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The Wire Tour

1,680 bytes added, 10:34, 2 April 2013
[[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 laid 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''' (known locally as an Arabber) 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.'' You will pass by beautiful Union Square on the right, with the HL Mencken Fountain in the center. Mencken, the "Sage of Baltimore" lived at 1524 Hollins St at the north of the square for 67 years, and to this date, despite the surrounding urban decay, this remains one of West Baltimore's best kept, wealthiest, and safest neighborhoods.
''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 kid, being more familiar with the Poe Homes public housing project that bears Poe's name and poor is next to the same wayhistoric site, so the perplexed boy responds, "uh, take your pick!" The Poe Homes were the site where state's witness William Gant, whose murder in the very first episode set The Wire in motion, worked as a maintenance man. 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.
''Continue east on North Ave until you reach Guilford Ave and turn right''. Look right down the alley for '''Bubbles' garage''' in the later seasons. Keep going and once you pass Lanvale, the '''Tilghman Middle School''' from Season Four will be 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!
''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/EastBaltimore|northeast of the city]].) ''At the end of the block, turn left onto Patterson Park Ave''.
===Far East===
''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 Mr. 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.
''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.
(A slight detour to 1400 Jackson St at the corner of Clement and Jackson will put you at a house that served as the location for Delores' Bar frequented by the longshoremen.)
''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.
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 the one-time location of '''Werner's Diner'''(permanently closed as of April 2011), 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(currently occupied by a 7-11, Edible Arrangements, and other boring businesses), the interior of which was used as '''Kavanagh's Irish Pub'''(the exterior shots of Kavanagh's were filmed at The Sidebar, a lawyer bar by day and punk bar by night, located at Lexington & Guilford), 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'''(currently closed), 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.
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.
==Further out==
A few scenes from the series were filmed outside of the Downtown area.
Further out of the downtown area covered by the tour but still very much within the city limits is [[Baltimore/West Baltimore|Reservoir Hill]]. Forming most of its northern border is Druid Lake. At 901 Druid Park Lake Dr, at the corner of Linden Avenue, is the '''Riviera Apartments''' building, the site of Monk's residence and the exterior shooting location of the infamous Season 5 gunfight between Omar and his accomplice Donnie (played by Donnie Andrews who was the inspiration for the character of Omar Little) and the forces of Marlo Stanfield, namely Chris Partlow, Snoop Pearson, and their protege, Michael Lee. The southeast corner of the building on Linden is where Omar made his spectacular leap from the balcony when his ammo ran dry and improbably disappeared from sight to the utter astonishment of his attackers. Please remember this is a ''private'' residential building-don't anger those who live there by trying to enter the building!
==Stay safe==
Don't worry. Yes, you are touring some high crime areas (although the vast majority , be smart about it. Do not leave possessions within sight of the areas on the tour are actually quite safe)any passers by. Car jackings happen everyday. And always make sure you have an exit route, but no one is going to bother so you are not boxed in your car. Period. As noted [[#Get around|above]], walking on foot around the East and West Baltimore sections of the tour could be more risky, but even then the dangers commonly warned about in the U.S. are grossly exaggerated. Yes, they are high violent crime areas, and a nighttime stroll would be ill-advised, but no one is likely to bother you beyond asking you what you're doing there, or possibly advising that it's not safe for you to visit. People here are used to minding their own business.
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