location: Cody's Park & Swings.
What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. A swing set
in a park.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. In Miami.
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode 11 (of Season 1), "Truth Be Told". Rita calls Dexter when her young son, Cody, runs away from home. But Dexter thinks he knows where the kid went.
Dexter & Rita go to the park and find Cody swinging on a swing set. He was supposed to meet his no-good father (Paul) at the park, and even though his father is now in prison, young Cody believed that if he went to the park, his father would show up.
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. A swing set
in a park - but not in Miami.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. The 4-acre park is a patch of green next to the beach, on the northern tip of Long Beach's Naples Island.
It's called Marine Park (although the locals tend to just call it "Mothers Beach") and its address is 5839 Appian Way, in Long Beach, CA.
I shot the photo below in 2008 (looking north), showing the same view as the screencap above.
The entrance to the park's parking lot is at Appian Way & Attica Drive. It's at the southeast foot of the Appian Way bridge, where the bridge crosses the water from mainland Belmont Shore onto Naples Island, northwest of 2nd Street. (That's on the northwest side of Naples Island, not the side with the canals.)
( In the second photo from the top, you can see the Appian Way bridge in the background. That same Appian Way bridge was used for the scene where Sgt. Doakes chases down a man and shoots him. )
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. I knew they
had filmed on Appian Way before (the bridge
scene), and I thought I recognized the bridge in the background of the
scene. So I checked the Live Local aerial photos, and sure enough,
there was the playground. A trip in person to get a photo verified it...
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