The location: The Botánica
Dexter discovers a fallen ash on the floor of the botánica, and determines that it was from a small, cheap cigar.
Later, they find just such a cigar outside, trace a partial fingerprint to two Fuentes brothers, and raid their apartment.
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. Believe it or not - a laundromat.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. This scene was shot just a few blocks east of at Drake Park (where they filmed the scene of the woman's head being found by police), in a small center at the southwest corner of Daisy Avenue and 10th Street, in Long Beach, CA. That small center, contains a liquor store ("Big John's Liquor & Deli") and a small laundry building.
The fake botánica was actually the laundry building, called Casa de Laundry. It's a small structure, made of aged brick, with a red tile roof, giving it the Spanish look they wanted for the scene.
The set dressers then added some landscaping, a fake mural outside of Our Lady of Guadeloupe (which temporarily covered up an existing mural of an old Model-T car), and a sign reading "Botanica" (which covered up the usual laundry sign).
I can't find an address for the laundry itself, but it's neighboring Big John's Liquor & Deli is located at 949 Daisy Ave.
I shot this photo of the laundry in October 2010:
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. In previous seasons, I've usually had to hunt down the locations after viewing the episodes, using clues from the various scenes. By the 5th season, though, I'd developed a small group of fans, spies & tipsters who kept an eye out for Dexter filming in their neighborhoods, and would let me know in advance when something was about to film there.
Between those reports, and my own personal reconnaissance around town, by the time the first episode aired, I already knew most (but not all) of the filming locations, and only needed to watch the episodes and match up the scenes with the correct locations.
This group of helpful fans includes Kerry, Rick, Joel, Geoff, Ellen, Julie, Susan, Jeff, and others. My thanks to all of them.
tip came from Joel. I had told
him about the filming at Drake Park, and when he went to that base camp,
he was told by a security guard that they weren't shooting there, but were
shooting "at the Laundromat". He wound up at Daisy & 10th,
where he found them shooting the botánica scene. (Thanks,
also shot these photos of the filming:
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