Saturday, October 22, 2011

CORE Dance Collective - "The Doorway" - Second Opening

The spirits of the house welcome their guests for the evening!

A highly-irrational start to an evening of dance with Sacramento's best dancers!

I could tell things would get a bit confused during the evening, when I complimented one of the cast, who was collecting tickets. "Nice eyelashes," I said. She closed her eyes, exposing the long, lush false eyelashes, and opened her eyes again. "What eyelashes?" she said.

Then I begged to admitted to the house. A languid spirit on the stairs said "No!" I persisted. Then she said yes, and I was pushed into the house.

Jacob Montoya.

Need more be said?

This spirit maintained eye contact, regardless.

Elsewhere, another spirit said "Give me back my dollie!"

"Take a picture of the happy couple", the irrational sprite commanded. So, I did.

'If they can be irrational, I can be irrational', I thought. So I asked this spirit "Are you made of porcelain?" She hotly denied it, but another passing spirit said I was absolutely correct.

The lobby of the house.

Portraits of the inhabitants of the house.

Ashley Celaya Willingham.


I saw F. at intermission. He said: "My understanding is that this group is at the top of the food chain." I nodded in agreement, then wondered precisely what that meant. I had never thought of dancers being the equivalents of guppies before.

Blair Cacanando.

The Apprentices.

Alexis Bailey.

Catrina Davis.


Bows: x, Marguerite Knipe, Christina Day, Anne David, Jacob Montoya, Andrew Hopper.

"The Doorway" October 21, 22 & 27, 28, 29, 2011
7:30 pm

Benvenuti Performing Arts Center
4600 Blackrock Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95835

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Don't Stop The Foreclosure Process"

On Monday, the Las Vegas Sun complained that, on the eve of the Republican debate in Las Vegas, none of the GOP candidates had anything substantial to say regarding Las Vegas' most pressing problem; namely, the housing crisis.

Perhaps in response to this complaint, also on Monday, Mitt Romney came out with some cold, cold advice. I was perturbed by Mitt Romney's statements:
Mitt Romney’s answer to the wave of home foreclosures might not play too well with swing-state voters. In an interview on Monday with the Las Vegas Review Journal — located in the state of Nevada, where the economy has been particularly damaged by the collapse of real estate — Romney spoke out against stopping foreclosures:
“As to what to do for the housing industry specifically — and are there things that you can do to encourage housing? One is, don’t try and stop the foreclosure process,” said Romney. “Let it run its course, and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy up homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up, and let it turn around and come back up.

“The Obama administration has slow-walked the foreclosure process that long existed, and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.
However, as he continued, he is not closing the door on all options — though he’s also not agreeing to any: “I think the idea of helping people refinance homes to stay in them is one that’s worth further consideration. But I’m not signing on until I find out who’s gonna pay, and who’s gonna get bailed out. And that’s not something that we know all the answers to yet.”
These statements bother me. First, it is always the fastest way out of a crisis like this to give up at the first sign of trouble. First missed mortgage payment, you and your family are out on the street - NOW! By that logic, yes, we could get through the crisis right now and have a robust housing market, say, in a month or two, but we'd probably have to throw a quarter of the Las Vegas population onto the streets next week. That crisis would dwarf any improvement the housing market would experience. And how are people who are "upside-down" supposed to refinance without adequate collateral?

Second, it isn't the Obama Administration that is slow-walking the foreclosure process, but the people living in the houses themselves. People with mortgages do NOT want to give up without a fight! And who can blame them? There's a huge amount of money at stake!

As is now abundantly clear, with the various robo-signing scandals across the country, the banks are dead-set and determined not to follow the slow-moving "foreclosure process that long existed." So why should anyone expect the people with troubled mortgages to follow the bastardized foreclosure process invented by the banks in the last three years? Why shouldn't people get in touch with their lawyers and assert their rights? Century's-old common law rights that predate the Constitution? The rule of law, anyone?

Since mortgage-backed securities started to be traded - say, about 1998, when they were invented - the contempt for century's-old property law in the United States, particularly regarding titles and foreclosures, has been truly breathtaking. If it really is a jungle out there, as it seems to be, there is logic to fighting back. Contrary to Romney, the rebound in the housing market will be nasty, brutish, and very, very long. As it should be!

The economic recovery will just have to wait....

[UPDATE] And in the Las Vegas Sun today, there is an editorial suggesting Romney is right. And in some respects he is, of course. But why should mortgage holders be required to follow the law when the banks certainly don't, and won't?:
Hard as it is to hear for Las Vegas residents, Romney might be right, according to real estate experts and economists from across the spectrum.

...By one way of thinking, the faster we get people out who can’t or won’t pay their mortgage and replace them with new owners, the faster we get to stability.

Another upside of the collapse in prices: Las Vegas real estate — both residential and commercial — is suddenly very affordable for retirees and business owners, giving us a competitive advantage.

A do-nothing policy is not without risk or collateral damage, however.

Neighborhood blight — empty homes, absent owners, ne’er-do-well renters — is a problem. Baker advocates a “right-to-rent” program wherein the homeowner would give up the home but be entitled to rent it from the bank or new owner at a fair market price determined by an assessor. This would give neighborhoods continuity.

...According to a University of Chicago study, 35 percent of mortgage defaults are “strategic,” meaning the homeowner could pay but decides not to because the investment has become worthless.

...One way to stop it: Massive principal reduction — reduce what the borrower owes to something closer to market reality. Former Reagan administration economist Martin Feldstein called for this in a recent New York Times Op-Ed.

...Of course, someone has to pay for principal reduction: Either the banks, or the taxpayers, or some combination of the two.

As Lang says, “Where’s the money come from?” The politics are brutal, as Wall Street has a solid grip on both parties, and taxpayers are loath to pay down someone else’s mortgage.

For whatever you think of Romney and his callous message to Nevadans, the lesson here is this: Once you’ve fallen for the scam — be it Tulips in 1630, in 1999, or Las Vegas houses in 2005 — you shouldn’t expect to get repaid. The money wasn’t there in the first place.

Always Where You Least Expect To Find It

Via Michelle S. on Facebook.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Obama's 'Leading From Behind' Foreign Policy Victory

For once, we backed the right horse. Despite the opposition of Arab dictators. Despite the craven actions of clowns like John McCain and Joseph Liebermann. Despite the opposition of much of the foreign policy establishment. Despite the entire Republican party and their stupidity. Despite the awkwardness of using NATO as an instrument of foreign policy. Despite Libyan factions. Despite every damned thing you can think of!

Obama is getting good at this sort of thing!

And thankfully, tomorrow will be a new day....

"Breaking Bad" Filming Locations - Season 5a

This post is the sixth of eight posts regarding "Breaking Bad" filming locations and focuses on Season 5a filming locations (last updated March 15, 2020).

The Blog Sidebar contains links to Filming Location posts.  These include:
  • Eight "Breaking Bad" filming location posts;
  • Three additional posts regarding "Breaking Bad" related subjects;
  • Seven "Better Call Saul" filming location posts;
  • Two additional posts regarding "Better Call Saul" related subjects;
  • One post regarding "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie";
  • Three links to OldeSaultie's Google maps of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" filming location sites. These are the best filming location maps on the Web! The KML files available at these addresses are particularly useful for importing locations into GPS-equipped devices.

Let me know if you have any problems or questions (E-Mail address:


To avoid unnecessary friction, I have redacted the addresses of all single-family homes in these books. (These addresses are still available in these blog posts, however.)

The pictures in the print edition are black-and-white, in order to keep costs down. Pictures in the Kindle edition are in color.

"A Guidebook To 'Breaking Bad' Filming Locations: Albuquerque as Physical Setting and Indispensable Character"

The Fifth Edition (Publication date November 3, 2018; 375 pages) of the book, updated through Season 4 of "Better Call Saul," is now available and can be ordered at these links:

Print, Kindle.

“‘Breaking Bad’ Signs and Symbols: Reading Meaning into Sets, Props, and Filming Locations”

The First Edition (Publication date November 3, 2018; 290 pages) of this book can be ordered at these links:

Print, Kindle

This book delves into some of the symbolism in AMC's hit television series "Breaking Bad." Toxic modernity is symbolized by architectural elements derived from Chicago. Indeed, Albuquerque is used as a kind of stand-in for the City of Chicago. Like many cities in America’s Great Plains and Mountain West, Albuquerque obtained much of its architecture directly from the Windy City via the AT&SF railroad and Highway 66.

The creative team is interested in telling stories about the legacies and corruptions of modernity, particularly Chicago’s “Century of Progress” (1833-1932). In particular, Chicago-derived daylighting innovations (the practice of passive window design to help illuminate the interiors of large buildings) are featured: Glass Block Windows, Luxfer Prismatic Tile Windows, and Plate Glass Windows. Once the backgrounds of scenes are encoded with meaning, a variety of stories can be told there.

A series of tables are presented - for example: Parallel Beams in the Ceiling; Twinned Features; Five-Pointed Stars; Octagons; Monkeys; Horses; Cats; Moth Orchids; and Skulls.

Certain symbols advance the plot: Native-American symbols; Foreshadowing symbols like Pueblo Deco arches; Danger symbols like bells, stagger symbols, and desk lamps; plus Earth Art.

Featured stories as told in television-scene backgrounds include: The Legacy of El Chapo; Tributes to Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest”; The Badger Comes To Entrap; The Five Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe; The legacy of London's Crystal Palace; and Homages to Patrick McGoohan's “The Prisoner.”


'Gliding Over All' - Season 5, Episode 8

The erotic allure of power! Lydia even uses the advertising slogan of the Trojan Vibrations Twister - "You'll blow their hair back!" - to devastating effect!

"This is what I do, you understand? I move things from Point A to Point B all over the globe; 1.2 million metric tons a month, and all of it right at my fingertips - a laptop click away."

"Gliding Over All", by Walt Whitman:

GLIDING o'er all, through all,
Through Nature, Time, and Space,
As a ship on the waters advancing,
The voyage of the soul--not life alone,
Death, many deaths I'll sing.

I'm continually intrigued by how "Breaking Bad" parallels Navajo origination legend, perhaps with Lydia (or even Saul Goodman), cast as Spider Woman and Walt and Jesse as the Twins, helping them rid the Earth of Monsters. But as with all parallels, it's not exact: Walt is now more monstrous than any Monster he ever dealt with. BrBa is like Navajo legend as interpreted by Mafiosi.

There is an excellent book regarding the Navajo (also known as the Diné), portions of which are available online by Google Books for purchase: Spider Woman Walks This Land: Traditional Cultural Properties And The Navajo, by Kelli Carmean.

Quoting from specific passages below:
It is said that long, long ago, Monsters roamed the Fifth World and fed upon the five-fingered Earth Surface People, today called the Navajo. ....

It was in their time of greatest need that Changing Woman, impregnated by the Sun, gave birth to the Twins. Seeking to help their people by killing the Monsters, the Twins set off on a journey to visit their father and request his aid. Soon, they met Spider Woman, a small and often overlooked creature, but one with great power. Spider Woman helped the Twins by teaching them protective prayers and by giving them hoops tied with sacred life feathers, the power-filled plumes plucked from living eagles. ....

And who are the people being saved in "Breaking Bad"? The families, and the children: Flynn, Holly, and Lydia's daughter too. Very much in accordance with traditional Sicilian ways. Navajo legend, as interpreted by Mafiosi! And who are the Monsters? So many of them! The drug lords, and their henchmen!

Spider Women later also assists two women emissaries of the Navajo to learn the art of weaving (perhaps Marie & Skyler?) - once again, to assist their people.

And the Twins did eventually rid the Earth of Monsters. But at what cost?

"Breaking Bad" takes the viewer on a dark journey through the drug underworld, but it also touches something deeper. In Season 5a, episode 5, 'Dead Freight', Lydia is kidnapped and taken to a basement. To save her life, she describes a railroad radio dead zone by pointing at a map. There is no railroad where she points to, however. What is at that point? Whitehorse, NM, across from Chacra Mesa from Pueblo Pintado.

There is a wonderful documentary about the Anasazi of Chaco Canyon (narrated by Robert Redford and since removed from YouTube). The section between 39:10 - 41:40 is most significant. As Robert Redford narrates: "From no one building, and at no one time, would a person see this pattern. It's as though this intricate symmetry of relationships to the sky and the Earth was drawn on the landscape, but only to be held in the minds of the people." Like "Breaking Bad" itself!


Image by tosgos at

'Say My Name' - Season 5, Episode 7

Technically they were on San Felipe Pueblo land, but near the boundary with Santa Ana Pueblo land, for the final scene - about here: (35.380657°, -106.505815°).

I was in the general area of Santa Ana Pueblo in August, 2010. Driving around, I kept having the sensation I had been here before. Maybe I was confusing it with a trip through Peña Blanca when I was a kid.

North of Santa Ana, I crossed the ditch into agricultural fields, lost the pavement, started travelling a dirt road, and kept heading north.

For centuries, the Pueblo Indians have been fiercely-protective of their way of life, and remarkably resistant to changes imposed from the outside. They have kept their grazing lands and cottonwood groves free from most of the real estate development that has marred the Albuquerque area. 150 years ago, most of the Rio Grande Valley in Albuquerque looked a lot like the expansive groves portrayed in "Breaking Bad". It came as a surprise to me that Santa Ana Pueblo has been working so closely with "Breaking Bad" over the years. And now again! (And San Felipe Pueblo too.)

A magnificent alfalfa field!

Driving around, I startled what appeared to be a colony of Gunnison's Prairie Dogs.

Irrigation ditch.

Below is AMC's video on Mike crossing the River Styx.

I’m thinking these particular coordinates (35.370617°, -106.512221°) might identify the site where Mike tosses his arms into a hole in the ground. On Google Earth you can even see a tiny spot that might be the hole cover! It’s interesting: this site is on Santa Ana Indian Pueblo land, but the final scene point is on San Felipe Indian Pueblo land. It demonstrates that “Breaking Bad” is working very closely with both Indian Pueblos, and has good relations with both. In addition, these sites are as remote from the inhabited areas of the Pueblos as it’s possible to get and still be on Pueblo land. I’m sure that a minimal disturbance of the inhabitants was part of the price for permission to use the land.

That Lightning Shirt

My attention was riveted by Jesse's lightning T-shirt (Season 5, episode 6, 'Buyout'). New Mexico hosts lightning research at Langmuir Labs (New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology), atop the Magdalena Mountains, not far from Socorro, NM, about 90 miles south of Albuquerque. Is Jesse's T-Shirt related to Langmuir Labs? Or is Jesse wearing a more-generic T-Shirt available through the Discovery Channel, or the Nature Store?

'Dead Freight' - Season 5, Episode 5

The opening scenes were filmed in the chaotic off-road motorcycle area not far from “Q” Studios. They seem to start on the north side of Tijeras Arroyo, head southwest, and end up staying in the same general area: (35.021705°, -106.615063°) In any event, it’s Albuquerque.

I was wondering, is “Breaking Bad” going to get all mystical on us? When Lydia points on the map to the place in McKinley County where the dead radio zone is supposedly located, she points to Whitehorse, NM, not that far from Pueblo Pintado, an Anasazi ruin, and an important outlier of the Chaco Canyon, the Anasazi's most-important religious site. There are other sites important to the Navajo nearby too. And La Fajada Butte isn’t very far away either: probably the most notable archaeo-astronomical site in the American West! I visited there once, when it was still open to the public.

I was flipping out! Are we going to get all quasi-spiritual as we approach the end of the TV series? Are we going to mash up our tribal, Mexican, and Anglo criminal roots into some kind of sky-blue spiritual mush? Will Spider Woman lead us all out of the Fifth World at the end of the 16th episode? Is Lydia, Spider Woman? How can that be? Who is Lydia, anyway? Or, for that matter, who is anyone else in the TV series? It would be so out-of-character for “Breaking Bad” to get mystical (or is it?), and it makes my head hurt. I better get back to figuring out locations....

Here's AMC's video on working with trains....

A Kid And His Tarantulas

Teen, spiders break into Breaking Bad

People are touchingly concerned about him:
It's shocking, disturbing and going viral, and the episode's big stars are a young boy and a trio of tarantulas, all of them local. Chris Webb, 15, is from Rio Rancho and plays a kid riding his bike around the mesa collecting tarantulas in scenes shot south of Santa Fe. He also witnesses some shenanigans involving the stars of the show about a high school chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine kingpin.

...Webb says working with Breaking Bad cast and crew was great. ... One of the arachnid actors--Pepper--actually went home with Webb as a gift.

Patty the Tarantula is the most-famous of Breaking Bad's three tarantulas.


Chris Lim as Breaking Bad's tarantula and cockroach trainer and wrangler. Breaking Bad used a trio of female Chilean rose hair tarantulas named Dierdre, Patty and Pepper. Chris says the Breaking Bad directors originally wanted the classic big black tarantulas, but he convinced them to use the Chilean spiders because they are more docile and look more like the types of tarantulas found in New Mexico. He also had to get them used to having a big, black camera lens pointed at them.

Pay a visit to them all at Clark's Pet Emporium, 4914 Lomas Blvd. NE!

Bryan Cranston Transforms Into Walter White

Presto, change-o!

"Breaking Bad" Filmed At Octopus Car Wash Today (June 6, 2012)

E. from Albuquerque sent a note:
Hi Marc, Today, June 6 2012 around 4pm, I drove past the Octopus car wash and noticed something looked different. And yes, I do cruise past there frequently hoping for signs of Breaking Bad and for the second time in about 2 years I was rewarded. I don't live too far from there so it's no bother. I confess I also drive past the White residence, which is not far from the car wash and Taco Sal which is just across the street. The car wash had a sign out stating they were closed. There were some big trucks coming and going. Some Octopus car wash employees were standing out front and when customers drove up wanting to get a car wash the employees would go up to their cars, talk to them and then give something, a piece of paper. Didn't seem right, the car wash shouldn't be closed on a Wednesday afternoon, it wasn't raining, it never rains here. So I drove up to one of the employees and he told they were closed for filming and gave me a one dollar off coupon for my next car wash. I asked him if it was Breaking Bad that was filming there and he said yes. He told me I just missed the actors, Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston, they had left around 3pm. Darn my rotten luck!! I would have loved to catch a glimpse of them. He said the actors spent some time sitting outside and were very friendly to the Octopus staff.

...Thanks for all the Breaking Bad info and pictures on your blogspot. I am so enthralled with Breaking Bad I have to rein myself in sometimes, don't wanna worry my friends too much.
I replied (in part):
You're not alone with your Breaking Bad obsession! I'm surprised how often polite conversation with strangers soon turns to Zafiro Añejo, and similar dark matters. I think the Breaking Bad obsession is particularly hard on those who live in Albuquerque. As one of my commenters wrote:
I live in Albuquerque....about 3 blocks from Walt's house. Walk by there everyday with the dogs. I was so curious where a lot of these locations were. I am just obsessed with this show.
The obsession for those who live nearby must be incredible: a hunger bordering on pain!

The Freakier Breaking Bad Gets, The More Accurate It Becomes

The paradoxes of BrBa (h/t, Kate):
So it’s somewhat surprising that in depicting the mechanics of the meth business, “Breaking Bad” is so notably realistic. I spent the past six months interviewing drug traffickers and D.E.A. agents for an article about the business side of a Mexican drug cartel, and, having been an ardent fan of “Breaking Bad,” I was startled by how much the show gets right.

...[I]n a clandestine industry, having a quality product isn’t enough. You need distribution. Selling drugs on the street is a risky job, and generally falls to the most dispensable folks, in this case Pinkman’s knucklehead associates Badger, Skinny P, and the portly, mohawked Combo (R.I.P.).

... As Walter’s business grows, his needs outstrip the limited abilities of his sales force. This is a constant problem for drug runners. I spoke with one longtime trafficker who told me that a recurring liability in any scheme is the inclusion of some friend or cousin who invariably turns out to be a drunk or a junkie.

...“We need a proper infrastructure,” Walter eventually concludes—a buffer that will insulate them from the dangers of the street. (“Layered,” is how Pinkman characterizes this arrangement. “Like nachos.”) For help in this regard, they turn to Saul Goodman (J.D., University of American Samoa), no mere criminal lawyer, Pinkman points out, but a criminal lawyer.

... But believe me when I tell you that I have met lawyers like this. It takes a special brew of amorality and pluck to represent a drug lord, and Saul is an only slightly exaggerated version of some very real attorneys who ply our Southwest border. By Season 4, Walter is earning seven million dollars a year, and how to launder large amounts of money is a perennial challenge for narcotics professionals.

... So when Walter’s wife Skyler suggests buying the car wash where he used to work, she definitely has the right idea.

...Saul also introduces Walter to Gus Fring, the brilliantly realized and also surprisingly realistic meth-king proprietor of the Los Pollos Hermanos chicken chain. Flashy drug dealers in the Scarface mode make for enjoyable movie villains, but in real life they don’t tend to last long in the business. Quiet businessmen like Gus, on the other hand, often thrive.

...The one feature in the show that is most glaringly off is the gleaming subterranean mega-lab that Gus constructs for Walter. To be sure, labs like these exist—just not in the United States. One major challenge for any meth producer, which gets scant attention on the show, is how to source adequate precursor chemicals, which are heavily regulated in the States. In real life, it would be impractical to undertake the sort of industrial-scale production that Walter does (two hundred pounds a week) inside this country, because of the difficulty of acquiring the necessary chemicals.

...Otherwise, the show’s portrayal of Mexican cartels is devastatingly accurate. It has been suggested that Vince Gilligan has a sick mind, but nothing he could dream up, even the unfortunate fate of Tortuga, can rival the creative barbarism of the cartels.


New Season 5a Filming Locations

Northeast Heights (E. of Wyoming, W. of Juan Tabo, S. of Osuna)

Skyler, Skyler, look north, towards Colorado....

Even though I disagreed with his analysis, I liked Matthew Yglesias' open take on episode 4:
Honestly, my sneaking suspicion is that the lack of big-league sports franchises in Albuquerque, N.M., is the root cause of Walt’s derangement.

Speaking of deranged—Skyler, Skyler, Skyler! It seemed to me that we were supposed to read that walk into the pool as a calculated effort. And yet if she’s pulling herself together for the sake of calculation, I’m not sure she’s really doing it right. I hate to take the sociopathic meth dealer’s side in a domestic dispute, but if Skyler felt that Walt’s post-Fring attitude didn’t adequately consider the risks to their children, she should have just said so plainly. Instead she visited Ted in the hospital, then fell into a dayslong depression during which she was totally noncommunicative with her husband. Then she drops an atom bomb into the family dynamic with a cry-for-help suicide attempt. It’s just not a great way to raise marital issues. So maybe it wasn’t calculated? Maybe she really is overwhelmed and can’t take it anymore? But when Walt confronted her directly, suddenly the nonresponsiveness was gone. I was puzzled, but I loved the scene with the bacon—a gem that more than justified the fast-forward that opened the season.

On to less psychically distressing speculative topics! Where do we think that Lydia and the Madrigal warehouse facility are located? Fresno, Calif.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Houston are all about a 14-hour drive from Albuquerque. My money’s on Houston, which is something of a chemical industry hub; one of the legitimate uses of methylamine is making methylpyrrolidone, which is used in hydrocarbon extraction and processing. Houston stuff, in other words.

I’m not so worried the DEA will go off the scent without Hank to ride herd. The case seems almost trivially easy to crack at this point. The DEA just needs to get around to actually following Mike, instead of discussing the desirability of surveilling him behind closed doors.

Actually, Sacramento, CA is about 900 miles from Albuquerque, so maybe I'm the source of the methylamine. But Houston is just as, if not more, likely than northern California as the source location of chemicals, imported or otherwise. Plus, Skyler's dilemma is much, much deeper than just a marital issue. Family squabbles are trivially easy to solve compared to this.

La Palomita Park, La Sala Grande and La Palomita Rd. NE.

The last of the three houses Marie visits on her kleptomaniac journey, 8503 La Sala Grande NE (Season 4, episode 3, 'Open House').

This site reappears in Season 5 - it's adjacent to La Palomita Park (with playground) where Mike is forced to abandon granddaughter Kaylee (Season 5, episode 7, 'Say My Name'). The house is visible in the background.

Not everyone accepts Marie's bullshit.

La Palomita Park.

La Palomita Park.

Something is fishy at Cradock Marine Bank. Charter Bank, 2130 Eubank Boulevard NE (Season 5, episode 7, 'Say My Name'). According to Vince Gilligan on Season 5 Breaking Bad podcast, the Cradock Marine Bank is a callback his TV series, "The X Files". According to "OldeSaultie", this is the bank that Agent Mulder keeps her checking account.

UNM Women's and Children's Health Center, 2130 Eubank Blvd NE (the remodeled Cradock Marine Bank, 2130 Eubank Boulevard NE).

Upper Northeast Heights (E. of Juan Tabo)

Nighttime time-lapse view of the Sandia Mountains (Season 5, episode 7, 'Say My Name').

Sandia Mountains nighttime time lapse, located near 13724 Elena Gallegos Place (Season 5, episode 7, 'Say My Name'). (35.154709°, -106.475249°)

We had some questions regarding this specific site location. Could the place actually be located at the end of Trailroad Rd. NE? So, Albuquerque resident Colin Dykes kindly went out to take photos in order to evaluate candidate locations, and, indeed, somewhere very close to 13724 Elena Gallegos Place seems to work.

Here's my quickly-taken image of 13724 Elena Gallegos Place, on my quick swing past with Miguel Jaramillo on October 2, 2013. The grounds crew was there, so in order not to attract suspicion, we skedaddled out of there.

Northeast Heights (N. Of Osuna)

Cityscape (Season 5, episode 8, 'Gliding Over All'). Time lapse (4); Reverse sunset in Crystal Blue Persuasion montage. Time lapse sequence very likely taken from the Base of the Tramway. Domed building (left-center, on the bottom) is probably Pugash Hall, Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. (The arch behind it is harder to see due to its golden color). On the left-bottom, is Paseo del Norte on its span across the North Valley. On the right-bottom are office buildings in the North Valley located near 2nd St. and Cynthia Loop, NW.

View from the base of the Tramway across the Rio Grande Valley.

[Cross-listed with Sandia and Manzano Mountains section.]

Lower Northeast Heights Locations (W. of Wyoming), & Lomas Blvd. Corridor

Tented House I, 2600 Morrow Rd. NE (Season 5, episode 3, 'Hazard Pay'). Across the street from the park.


Central Avenue, looking west from the railroad overpass, (Season 5, episode 1, 'Live Free Or Die'). Time lapse 1.

Albuquerque Hyatt Hotel, 330 Tijeras Ave. NW (Season 5, episode 1, 'Live Free Or Die'). Time lapse 3.

Albuquerque Hyatt Hotel, 330 Tijeras Ave. NW (Season 5, episode 1, 'Live Free Or Die'). Time lapse 3.

Hyatt Hotel Lobby.

Jailhouse, Regional Correctional Center, 415 Roma St. NW (Season 5, episode 3, 'Hazard Pay'). Mike fortifies Dennis' resistance to the DEA. Ostensibly, Metropolitan Detention Center (or MDC, which actually exists at 100 Deputy Dean Miera Dr. SW, far to the southwest of Albuquerque), but this isn't that site.

AMC's video on filming the prison scene.

Old MDC (February 2020).

Parking garage (rooftop level). Silver Ave. & 4th St. SW (Season 5, episode 6, 'Buyout'). Saul buys Mike 24 hours.

Under twin overpass, Commercial St. NE: Marquette Ave. & Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. NE (Season 5, episode 7, 'Say My Name'). Mike calls Saul for help, and gets Walt's help instead. (35.086616ø, -106.645793ø).

Railroad crossing, Lomas Blvd. at the Railroad; looking west (Season 5, episode 8, 'Gliding Over All'). Time lapse (2)

Disc-It, 900 First St. NW (Season 5, episode 5, 'Dead Freight'). Lydia's interrogation site is in the basement.

Disc-It, 900 First St. NW (Season 5, episode 5, 'Dead Freight').

Disc-It, 900 First St. NW (Season 5, episode 5, 'Dead Freight').  From east side. Lydia's interrogation site is in the basement.

Disc-It, 900 First St. NW, as seen from the west side (Season 5, episode 5, 'Dead Freight'). Lydia's interrogation site is in the basement.

Disc-It, 900 First St. NW (Season 5, episode 5, 'Dead Freight'). Lydia's interrogation site in basement.

A blue bar is present, stretched across this wall as televised on Breaking Bad, but it is absent in this picture. Nevertheless, older Google Earth pictures show the blue bar. Thus, this wall must have been painted fairly-recently.

Lydia's Interrogation Basement.

Lydia's Basement. I though the scene shift from upstairs to downstairs was a camera trick, but that's not the case.

The roll-up door where Jesse and Mike waited.

Disc-It Manager Nevin Montaño, together with "Breaking Bad" cast members.

Downtown West and Old Town

Motel Hacienda, 6214 Central Ave. SW (Season 5, episode 8, 'Gliding Over All'). Walt conspires with Uncle Jack and his crew at the Motel Hacienda to murder Gus’ old crew.

Huning Castle & ABQ Country Club

Presumably, once again, the resources of KOB Eyewitness News 4, 4 Broadcast Plaza SW, were used to report on the prison stabbings (Season 5a, episode 8, 'Gliding Over All').


(no new locations offered with this update)

Huning Highlands/ Martineztown

Chow's home - 306 Edith Blvd. SE (Season 5, episode 2, 'Madrigal'). Chow and Chris meet a sad end.

Mike's House, 204 Edith Blvd. NE (Season 5, episode 2, 'Madrigal'). Walt and Jesse pitch a plan to Mike.

It's interesting that Mike's house is only a stone's throw from the old Albuquerque Public Library building, on the NW corner of Central Ave. & Edith Blvd.

Around 1972, back in high school, after the morning double-session at overcrowded West Mesa High School, I used to like to hike down to Central Avenue, then catch a bus to the Library, to read, and to drift among the stacks. Sometimes, I'd eat a hot dog across the street, at Pup and Taco. That was before the Library moved into its new building downtown.

These days at the old library, they feature Special Collections. They had the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center (HGRC) there for a long time (although on 2/17/16 I learned they moved those archives to the second floor of the main Albuquerque Public Library, downtown.)

Who knew a killer lives only a block away?

Mike's house.

Mike under Surveillance, Martineztown Park, Edith Blvd. & Roma Ave. NE (Season 5, episode 6, 'Buyout'). Mike's feeling annoyed and trapped.

Statue at Martineztown Park.

Manuel's Food Market, 543 Edith Blvd NE.

Tin Ceiling outside Manuel's Food Market, 543 Edith Blvd NE. Tin ceilings signify 'imminent punishment.'

Restaurant, Grove Cafe & Market, 600 Central Ave. SE. (Season 5, episode 8, 'Gliding Over All'). Walt & Lydia form a partnership. Also part of Crystal Blue Persuasion montage (scenes 14,18,23). This location is just one block away from where my friend Bruce lived until only last year! Still, never having been in that place, I didn't recognize it on TV.

Grove Cafe & Market is across the street from Day's Inn (formerly America's Best Value Inn).

Grove Cafe & Market is across the street from Day's Inn (formerly America's Best Value Inn).

The Farmer's Salad is perfect for disguising that little trace of ricin!

My October 5, 2013 visit.

Visible in the background of the Grove Cafe & Market scenes is Bhava Yoga Studio, 520-A Central Ave. SE.

The Grove Restaurant.

The Grove Restaurant.

The Grove Restaurant.


E.B. Held's "A Spy's Guide to Santa Fe and Albuquerque" (2011) discusses the geography of spying in New Mexico. There are interesting parallels between "Breaking Bad" and the WWII wartime espionage instigated by an angry Josef Stalin, who was trying to figure out just what the hell the Americans were doing with the world's best physicists on a project they code-named ENORMOZ.

Regarding a meeting between atomic spy Ted Hall (MLLAD) and his best friend (and KGB courier) Saville Sax (STAR) at First St. & Central Ave. in Albuquerque (adjacent to the train terminal where Mike Ehrmantraut first arrives in town in “Better Call Saul”), Held writes:
For two total amateurs MLLAD and STAR had worked out an elegantly simple clandestine communications plan. They both purchased identical copies of Walt Whitman’s twelve-poem masterpiece, ‘Leaves of Grass’, which they used as a simple book code to fix the date of the meeting. Specifically, MLLAD would mail a letter through the military censors to STAR in which he would quote a passage from the book. The passage would correspond to a specific verse of a specific poem…. The number of that verse … would represent the day of the meeting. The number of the specific poem … would represent the month….

The highly-technical information MLLAD passed on was written down using a homemade milk-based invisible ink.

Stalin also ordered an ill-advised meeting between KGB operative Harry Gold and David Greenglass and his wife Ruth at what is known today as the ’Spy House’, at 209 High St. NE, just two blocks away from where Walt and Lydia meet clandestinely at ‘The Grove’ in “Breaking Bad”.

The meeting violated KGB protocol regarding contacts between operatives in the United States, but in those days, what Stalin wanted, Stalin got, regardless how bad an idea it might be. The contact was detected by American counterintelligence and became one of the biggest disasters in KGB history. David Greenglass’ in-laws, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were exposed as spies. The resulting ‘Trial of the Century’ led to the Rosenbergs’ executions in 1953.

The Manhattan Project is now the subject of art. There’s nothing better than De Nederlandse Opera’s production of John Adams’ and Peter Sellars’ opera, “Dr. Atomic”. Not only is the singing excellent and the staging spectacular (especially the totally ‘off-the-hook’ section called ‘Time Has Returned’), but the set and prop people went to extraordinary lengths, even with this minimalist opera, to capture the look and feel of New Mexico (like the exact way the Sangre de Cristo Mountain skyline looks from Los Alamos). Plus, it’s likely the first time someone from a Tewa-speaking Pueblo (likely Santa Clara) is represented in opera (the fictional character Pasqualita), and gets her own song.

University Area & Near Presbyterian Hospital

Denny's Restaurant, across from the University of New Mexico, at 2608 Central Ave. SE, (Season 4, episode 1, 'Boxcutter'; also Season 5, episode 1, 'Live Free Or Die'). Jesse was particularly hungry!

Nice seeing the Denny's Restaurant (across Central Ave. from UNM) again! (With a callback in Season 5b, episode 16, 'Felina').

Sadly, this Denny's location closed shortly after Thanksgiving Day, 2014.

(August, 2015)

Lydia's House, 1105 Marquette Pl. NE. (With a callback in Season 5b, episode 16, 'Felina').

This site was fascinating and challenging to identify. I looked at the city views in the background of that scene, and the reflections off the windows, using previous BrBa time lapses as guides, namely:

  • View of Downtown, TriCore Reference Laboratories, (Season 3, episode 8, 'I See You'); and,
  • City Montage, Rooftop near Total Community Care, (Season 4, episode 6, 'Cornered').

For the direct view, there is a panorama, from left to right, of what used to be called St. Joseph’s Hospital (old building and new), but now is called Lovelace Medical Center. Then there is the green glow of downtown's Wells Fargo Building, which has been surgically removed by the AMC people in the direct view (probably because it is too distracting) and so is therefore invisible in the scene, but is still present in the view reflected off the windows as Lydia walks down the hallway to where Mike is hiding. Then, there is the columned Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court building, at 401 Lomas Blvd. I-25 lies in the foreground, but is virtually invisible.

In the views reflected off the glass, both the glows of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court building and the greenish Wells Fargo building are evident. The only building that is correctly-situated for these views to work out is located at 1105 Marquette Pl. NE.

On TV, it looks like a Bauhaus-y glass box kind of place, with nice art. That neighborhood between I-25 and UNM has always been an academic bastion, and despite the building’s modernism, that kind of arty place is in keeping with the neighborhood.

Front of Lydia's house.

Wells Fargo Bank, downtown, whose green light can be seen reflecting off the window of Lydia's House in Breaking Bad (Season 5a, episode 2, 'Madrigal').

Driving around near 'Lydia's House' on October 8th, 2012, I noticed this parked sedan. Every window was broken out, with a boulder stuffed in the left, rear window, for good measure. The scene spoke of uncontrolled rage. Someone wasn't very happy....

Encino Terrace Retirement Apartments, 609 Encino Pl. NE. Viewed from the southwest, brick-red Encino Terrace looks even redder in the light of the setting sun.

Encino Terrace was glimpsed from the north in the panorama visible from the window of Lydia Rodarte-Quayle's Madrigal Electromotive (Houston) office.

Lydia's office appears to be in Scott Kienzle Law Offices, 1011 Las Lomas Rd. NE (Season 5, episode 4, 'Fifty-One'). Lydia, and her mismatched shoes!

Scott Kienzle Law Offices, 1011 Las Lomas Rd. NE (Season 5, episode 4, 'Fifty-One').

Encino Terrace, as seen from Scott Kienzle Law Offices.

A building of interest to the architectural community, the Encino Crescent, is in the foreground (but never shown in 'Madrigal').

Hank & Marie drive to Walt & Skyler's home. Marie spills the beans about Skyler (Season 5, episode 4, 'Fifty-One'). Drive's first part is eastbound on Sigma Chi Rd. NE, then a turn one block south of University Blvd. NE, to Las Lomas Rd. NE.

Second part of the drive features a turn towards Spruce Park, towards the west, onto Las Lomas Road at University Blvd. NE (Season 5, episode 4, 'Fifty-One').

Las Lomas Road at University Blvd. NE (Season 5, episode 4, 'Fifty-One').

Nob Hill

This bold sign is a telling picture of life these days in the United States, where well-armed maniacs massacre helpless civilians almost every week. This sign is just across the street from Loyola's Restaurant, where, among other events, Mike and Lydia rendezvous (Season 5, episode 2, 'Madrigal'). You can see the mural while Mike rebukes Lydia for her panic.

"My guys are solid. I vetted them with great care. And Fring made sure they were well-compensated in the event of a situation such as this. They're paid to stand up to the heat and keep their mouth shut. No matter what. And they will."

We tend to do things big in America.

Death too. Early in 2013, an Albuquerque slaughter:

(Picture via the LA Times) Authorities said a teenage boy fatally shot two adults and three children at a home in southwest Albuquerque. (Pat Vasquez-Cunningham / Albuquerque Journal / January 20, 2013)

Sheriff's investigators combed through what one called a "horrific" crime scene Sunday after the shooting deaths of five people, three of them children, at a home outside Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A well-known local pastor and four of his relatives were among the victims, according to those who knew him.

Each victim was shot multiple times, said Lt. Sid Covington of the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department, and one of the weapons used was what he described as an assault rifle. Sheriff Dan Houston said a 15-year-old boy, who "may be a family member," was charged with two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death.

...Griego was also a former pastor at Calvary Church, where the family still attended services, church member Brian Nixon told CNN affiliate KOAT.
Calvary Church, of course, is a megachurch: one the biggest megachurches in the Southwestern United States. My sister and her husband are members. A lot of people in Albuquerque are members!

More information:
In a statement late Sunday, the sheriff's office identified the victims as Greg Griego, his wife Sara, and the children: Zephania, 9; Jael, 5; and Angelina, 2, the Associated Press reported.

Sheriff's spokesman Aaron Williamson confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the suspect is 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego, who has been arrested and charged with two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death.

...One of those killed was Greg Griego, who was identified as Nehemiah's father in a biography that has since been removed from the website of the Albuquerque Calvary Church. A church leader told KOB-TV that Griego, a pastor, had taken a leave of absence from the church last year.

According to the biography, Greg Griego and his wife had 10 children.

Neighbor Peter Gomez told the Albuquerque Journal he often saw the family on walks through the neighborhood, adding that Nehemiah Griego “wore nothing but camouflage stuff."

Greg Griego has been heavily involved in prison ministries, particularly at Albuquerque's large, new Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), located on the remote mesa southwest of Albuquerque ("Breaking Bad" fans have come to know the bright orange jumpsuits emblazoned 'MDC' that have been featured so prominently in Season 5 of the show). A summary:
Jail Ministry – Pastor Greg Griego
o Metropolitan Detention Center
o God Pods – 2 male and 1 female Pod
o Preaching the gospel
o Transforming the culture
o 220 inmates reached on a weekly basis
o 6000 folks commit their lives to Christ annually

A mega-family living in a mega-compound, with the father working in a mega-jail and serving a mega-church with a mega-ministry. Maybe had mega-problems too. And now, a mega-tragedy.

South Valley (West of River), Southwest Albuquerque and Pajarito Mesa

Madrigal Headquarters in Hanover Germany, Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, 10800 Senator Dennis Chavez Blvd. SW (Season 5, episode 2, 'Madrigal').

Here's the link to AMC's video on the filming of the Madrigal Headquarters in Hanover, Germany scene.

I headed to Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, and secured permission to take only exterior photos.

During discussion about BrBa I exclaimed that BrBa is the best TV show that has ever been aired. A student Admin Asst. explained that I was, sad to say, incorrect. 'Charmed' is the best TV show that has ever been aired. Since each of us had never seen the other's fave show, we couldn't resolve the imbroglio. All this time, I've been working under the assumption that Hank is Walt's nemesis on "Breaking Bad", but in reality, Shannen Doherty is.

Auto Repair Shop, El Gallo Llantera & Automotive, 843 Isleta Blvd. SW (Season 5, episode 4, 'Fifty-One'). Walt sells the Aztec for $50.00.

(Not a filming location, but since numerous references are made to MDC during the show, here's something about it.) The Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), 100 Deputy Dean Miera Dr. SW.

The Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) southwest of town.

Dean Miera Monument near the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), southwest of town.

San Jose Neighborhood and South Valley (East of River)

Old Joe's Salvage Yard (2), Ace Metals, 5711 Broadway Blvd. SE, (Season 5, episode 1, 'Live Free Or Die').

Here's the link for AMC's video on the making of the magnet scene.

Access to that particular junk yard is hard to get. It's like a Bermuda Triangle of junk!

Southeast Heights

Tortilla Making Facility, Foods of New Mexico Distributors, 3041 University Blvd. SE (Season 5, episode 3, 'Hazard Pay'). Subject to surprise inspections, this place was deemed unsuitable by Walt for the new enterprise.

A neighborhood landmark.

"Cruising San Mateo," by Barbara Grygrutis.

Vamonos Pest Control, 2016 Ridgecrest Dr. SE (Season 5, episode 3, 'Hazard Pay'). Experts with dangerous chemicals. Vamonos Pest Control has a Facebook page. It's also fun to give them a call and listen to their Answering Machine (Call: 505-243-6204). The Facebook Page lists 505-503-4455 as the number for Vamonos Pest Control, but that number is for the law offices of Saul Goodman.

Todd's tactless eulogy (Season 5, episode 6, 'Buyout') reminds me, not of an Albuquerque story, but of a Sacramento story. I have an often-homeless friend named 'Joe the Plumber' who is even more prone than Todd to coming up with perfectly tactless eulogies.

For example, in 2002, when my cat died, I started to dig a grave. Joe came by, and despite raw knuckles from a fist fight the previous evening, he insisted on helping. We were at a loss for words as we tamped the cat's body into the grave. Joe finally piped up: "Shit happens." Just like Todd!

"Shit happens" now appears to be a standard, default American eulogy for living entities for whom one does not really care.

(August, 2015)

Parking lot at Vamonos Pest Control.

View of the Sandia Mountains from Vamonos Pest Control.

"Cruising San Mateo," by Barbara Grygrutis (February 2020).

Near "Q" Studios

Near-collision. Possibly near Season 3 Truck-blow-up site (Season 5, episode 1, 'Live Free Or Die'). Mike meets up again with Walt & Jesse.

Motorcycle offroad area (Season 5, episode 5, 'Dead Freight'). Offroad biker finds a tarantula. (35.021705°, -106.615063°) See my Season 4 post for more pictures of the off-road areas of Tijeras Arroyo.

Meeting between Mike, Jesse, and Declan from Phoenix (Season 5, episode 6, 'Buyout'). The soil is seriously disturbed here at this eerie place near Bobby Foster Road (34.983993ø, -106.638106ø). Seen again (Season 5, episode 7, 'Say My Name') and the 'Crystal Blue Persuasion' montage (Season 5, episode 8, 'Gliding Over All', scenes 3 & 13).

Photographer James Gelet located this site. James explains: "It's pretty deceiving because of how much more brush is everywhere now compared to the show ... What's so beautiful is since that post and the fence are at different depths you can determine EXACTLY the distance the height the camera should be at to get the shot perfect. Once you line this shot up everything else will fall into place."

I commented: "After the lethal 2012-13 drought, and the floods of September, 2013, the vegetation went nuts out there on the mesas. In early October 2013, there was a weird viney mat out there I've never seen before that had an alien feel. It wouldn't surprise me if other vegetation started shifting around too, with barren areas getting brushy, etc.

(Which reminds me, a notable feature of Trinity Site near ground zero these days is its brushiness. THAT vegetation really got hammered in 1945!)

James left a marker for us whenever we get out there.

The "Better Call Saul Bash" on the weekend of August 20, 2016 offered an opportunity to see many BrBa/BCS fans, but also limited the time available to visit filming locations.

On the Bash's Scavenger Hunt, I noticed a previously-unnoted minor "Better Call Saul" filming location, so even though I was scheduled to fly out soon, I hurried back to the vicinity of Q Studios to check it out. Then, I noticed the gate to Bobby Foster Road was open. Temptation! It was likely the gate would be locked soon. Dare I jeopardize making my flight in order to visit the 'Say My Name' location? Hell yeah!

I sped out there on Bobby Foster Rd., jumped out of the car, and ran over to the location. Breathlessly I muttered 'Say My Name', and ran back.

On the flight out, with lightning flashing on the horizon, the plane banked and both Q Studios and the 'Say My Name' location were clearly visible a short distance nearly straight down.

"Q" Studios

(no new locations offered with this update)

I-25 Corridor, North

The Big-I, Looking south from about (35.107774ø, -106.630090ø) - (Season 5, episode 1, 'Live Free Or Die'). Time lapse 2.

Cardboard Box Making Facility, Fed Ex Ground Warehouse, 4511 Paseo del Norte Blvd. NE (Season 5, episode 3, 'Hazard Pay'). According to Walt, steam and salt make this place unsuitable for the new meth-making enterprise.

Madrigal Houston Warehouse. Sysco Warehouse, 601 Comanche Rd. NE (Season 5, episode 4, 'Fifty-One').

Storage Locker (Season 5, episode 8, 'Gliding Over All'). Huge stack of cash!

Extra Space Storage (formerly Devon Self Storage)
4801 San Mateo Blvd. NE

Extra Space Storage, 4801 San Mateo Blvd. NE.

Extra Space Storage, 4801 San Mateo Blvd. NE.

Extra Space Storage, 4801 San Mateo Blvd. NE.

North Valley

(no new locations offered with this update)

Northwest Albuquerque

Fortified Police Station, Albuquerque Northwest Area Command, 10401 Cibola Loop NW (Season 5, episode 1, 'Live Free Or Die').

This site is down the hill from a Honda dealership (Perfection Honda, 2603 American Road Southeast, Rio Rancho, NM)!

This police station is a NEW facility! The concrete barely had time to dry before it was used on "Breaking Bad"! This neighborhood isn’t far from where I grew up, but occupying the ground where Seven Bar Airport used to be located, it’s still all fairly-new. It’s all pretty foreign to me (I pine for the old airport). Both my sisters graduated from adjacent Cibola High School. My parents lived nearby briefly, but they soon decided to move away. For about 20 years, one of my sisters lived a mile or so west of this location.

This is the wall they brought the Big Magnet to!

Fence during nighttime drive (35.208344°, -106.661802°).

Fence for Vistas at Seven Bar Ranch Apartments, 10600 Cibola Loop NW.

View looking SE, although it does look odd in a night view. The cut in the curb isn’t there on Google Earth, but the repair work on the pavement is visible on the Google Earth aerial shot. What appears from the distance to be double bars above the gate in the distance are actually surfaces on the apartments on the other side of the gate, reflecting light.

I associate this neighborhood with madness. My father lost a bit of his grip on sanity in those apartments back in 1990. In World War II, my father was an artilleryman in Baker Battery, 666th Field Artillery Battalion, running and gunning with Generals Montgomery & Patton across northern Germany (Nathaniel Blumberg has written a powerful account of those uncertain days).

After the war, my father raised his family just north of here, in Corrales, but he always carried a trace of war-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) associated with his service.

In 1990, my parents decided to retire to Vistas at Seven Bar Ranch. The combination of being uprooted by the move, plus Saddam Hussein’s surprise summertime invasion of Kuwait, triggered what appeared to be a PTSD-related event. We had to smuggle the rifle out of the apartment, so concerned we became, lest the upstairs neighbor, the woman with the noisy high heel shoes, have to dodge bullets fired through the floor, from below.

Ultimately, my parents moved out of Vistas at Seven Bar Ranch. It wasn't anyone's fault (except maybe Adolf Hitler's and Saddam Hussein's). Not the happiest of times. Illustrates just how fragile the mental health of war veterans can be.

As a society, we'll be dealing with PTSD related to the U.S. invasion of Iraq of 2003 for years and years; until 2050, and beyond. No more war.

There are more lighthearted examples of madness too from this neighborhood.

In 1980, I attended my sister's graduation ceremony from nearby Cibola High School. I expected the Class of 1980 would choose a perfect, contemporary graduation song that would best capture the spirit of their time. They chose "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynrd.

WTF? "Free Bird"? That song is from 1974, not 1980! If this wasn't an example of madness, I don't know what is!

The rest of the nighttime drive is still unclear. I’m thinking they are somewhere in the area, likely on Coors Blvd. (NM 448). The double green light visible in the background just after Walt says ‘Because I say so’ could be heading south, just south of Paseo del Norte, but not sure….

Guitar Showroom, Grandma's Music & Sound, 9310 Coors Blvd. NW (Season 5, episode 3, 'Hazard Pay'). Skinny Pete plays Mozart! Who knew?

I talked to the folks at Grandma's Music, and asked them what their connection to BrBa is. The fellow explained that Cinematographer Michael Slovis is also an acoustic guitarist. They said BrBa ordered Vamonos Pest Control's big, custom-made rolling instrument cases through their auspices, and they also put together Jesse Pinkman's fancy stereo system. I said that system looks fake to me, but he said no, it is a perfectly-functional system. Who knew?

This 'Sneak Peek' AMC video for Season 5 was filmed at 10527 Box Canyon Place NW, which served as Tented House II (Season 5, episode 3, 'Hazard Pay'). (35.201494°, -106.751956°)

According to this AMC video, they used two houses for this scene!

According to my nephew, who has a friend who lives in this house, this is 10538 Box Canyon Place NW (which seems to match what we can see in the video). a filming location, but an interesting location nonetheless.) Mátí Jewelers at Cottonwood Mall is where Breaking-Bad fan Miguel Jaramillo works (you can see him on the phone in the back of the store in this photo.)

Miguel notes that this watch, TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph, was purchased by AMC for use in "Breaking Bad".  Jesse presents it to Walt as a birthday gift in Season 5a, and Walt uses it to keep track of three minutes for the prison stabbings.

List price of the watch is approximately $6,500.

Rio Rancho

(no new locations offered with this update)


(no new locations offered with this update)

West Mesa Locations (except Pajarito Mesa)

Reverse sunset (Season 5, episode 8, 'Gliding Over All'). Unser Blvd. NW, under the power line intersection, just north of I-40. (35.105916, -106.730296).

Sandia And Manzano Mountains

Cityscape (Season 5, episode 8, 'Gliding Over All'). Time lapse (4); Reverse sunset in Crystal Blue Persuasion montage. Time lapse sequence very likely taken from the Base of the Tramway. Domed building (left-center, on the bottom) is probably Pugash Hall, Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. (The arch behind it is harder to see due to its golden color). On the left-bottom, is Paseo del Norte Blvd. on its span across the North Valley. On the right-bottom are office buildings in the North Valley located near 2nd St. and Cynthia Loop NW.

View from the base of the Tramway across the Rio Grande Valley.

[Cross-listed with Northeast Heights (N. of Osuna) section.]


(no new locations offered in this update)

Zia, San Ysidro, and Cabezon

(no new locations offered in this update)

Santa Ana Pueblo & Algodones

Rio Grande River, Santa Ana Pueblo, approximate location (Season 2, episode 5, 'Breakage'). Illegals find Tuco's grill (35.358692ø, -106.516228ø). Also, time lapse (1) (Season 5, episode 8, "Gliding Over All").

Firearms Disposal Pit, On Santa Ana Pueblo land, approximate location (Season 5, episode 7, 'Say My Name'). Mike prepares his exit (35.370617ø, -106.512221ø).

I wanted to see if there is a lower stress path than the one followed recently by UBBFT to reach the site where Mike crosses the River Styx in "Breaking Bad". On the south side of Algodones, on the south side of the E-W ditch that cuts across the valley, there is a road that leads one close to the Rio Grande. I then hiked over to the site, crossing only two fences in the process. No challenges - lower stress!

First, you cross through a grove of cottonwood trees.

Mike's riverside stop, On San Felipe Pueblo land, approximate location (Season 5, episode 7, 'Say My Name'). Mike crosses the River Styx (35.380657ø, -106.505815ø).

Bernalillo and Placitas

(no new locations offered in this update)

Santa Fe & Lamy

Railroad trestle & crossing, Spur Ranch Rd. at NM Southern Railway crossing, near Lamy, NM, south of Santa Fe (Season 5, episode 5, 'Dead Freight'). In the radio dead zone. (35.498826ø, -105.916656ø)

Looking west.

Santa Fe Southern Railway is a private company that only runs a single, 18-mile-long rail line, from Lamy to Santa Fe.

Here's the link to AMC's video on working with trains....

Looking east.

Looking south.

Looking north.

The tree behind which Mike hid. The houses in the distance were blocked from view by the dump truck.


Looking east from trestle, where AMC cleared land for the mock methylamine tank.


Santa Fe Southern railroad locomotive on the siding at Lamy, NM.

Santa Fe Southern Railway stopped operations on September 29, 2014.

Near Los Lunas And Belen

(no new locations offered in this update)

More Distant Locations

(no new locations offered in this update)


Breaking Bad Has Deeply Philosophical Underpinnings

"Caution: Dust Storms May Exist".

This is one of my favorite New Mexico traffic signs (on Interstate 25, near Los Lunas). It's very philosophical. Like "Breaking Bad" is philosophical.

Dust storms may exist. Then again, they may not. How dusty does a dust storm have to get to be considered a dust storm? What criteria do you use? How do you know?

It's almost Kafkaesque. I need help from a greater mind than my own.

(Or, failing that, there is a new book on sale at that discusses the philosophical implications of "Breaking Bad"):
Can a person be transformed as the result of a few key life choices? Does everyone have the potential to be a ruthless criminal? How will we respond to the knowledge that we will be dead in six months? Is human life subject to laws as remorseless as chemical equations? When does injustice validate brutal retaliation? Why are drug addicts unsuitable for operating the illegal drug business? How can TV viewers remain loyal to a series where the hero becomes the villain? Does Heisenberg’s Principle of Uncertainty rule our destinies? In Breaking Bad and Philosophy, a hand-picked squad of professional thinkers investigate the crimes of Walter White, showing how this story relates to the major themes of philosophy and the major life decisions facing all of us.

Notes On Albuquerque Slang

Albuquerque is host to people from all over the United States, and the world. Nevertheless, a distinct accent is evident among residents, particularly people with a Hispanic background who grew up in Albuquerque, or anywhere else in northern New Mexico.

In "Breaking Bad", several characters have the accent (e.g., Steve Gomez and Krazy Eight stand out). Nevertheless, a Hispanic background is not sufficient by itself (e.g., Andrea Cantillo's and Tuco's NM accents aren't very strong, and may point to more diverse origins - California, for example?)

English speakers in Albuquerque tend to follow the speech examples of Southern California rather than Texas, the Midwest, the South, or the East Coast, but once again, that tendency is neither universal or slavish.

In a rare misstep for "Breaking Bad" (Season 2, episode 12, Phoenix') Walt apologizes on the phone to Marie for not attending the birth of his daughter because of a traffic jam "on the Forty" - a Southern Californian usage that isn't used often in New Mexico (an Albuquerque resident would say "on Interstate 40"). Nevertheless, with people's minds being so elastic, and all, there is no guarantee that Albuquerque residents won't adopt the Southern Californian usage eventually: maybe in a decade, or so.

Regarding the Albuquerque accent, there isn't a surer guide than Lynette! Can't get enough of her!

You start with your basic Northern New Mexico accent, and add a patina of urban sophistication for living in the ABQ (half of whose residents also hail from Española, or Taos, or Las Vegas, or Santa Fe) and this is what you get.

New Mexico appears to be a border zone in the famous "Coke", "Pop", or "Soda battle. There's a video called "Shit Navajos Say" that indicates they prefer "pop" out on the Rez.

Myself, growing up in Albuquerque, I remember using "Coke" as a child, but "soda" as an adult. If I live long enough, maybe I'll use "pop" as well!

Below, Lynette speaks with that special Albuquerque swagger.

Lynette explores a local corn maze.

Lynette spawned imitators, like these high school students in Las Vegas, NM. I particularly like the disembodied voice with a New Mexico accent at the drive-through restaurant ordering menu:

Of the many actors in "Breaking Bad" I think the one who has the best New Mexico accent is Mike Batayeh, who plays Laundry Manager Dennis Markowski. And he's not even from New Mexico, but from Detroit, MI. THAT guy has a good ear!