Breaking Bad. It’s… well, if you’re reading this, you’re probably quite familiar with it. Breaking Bad is a phenomenon. And, being BurqueÃ±o and a fan of the show, I had to do something special for the premier of the last 8 episodes.
Sharka and I visited some key Breaking Bad locations around the city. He posed, I shot. It was fantastic! I geeked out hard and spent far too much time taking pix, but it was so worth it.
Here’s a Sharka tribute to Breaking Bad. I hope you enjoy it. Remember, you can click each pic to see a larger version.
The Schrader house was hilarious. I knew it was in the foothills (a nice part of town) but I didn’t know exactly where. On the drive up, it got funnier and funnier. See… the neighborhood is nice. VERY nice. The houses aren’t million dollar houses, they’re MULTI-million dollar. Jesse’s house is very nice, but Hank’s is so very much nicer that it’s just ridiculous. In other words, the neighborhood is way out of a DEA agent’s league. There’s no way in heaven or on earth that Hank is paying for this place and not very very dirty. This made me laugh.
And as for Walter’s house… words fail me. The others were just houses. Pretty and cool knowing they were on the show, but just houses. Walt’s house… holy crap. It has presence. Just seeing it as I drove up was thrilling. Parking Sharka on the driveway in Walter’s spot was… I have no words. And I fully realize how lame this sounds. It was unexpectedly thrilling. I quickly jumped out, grabbed a few shots, and quietly drove off in the most respectful manner possible.
You respect the Heisenberg Homestead.
As you can see from the top pic, Los Pollos Hermanos is actually called Twisters. It’s a local chain. Their specialty is burritos and burgers. They’re actually quite excellent. My daughter and I go to a Twisters every weekend for daddy-daughter brunch. However, it’s not THIS one. I’d never set foot inside the actual Chicken Bros joint until today.
It was empty. I was able to park in front and mimic a BB scene where Walt parked the Aztek. The restaurant inside was equally empty. The only other people were 2 Breaking Bad fans who had “driven up from Portugal.” Now, I’m not sure how you do that, but it was their story. They were in town to see the filming locations and watch the premier at one of the parties. We chatted for a minute and I got a burrito to go.
Funny story about the Laundry. I found it without looking for it. I was picking up a load of plates from my anodizer (you know, the little black anodized plates on my hazard and window switches?) and I happened to look across the parking lot while leaving. The distinct blue windmill fence was staring back at me. I nearly stalled the car. I had no idea my anodizer shares a parking lot with Gus Fring’s Laundry. I expected the Laundry to be way out of town, not sharing a parking lot with an anodizing shop a mile from my office. But there it was.
It was crazy busy the day I went by for the above shot. No chance of sneaking inside and parking in Walt’s space. And, as you can see, they paved. The laundry no longer has a dirt road. Still… pretty damn sweet to get to park right in front and pose.
I circled around the Car Wash property a few times, trying to find the best spot to recreate the scene from the show where Skyler tries to convince Walt to buy the place. I settled on this angle, put on my ultrawide, and shot a few pix. This might be the best Sharka Interior POV photo I’ve ever shot.
I had to drive way out here. How could a car-centric tribute to Breaking Bad not include this lot? There was a TON of rubber laid down already. And I’m not ashamed to admit, I added to it a bit. Burnouts don’t really do much for me. I’d rather wear off my tires killing cones or something. But THAT burnout, in the shadow of Walt’s burned Dodge Challenger, really put a smile on my face. Rubber well used.
I’ve read in the Breaking Bad maps that this is “a rough neighborhood” and “be careful while walking around.” Um… well… sure. But it’s no more rough than any of the rest of the town. There’s a couple of homeless shelters nearby, which adds to the feeling, but really it’s a fine neighborhood. It just has a little patina to it.
The abandoned AT&SF Railroad Shops were used a couple times in Breaking Bad filming. Not nearly enough in my opinion. The shops were a cash drop during Jesse’s training, and the latest season has Walt sitting inside the Railyard looking like a badass. I once got Sharka inside, legally, for a photoshoot. I’d love to go back. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get the little guy over the fence. I can climb, but my beloved Roadster has a hard time.
The DEA is housed in the Simms Building in downtown Albuquerque. Sharka parked in the Simms parking structure for nearly a decade. I walked through the lobby every day. I’ve not been in there since moving offices a year ago, and I got nostalgic for it.
The Breaking Bad crew was always, well, fantastic. I never once felt inconvenienced by their filming in the Simms or anywhere else in the city that I happened across. They often kept their gear in the parking structure with Sharka, but I never had any problems getting in and out. It seemed to me that they worked rather hard to keep their filming from being a bother to those of us who live here. That cannot be said about all the many many movies that film in Albuquerque. More often than not, the local movie industry is a huge pain. But not the Breaking Bad crew. They were always a class act.
The shot on the parking structure roof (not the Simms, but rather a few blocks away) was my last stop in Sharka’s little Breaking Bad treasure hunt. It just turned out that way, but it felt very right when I shot it. Like we had walked in Walter White’s shoes (radials?) for a few days. Like the show was somehow more real and substantial. It felt good.
Oh yeah. The Blue. You might have wondered about the first shot in this post? Sharka smuggling Blue Sky?
This is the real stuff. Walter White’s Blue. The actual Blue used on the show produced by the original prop maker. I have a few sample bags, and I’m giving them as gifts with orders until I run out. They’re pretty small bags, as you can see. A Hot Wheels is about the size of two bags. But… dude. It’s THE BLUE. Just holding it makes me feel giddy.
DISCLAIMER: I am not sending out drugs. No C10H15N will be in the bag. The blue is actually rock candy. It’s just crystallized sugar with some blue coloring. But I am not exaggerating about the rest. This IS what was used in the show.
On behalf of revlimiter.net LLC, I’d like to thank everyone involved with Breaking Bad. Thank you so much for creating such an enjoyable show. And thank you for filming in my home town. It has been a pure pleasure to watch the story unfold, and an even greater pleasure to see Albuquerque portrayed so beautifully.
-Adam & Sharka