This area of [[Baltimore/East Baltimore|East Baltimore]], especially '''Bond St''' two blocks east, was the actual filming location for much of the whole show, including many locations supposedly in West Baltimore. After about ten blocks, turn left on Chase St, then left on Bond St. Look immediately on the right for '''Marlo's Hangout'''. Hop out of the car and into the square (Faith Ln) to take some pictures if you like, but bear in mind that this is a legitimately rough neighborhood.
''Continue way back up Bond to Lafayette Ave'', and admire the familiar scenery along the way. ''Turn right at Lafayette '' and look left just before Bethel St for '''Hamsterdam''', where Maj. Colvin legalized drugs! ''Turn right on BethelAlley'', and once past Federal St, look left into the alley at the end of the block. This was the location of the infamous '''Bodymore Murdaland graffiti'''. The city decided this was bad press and, alas, removed the graffiti. We'll see how long it takes for someone to put it back!
''A left on Oliver St takes you to Broadway, turn right''. In about ten blocks, you'll be in the thick of Johns Hopkins Hospital and its Medical School. Why is this relevant? Because this is where you get patched up if you catch a bullet! ''Turn left when you get to Orleans St, left on Washington St, then right onto Monument Ave''. On the right just after Chester St is '''Northeastern Market''', where McNulty had his kids shadow Stringer, then lost track of them... The market is less of a market and more of a Johns Hopkins Hospital crowd food court. There is far superior food coming up, though, at Chaps Pit Beef, so better to wait until you get there.
''Make a left onto Patterson Park Ave '' to reach '''Collington Square Park''', where the big '''East-West Basketball Game''' went down. ''Continue north on Patterson Park Ave for two blocks''. The '''Saveland Food Mart''' on the left was used in a particularly disturbing scene, where Marlo stole a lollipop in plain view of the security guard, just to show that he could. The guard went to talk to him outside, asking him why he had to do that, to put his job in jeopardy for no reason. And for that act of bold honesty, Marlo later had him killed.
''Turn left here onto Federal St'', and you will see a very distinctive and beautiful building just behind the Saveland—the recently renovated '''American Brewery Building'''. Just behind the building is an abandoned area where the school kids hung out and played throughout Season Four. ''Turn right onto Gay St to head northeast. Turn left back onto North Ave '' and look left for the building that formerly housed The '''Rim Source''', Marlo's store. (The Rim Source has since relocated to the [[Baltimore/East|northeast of the city]].) ''At the end of the block, turn left onto Patterson Park Ave''.
===Far East===
[[Image:Far East Wire Tour map.png|thumb|360px]]
Head ''Head way'' down Patterson Park Ave all the way past '''Patterson Park''' and turn left onto Eastern Ave''. Look left for that crazy pagoda. ''At the end of the park, turn left onto Ellwood Ave''. Just past Gough St, on the left a little ways into the park is the spot where Vondas would meet up with Prop Joe and later Marlo to discuss business. The benches face away from the street, but they had rotated them to face eastwards when filming. This is a nice time to hop out of the car and stretch your legs. Afterwards, ''keep heading up Ellwood all the way to the Pulaski Hwy (US-40) and turn right to head to the [[Baltimore/East Baltimore|far east of the city]]''.
''Just past Conkling St on Pulaski '' is the '''Executive Inn''', where the Co-op would meet up under Prop Joe's aegis to organize their now peaceful drug trade. You have got to be '''hungry''' by now, so it's time for some '''Chaps Pit Beef''', which will be ''on Pulaski on the right shortly after the second overpass''. If the interior looks familiar, it should, as there was a great little Baltimore scene at the main picnic table, where Wee-Bey piled the potent horseradish on his pit beef sandwich. His friends told him he was in for a world of hurt, but the ever tough Bey responded, "the trick is not to give a shit." Bad move—he cried from the pain! Chaps is generally considered to have Baltimore's best pit beef, a sort of local "barbecue" producing a very soft roast beef sandwich, which begs for onions and horseradish. It is properly ordered rare. There are plenty of other good dishes, though, so make sure to eat here!
''Head back down Pulaski to Conkling St and turn left. Just past Eastern Ave'', look on the right for the old '''Carcetti Campaign Headquarters''', which proudly displayed the campaign signs long after David Simon's film crew had moved on. There's a '''Vaccaro's''' on the right, a famous local Italian pastry chainlet, which should make for a decadent dessert if you so choose.
[[Image:Southeast Wire Tour map.png|thumb|380px]]
''Turn left on Eastern Ave, then right on Haven St '' to head south into [[Baltimore/Southeast Baltimore|Southeast Baltimore]]. Once you get to O Donnell St, you'll see an overpass. Yes, this is the location where '''McNulty, drunk driving''', to the tune of the Pogues' ''Transmetropolitan'', somehow managed to '''crash his car''' twice in the same place. Do not reenact this scene.
''Turn around and then turn left on Dillon St (since you can't turn onto O Donnell here). Turn left on Conkling and go down to O Donnell''. Look just left and up for one of Baltimore's most famous icons, the neon Brewer's Hill '''Natty Boh guy'''! If you wait a little at night, he'll wink at you (the frequency of the winks seems linked to consumption of the beverage). Anyway, ''turn right and keep going west through the split around Canton Square'', a gentrifying area full of crowded bars. Near the end of the split, '''St Casimir's Church''' is on the left, where the police and the stevedores' über-Polish feud over the stained glass window began at the outset of Season Two.
''At the end of O Donnell St, turn left to go south and then left again onto Boston St. Turn right on Clinton St to head south along the harbor'', into the territory of The Greek. ''Past Holabird Ave'', start looking on the right for '''The Greek's Diner''' (Johnny's Restaurant). Just past it, you'll come to the so-called '''Port of Philadelphia''' (remember that all scenes were in fact filmed in Baltimore), a.k.a. the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, where Sergei (with Spiros' help) relieved a Turk ("Sailor" Sam) of head and feet. This place has great spooky, abandoned atmosphere at night. The big Liberty Ship, the ''SS John W. Brown'', is today actually a museum ship [], offering several living-history cruises throughout the year.
''Just before the end of the road, turn left onto a little side street '' to find the ramshackle '''Major Crimes Unit HQ''', used starting at the beginning of Season Two. ''Get back onto Clinton St and turn left, then bear left onto Haven St, which will turn into Keith Ave''. To the right is '''Seagirt Marine Terminal''', a giant port where the Sobotkas and the stevedores union worked throughout Season Two. Good luck getting into the complex, though!
[[Image:South Wire Tour map.png|thumb|380px]]
Time for a good 20 minute drive to [[Baltimore/South Baltimore|South Baltimore]]. ''Backtrack back up Clinton St to Boston St and turn right towards I-95, and get on southbound towards the Fort McHenry Tunnel. This guide apologizes in advance for the toll and any potential tunnel traffic. Get off at I-395 and stay in the right lane. Turn right onto Conway St and then right again onto Light St''. Look right for the '''Intercontinental Hotel''', where the Greek narrowly evaded capture at the end of Season Two.
''Turn left on Warren Ave '' to go to '''Federal Hill Park''', a green space full of history both real and fictional from The Wire. If you can find a parking space, and that's a big if, this is another great place to get out of the car. The views from the top of the hill are probably the best in the city. Carcetti loved to take strolls around the place to get away from politics and clear his head. McNulty's strolls were less successful, as he fell down the hill drunk while failing to exercise his police authority by stopping some kids from vandalizing public property.
''Turn right down Riverside Ave, left on Cross St, and then right onto the Key Hwy. Follow the Key Hwy to Webster St and turn right, then left onto Fort Ave. Just before going over the Key Hwy again, turn right onto Ludlow St '' to reach the '''Wine Market'''. Part restaurant and part wine store, this is a ''great'' place for an upscale, but reasonably priced dinner. Senator "sheeeeiiiit" Clay Davis and Stringer Bell agreed with this assessment, and met up for some lunch to discuss real estate.
''Go back up to Fort Ave and turn right '' to get into '''Locust Point''', home to the Sobotkas. ''Turn left on the side street just past Andre St (Reynolds) '' to catch a glimpse of Nick Sobotka's house. Please do not disturb the residents. ''At the end of the street turn left on Clement and then immediately right on Andre St''. Coming up on the right is the gigantic '''Grainery''', which Nick remarked would soon be turned into upscale harbor-side condos to mark the end of blue collar Locust Point. And indeed, today it is condos.
''Now take a left on Beason St, a right on Hull St, and then a right on Nicholson St '' to get over to '''Fort McHenry'''. You can't quite get to the filming location, but the very southeast of the fort area is where Vondas wised up to the fact that his texts were being monitored by the police, and then flung his cell phone into the harbor.
[[Image:Central Wire Tour map.png|thumb|380px]]
You're nearing the end of this long, grandiose tour of the city. ''Go back to Fort Ave and turn left, heading all the way to Light St, and turn right''. Past the Intercontinental, as you are getting into the [[Baltimore/Inner Harbor|Inner Harbor]], look left for the '''Hyatt Regency''', where Beadie stalked Vondas to room 520 on her reconnaissance mission. ''Light St will turn into Calvert St and take you into [[Baltimore/Downtown|Downtown]]''.
Look right down Redwood—it's a one way street so you won't be able to turn right, but note that at the end of the block is '''Werner's Diner''', a famous old Art Deco Downtown diner, and a recurring filming location to show the politicians meeting up to talk shop.
''Now turn right onto Baltimore St''. At the end of the first block on the right is The American, the interior of which was used as '''Kavanagh's Irish Pub''', where the police would have wakes for slain officers. Keep going straight, and between Commerce St and Gay St (really, those are the names of the streets by accident, not irony) is '''The Block''', the infamously seedy one-block stretch of Baltimore St filled with nothing but strip clubs. Despite the look and the business, it's actually quite safe because, as you will see on the corner of the next block, the city put the real Police Headquarters right next to it. It's not clear that any scenes were shot right here, but rest assured that the spirit of The Block made its way into the series.
''Turn right onto the small one-way Frederick St and go one block to Water St''. Just left is the '''Ruth's Chris Steakhouse''' that former Maj. Colvin takes Namond, Zenobia, and Darnell to as a prize for doing well in class. It doesn't go so well, as the students feel uncomfortable and have no idea how to act in this new environment.
''Turn right on Water St, and then right onto Gay St up to a left on Lexington St''. On the right is the exceptionally famous '''Hollywood Diner''', known to ''The Wire'' fans as the diner where drunken McNulty could, um, "get anything he wants." But it is even more famous as the principal location for Barry Levinson's (a co-director for ''The Wire'', no less) classic 1982 Baltimore movie, ''Diner''.
''Take a left on Commerce St '' to find '''City Hall''', used ''extensively'' on the show. ''Turn right on Fayette and go down all the way past Charles St '' to find the fictional location of the '''Police Headquarters''' on the right, which is in actuality an office building.
One last stop! ''Turn right on Park Ave, go up to Saratoga St, turn right, and follow it back to Calvert St and turn left again. After going under the US-40 overpass'', you will see the '''Baltimore Sun Building''', of Season Five fame, on the right.
[[Image:Pobmd.jpg|thumb|450px|Seagirt Marine Terminal]]
Your grand tour is over! If you still haven't eaten dinner, remember the Brewer's Art from the North Central Portion of the tour? It would be hard to do better, although if you are in the mood for something else, there are a lot of good options right on Charles St [[Baltimore/Midtown|nearby]]. ''Head north on Calvert past the Baltimore Sun building, then turn left on Madison St. You will turn right on Charles St'', but first look left down Charles to see the beautiful Washington Monument square (this one predates the big monolith in [[Washington, D.C.]]). Anyway, turn right onto Charles and head north back to the Brewer's Art.

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