Dexter Filming Locations: The Red Light District


The location: The Red Light District.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A street where hookers peddle their wares.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. In a poor ethnic neighborhood in Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 3 (of Season 1), "Popping Cherry".

    We see it when Dexter's sister, Debra (a policewoman), returns to the street where she used to pretend to be a hooker - when she was working Vice.

    She's there to try to get the working girls to give her critical information about the "Ice Truck Killer", who has been chopping up local prostitutes.

    In the first scene, Debra tells the hookers that she is a cop.  Some of them run away. But when she tells the others that the "Ice Truck Killer" killed Cherry (a girl who used to work this street), one of the girls tells Debra that she saw Cherry get into a wood-paneled station wagon.

    In the second scene, Debra is walking around the same area after dark (as hookers linger on each corner), when she suddenly spots a wood-paneled station wagon parked behind a botánica.

    She goes to check it out, expecting to encounter the killer, but instead encounters two harmless senior citizens in the car.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A street in a low-income neighborhood.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This is the same area where they shot the swap meet scenes earlier in the same episode.

    It's the 1700-1800 block of NW 17th Avenue, in the Allapattah section of Miami, a low income, Black & Hispanic neighborhood about two and a half miles inland from the coast.

    Only this time, the director turned the cameras around and pointed them at the west side of 17th Avenue.

    The botánica (the store with the caged chickens outside) is actually the Riviera Botánica (which sells Santeria items), located at 1750 NW 17th Avenue, on the southwest corner of NW 18th Street NW 17th Ave.

    Debra is first seen walking north on the east side of 17th Ave, then she crosses to the west side of the street to investigate the parked station wagon.

    That station wagon is parked in the lot behind (west of) the Riviera Botánica. The yellow building seen behind the station wagon is an apartment house located on the south side of 18th Street, just west of 17th Avenue.

    Here is an aerial photo of the location, with the key locations marked. And here is a map link.

    [ WarningFrom the what I can gather on the Internet, it appears that this
    may be a high-crime area. So if you visit, exercise reasonable caution.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. I first spotted a phone number on the building across the street from Debra, zoomed in, and Googled it to get the name and address of the Riviera Botánica. But that proved to be unnecessary, because a few moments later in the scene, when Debra crosses the street and walks past the building, the name of the business is clearly visible on the wall.

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