It is a modern inclination, this television series based tourism. Perhaps it is since the axing of sets and the prominence of location-set series and movie. There was New Zealand for Lord of the Rings, Surrey and London for Harry Potter and recently Northern Ireland for Game of Thrones. But with so much CGI, who knows where you are? (Harry Potter excluded from that statement.)
The first thing that strikes you about Albuquerque, New Mexico, is that it is a really cool place to be. Her Old Town is built in an Adobe architectural style that instantly activates the senses, with its rounded corners and distinct photo opportunities. It screams heat, even on cooler days due to some mental association from years of watching western movies.
But that, right there, is meant for another story. Albuquerque is now perhaps most famous as the town where Walter White and Jesse Pinkman ran their elicit meth manufacturing business from the award winning show, Breaking Bad. So let’s delve right in.
So remember when Walter first lost his temper, telling the Greek guy with the big eyebrows to perform some proverbial act with himself? That was shot in what is now called Car Wash Mister. It can be found off of Menual Boulevard NE, opposite Fire Station 9.
Walter White’s house:
The carwash is not far from 3828 Piermont Drive, the home of Walter, Skylar and Junior. Beware of the old couple now sitting on the driveway impolitely asking you to move along. Whatever you do, do not throw a Pizza on the roof, please, they do not like it!
Not far from this, you will find Saul Goodman’s office and Hank and Marie’s house.
Jesse Pinkman’s house:
So just off Central Avenue nearing the Old Town, you will find amidst the gorgeous leafy suburb, Jesse Pinkman’s house at 322 16th St.
The Doghouse drive-in:
Just off Central road, heading East from Jesse’s house, find Jesse’s favourite fast food joint, immediately recognisable, although placing the scene might take longer.
Right in the centre of town, a building covered in graffiti stands. This is actually a very trendy coffee bar called Java Joe’s and worth a visit. Find it at 906 Park Ave SW.
Jesse Pinkman and Jane’s flat:
Almost opposite the University of New Mexico, find the flat shared by Jesse and Jane in 323 Terrace St SE.
Walter White’s new apartment:
In Central Avenue heading further East and past the university, you will find Walter’s new flat on the right.
Los Pollos Hermanos:
Better known as Twisters, this is the setting for Los Polos Hermanos, Gustavo Fring’s restaurant front. You will find this in the South Valley, off of US314.
Gustavo Fring’s Meth lab:
Drive north, just off the I25 north of the city centre, you will find a place now called Delta Uniform and Linens. This served as the front for the underground meth lab.
This is only a short list, but check out the map for more.
In the meantime, while you are in Albuquerque, it would be sacrilege not to try some of the local cuisine, beers and experience the place as it was before Breaking Bad set up filming. The irony about this place is that the locals do not speak fondly of the show, according to them, it has tainted the city as a place with high rates of poverty, where drugs are easily obtained, gangs run riot and that their high school teachers don’t receive adequate healthcare. Of course this is missing the point, for nobody actually takes fiction for fact – well apart from a few, it seems.
So where to get a good beer?
Well Bryan Cranston’s favourite dig was the Marble Brewery at the end of Marble Avenue, very close to the centre. Try their Red Ale, Oatmeal Stout and very interesting Wildflower Wheat. Or perhaps indulge in the Double White... (Is this something to do with Walter?)
Well, while you are between Jesse and Jane’s flat and Walter’s new flat, stop at the Frontiers Restaurant for the Green Chili Stew with soft tortilla and honey. It doesn’t get much better than here.
And of course, do not forget to visit the Old Town, perhaps picking up some chili-infused fudge, or scorpion containing candy. It is a cool place, very picturesque and an unforgettable experience.