The season 5 mid-season finale of The Walking Dead was pretty traumatic, as are most of the other episodes, but this one especially. I don't do spoilers, though some of the links in the article do, so keep your pants on.
Grady Hospital figures into the storyline of The Walking Dead a few times, and this episode was one of them. The actual filming of the episode takes place at the real-live Grady Hospital, too, which is one of my favorite types of locations to cover.
Grady is one of the most respected hospitals in the country in regards to major trauma. Their burn unit is the best in the Southeast, and they have a reputation for pulling people from the brink of death after serious car crashes, random explosions, and horrific freak accidents.
Fun fact: it is a point of pride to have been born at Grady Hospital. These people are called "Grady babies," and it is pretty much the equivalent of being born into badasshood. My mom, a prudish white lady from New Jersey, had me at the yuppy (yet very competent) Northside Hospital, so I had to earn my badasshood through other means.
If you ever decide to go to Grady, for sight-seeing purposes or otherwise, and are not being transported via ambulance or other emergency vehicle, park a few blocks away and walk. You will thank me, I promise. Driving closer than that is a total cluster-fuck.
Fun fact: Grady's psychiatric ward is on the 13th floor.
The sign from one of the Grady parking decks can be spotted during the scene.
Fun fact: while I was a student there, some guy jumped off the top of M Deck to commit suicide. He was successful, but I would have chosen a higher building, just to be sure.
I got a nice shot of M Deck as the sun set. This shot is taken from the roof of the deck next to where Rick makes a deal (where the Grady sign can be spotted in the episode).
The few blocks around Grady Hospital seem sketchy. There are a lot of homeless people who seek medical attention there, as well as the mentally ill. Of course, many homeless people suffer from mental illness. Additionally, many indigent elderly people can be seen frequently in the area, as Grady is where they receive medical care, too.
If you visit the area, my suggestion is to remember we are all humans, and to be nice and respectful to anyone you may come across. Also, as with anywhere else in Atlanta, I wouldn't go there alone at night. Minding your damn business goes a long way, too.
There is a joke that if you go to Grady, you might get shot in the waiting room...but at least you are already at the hospital.
Fun fact: In the 90's (when my oldest child was born), my midwife's husband worked as an OB at Grady. He was catching a snooze in his office one night when he was robbed of his wallet at knifepoint. #hardcore
If you drive in Atlanta, a frequent traffic reference is the "Grady Curve" on the "Downtown Connector." That refers to the point at which the merged section of Interstates 75 and 85 curves around next to Grady Hospital.
In addition to being a part of the storyline in The Walking Dead, Grady Hospital is a vital and necessary resource for not only the city of Atlanta, but the entire southeast. In the past decade, there has been a lot of talk about shutting it down due to lack of funding. If you would like to help support Grady, check out the Grady Health Foundation.
I hope you enjoyed this Atlanta Proxifan post. Let me know if there are any filming locations in and around Atlanta you'd like me to cover, and I will do my best to get it done.