Friday, November 21, 2014

Drone's-Eye View of the California Rice Harvest

Dannette's brother has a drone, and he does these magnificent videos from his farm near Maxwell, in California's northern Central Valley.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Breaking Bad" Legacy: Finale Party and Breaking Bad Fest

This post is the third of three additional posts regarding "Breaking Bad" location-related subjects (last updated January 22, 2020).

This post presents information regarding "Breaking Bad" fan reunions, particularly in Albuquerque, NM.

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.”


Some Of The Special Guest Stars of "Breaking Bad"

Jimmie Ning as Duane Chow at the Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour (UBBFT) Dinner at Garduño's on September 28, 2013.

Jimmie Ning as Duane Chow.

Sam Webb as Drew Sharp at the Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour (UBBFT) Dinner at Garduño's on September 28, 2013.

The Twins, as Spooge and Skank's strange kid. (Rebel Donut, 2435 Wyoming Blvd NE, September 29, 2013.)

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.

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

Patty the Tarantula, in her terrarium home.

Patty the Tarantula explores our arms.

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


Cockroaches! (Not German, but Dahlia types? Missed the spelling.)

Steven Michael Quezada as DEA Agent Steven Gomez, with my nephew, Aaron, and my sister, Michelle Browning.

A Debt of Gratitude to the Coen Brother's "No Country For Old Men"

"Breaking Bad" owes a debt of gratitude to the Coen Brother's 2007 academy-award-winning film of Cormac McCarthy's novel, "No Country For Old Men". That movie showed AMC and other Hollywood interests that there was a substantial market in Southwestern Film Noir, and that demonstration made the road of "Breaking Bad" that much easier.

Representing El Paso, parts of "No Country For Old Men" were filmed in Albuquerque. (Desert Sands Motel on Central Avenue.)

Meet-And-Greet Dinner Of The Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour (UBBFT) - September 28, 2013

Garduño's Mexican Restaurant (Winrock).

Marq Smith.

Prior to the Finale of Breaking Bad on September 29, 2013, the members of the Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour gathered at Garduño's Mexican Restaurant, near Winrock in Albuquerque, NM, for a meet-and-greet dinner on Saturday the 28th. In this brief video, the dinner is beginning to break up.

Finale Party Of The Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour (UBBFT) - Sept. 29, 2013

Ed Candelaria.

Mementoes. It took Marq and Ed months to prepare.

What a cake!

Ooh, they thought of everything!

The bathtub.

New Hampshire State Troopers and the UBBFT.

Rebel Donut, 2435 Wyoming Blvd NE, September 29, 2013.

A table Marie would love!

Just prior to the airing of the finale for Breaking Bad on September 29, 2013, Marq Smith and Ed Candelaria gather the Baddies of the Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour (UBBFT) for acknowledgments and to discuss rules regarding their giveaways for the evening.

Breaking Bad Legacy

Davis Layman's Obituary

Making A Descanso For Walter White

Michelle takes the cross to the site.

Setting it up.

Aaron's stenciling.

My sister got it on the Albuquerque Journal's radar. She also heard a news story that did not feature a photo. Nevertheless, Shawna Martinez notes it made KRQE TV-13 News!]

Michelle Browning, Marc Valdez, and Aaron Browning built a small descanso (generally, a roadside cross or shrine of Mexican origin that memorializes someone killed in a journey) to memorialize Breaking Bad's Walter White (aka, Heisenberg). The descanso is located just east of the building where Walter White died in the TV series, in the railroad right-of-way, just south of the intersection of Los Ranchos Rd. and the railroad, in Albuquerque's North Valley. Michelle Browning is briefly pictured. Tribute music is "Baby Blue", by Badfinger.

(The descanso was stolen in early December. My sister made a replacement, but continued harassment at the site made her leery about setting it up again at the same location. Further work stalled in late December, 2013, and has yet to resume.)

First Annual Breaking Bad Fest, November 7-8, 2014

Held at the Kiva Auditorium, Albuquerque Convention Center. Numerous get-togethers and parties.

Friday Party 1 - At The Library Bar and Grille

Fundraiser for Harrison Vanik. Jackie and Frank Sandoval flank Max Arciniega (Krazy-8).

Harrison Janik and the Weiss family, the Heisenhoneys, Rodney Rush, Jeremiah Bitsui, Max Arciniega, The One Who Mocks, and many others attended this party.

Harrison suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, but he is fighting back, using Walter White's determination to fight cancer as an inspiration. Inspired in turn, a number of the "Breaking Bad" cast have taken Harrison under their wing.

Rodney Rush (Combo) and Jeremiah Bitsui (Victor)

Rodney Rush (Combo) and Chandra (Heisenhoney from Moon Goddess Clothing in Los Angeles).

Instagram page.
Clothing line Facebook page.

They are also closely associated with this Los Angeles nonprofit organization. Currently (November 18, 2014), they are raffling away a Heisenberg Hat.

Rodney Rush (Combo) and Chandra.

Jeremiah Bitsui (Victor) and Rodney Rush (Combo).

Met Jeremiah Bitsui Friday night, and cut myself in a nasty way on the neck while shaving Saturday morning....


Friday Party 2 - Dinner At Garduño's

Miguel Jaramillo, Jennie Rexer, Alex Gianopoulos, Jeremiah Bitsui, Sam Hughes, and many others. (Photo credit: Sam Hughes)

Friday Party 3 - At Marq and Ed's house

Marq Smith and Ed Candelaria, Donna McGregor, Relinda Anderson, Kirika Yashida, and many others.

Here, Marq tries to get everyone into the group shot.

Giving Personalized Tours to Dan Crocker and Michael van Voorst

Tour 1: At the Breaking Bad Fest, it was a pleasure to show off Albuquerque to fans Daniel Crocker (from the UK) and Michael van Voorst (from the Netherlands) - in particular, Casa Tranquila. Also passed by Mike's House and The Grove.

Tour 2: Later, a second tour to BrBa sites like Vamanos Pest, the Hospital, and Gus Fring's house. Because we didn't have much spare time during the Fest, this activity was late at night.

One unforgettable moment was driving west on Indian School, just west of Carlisle, about 2 a.m. We spotted a canine loping down the street. It wasn't until we drew closer that we realized it was a Coyote - a wild dog smack in the middle of town! All we needed was a Roadrunner!

First Annual Breaking Bad Fest - Evening Panel

Casa Escencia Party

Upscale hacienda makes for a nice party location: a traditional Mexican upscale ultra-lounge (if that's even a concept) at the Hotel Albuquerque where the Breaking Bad wrap party had been held in 2013. With Charles Peters, Fran Padilla, and Donna McGregor.

Michael van Voorst.

Myself with Jeremiah Bitsui.

Netflix Interviews

Netflix flew into town and hastily lined up interviews for a locations documentary they are doing. They said something about the series of shows being available via streaming (presumably in 2015), and covers other cities and TV series too (e.g., Atlanta for Walking Dead, Albuquerque for Breaking Bad, etc.)

Interviews with Joanne Quintana and Fran Padilla, Travis Bell and his fiancée Haley Andrews, a couple from Maine that happened upon the scene, and Marc Valdez.

Hanging Out With the Heisenhoneys

At the Breaking Bad Fest, my table was located across from the table from Moon Goddess Clothing, who are based in Los Angeles, and feature a great line of Breaking Bad wear. Maeve and Chandra were delightful in their Bad Bitch clothing!

Instagram page.

Clothing line Facebook page.

They are also closely associated with this Los Angeles nonprofit organization. Currently (November 18, 2014), they are raffling away a Heisenberg Hat.

My favorite detail!

Charismatic Travis Bell Makes A Big Impression

Retro DJ Travis Bell from Indianapolis, Indiana made a big splash at the First Annual Breaking Bad Fest in Albuquerque, NM.

I first saw him while taking Frank and Jackie Sandoval's Breaking Bad RV Tour. The RV was lingering just outside Jesse Pinkman's house when Bell drove past in his orange car with the "LWYRUP' plate. About half an hour later, he caught up to us again when the RV was parked at Combo's Corner. He came out of the car and approached the RV carrying a chrome axe. I was too rattled to take a proper photograph!

Travis Bell posed a question about Breaking Bad cars at the Saturday afternoon panel of the First Annual Breaking Bad Fest.

Bell believes in symbolic moments. He had located the manufacturer of the chrome axes used by the Cousins in Breaking Bad and purchased the remaining few axes. He then presented an axe to Luis and Daniel Moncada (who played the Cousins). They signed it and posed for pictures with it with many fans.

Travis Bell poses with Daniel and Luis Moncada for a photo by his fiancée Haley Andrews.

In a private moment, Travis Bell proposes marriage to Haley Andrews in front of the Walter White house. This is the actual moment. (I don't know who took this photo: it was on Facebook.)

A few days later (November 9, 2014), Bell and Andrews recreate the private moment for a Netflix documentary crew.

Breaking Bad Fest - Costume Contest

Congratulations Kelly Tow from San Diego for her amazing yellow hazmat suit!

Lisa Masters' Breaking Bad Filming Locations Costume

Lisa Masters dressed up as Albuquerque in the First Annual Breaking Bad Fest Costume Contest, since Albuquerque was a crucial character in Breaking Bad. She obtained my book and carefully mapped out every filming location! And a valuable benefit is that she now knows where all the filming locations are!

Her third-place in the Costume Contest was well-and-deservedly won!

Breaking Bad RV Tour

Trundling along the streets of Albuquerque on November 7, 2014 with Frank and Jackie Sandoval.

Inside the RV.

Dan Crocker from the UK at Jesse and Jane's house.

Among the guests was this adorable little Pomeranian from Los Angeles named Sophia Loren (and who will soon meet her namesake), who entered the Costume Contest and has her own blog: Little Dog in the Big City.

Cooking at the A-1 Car Wash.

Quite to my surprise, Bonny Holder was visiting the Padillas at the Walter White house when we pulled up in the RV.

Michael van Voorst from the Netherlands at the Walter White House.

With Jackie Sandoval at the Padilla's Walter White house (photo by Bonny Holder).