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Lawndale

The city of which Lawndale is a suburb, as seen from Andrew Landon's office.
Quinn - Attention, guys. We're just two little city gals from Lawndale.

Cowboy - Lawndale's a suburb.
-Speedtrapped


Lawndale is the suburb in which the events of the Daria TV series take place. Maps of the region may be found in The Daria Diaries ("Welcome to Lawndale") and online at MTV's Virtual Lawndale webpage (see "External Links").

For a small and apparently dull suburb, Lawndale boasts its own corporate park, the upper-class prep school Fielding and a country club, and its own university.

Lawndale dates back to colonial times: a newspaper article seen briefly in "See Jane Run" mentions roadworks on North Avenue found that "the street lies over a pre-revolutionary Dutch Orthodox cemetery" (presumably meaning Dutch followers of an orthodox church, not the name of the sect).

The not-known-for sure city of which Lawndale is a suburb is only actually seen once in the series. Lawndale lacks tall buildings, but in Is It College Yet? when Mack goes to visit Jodie's father, there are tall buildings seen out of the very high window of Mr. Landon's office. This location must be close to Lawndale because Mack came by to visit him before school.

Location

The location of Lawndale is endlessly debated, and even Glenn Eichler wouldn't commit to an answer beyond the mid-Atlantic states:

I thought the Morgendorffers lived in a mid-Atlantic suburb, outside somewhere like Baltimore. They could have lived in Pennsylvania near the Main Line, though.

(Source: Interview at DVDaria.info)

while director Guy Moore thought it was New Jersey.


Clues in canon are:

The guv'nor.
  • The "See Jane Run" article calls the Dutch "settlers", which implies Dutch colonists. That would place Lawndale in the ex-New Netherland states of Delaware, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania. Alternatively,
  • The state's voters get to vote on whether or not they have a property tax increase and for the three years Daria was there, they voted against it everytime and wrecked school funding. (The third time, the state governor was quoted saying "crap") ("Fizz Ed"). The governor looks like a Daria version of then-Governor of Maryland Parriss Glendening but Maryland doesn't get to vote on tax increases. In fact, none of the Mid-Atlantic states do! (California voters do and Eichler was likely writing about a recent vote there.
  • Lawndale is within reasonable driving distance of the coast (the Sloane's have a summer home there), somewhere with southern accents ("I Don't"), and a rural desert with "cowboy" accents ("Speedtrapped"). In the same interview he mentioned Maryland, Eichler implies "I Don't" was set in Virginia.
  • Lawndale's a few hours drive away from Newtown (home of Bromwell University), which is itself 3 to 4 hours from Boston. Newtown itself may be modelled on New Haven, the home of Yale, in Connecticut. ("Is It College Yet?")
  • Daria went to Camp Grizzly when she was a child in Highland, and it was a few hours away when she was in Lawndale. Highland is canonically in Texas, a long way away from the mid-Atlantic. Yeah, there's no solving that one.

Even the county in which Lawndale resides is conflicted in canon, with the MTV websites puttig it in Carter County and "One J at a Time" putting it in Lawndale County. For more on the Carter County/Lawndale County debate, see Off-Canon Canon.

Basic geography

In the map, the town is surrounded by an ex-quarry and unstable ground across the south, with a railway line running through the south-west (possibly with a station). The east and south east are bordered by large woods, with roads running through them. (One of those woods is avoided at night) The school, the shopping districts, and most of the housing is clustered in the south and centre, with the large scale shopping out of the town proper and in the north west.

After the dreaded Seven Points road network in the north, there are scattered houses (most of them in the north-west, clumped to the side of the mall), more greenery, and a few remote corporate buildings. Beyond that, all we can see are fields.

Lawndale Locations And Landmarks

Abandoned Quarry (Lovers' Lane)

The town's Lovers' Lane is right above an abandoned quarry, on the southern far edge of town and on the other side of the railway. It appears in the Lawndale map of "The Daria Diaries". Daria warns "engage parking brakes before making move".

Big Strawberry

The Big Strawberry is a roadside tourist attraction shown on the Lawndale map in "The Daria Diaries". Lawndale High's web page implies that it may be torn down, and Timothy O'Neill is running the "Save the Strawberry" campaign to get it registered as a landmarked building. ("Someone at the National Register of Historic Places finally returned one of his phone calls.") It is sometimes called the Giant Strawberry in fanfiction.

Believe it or not, this is based on a real roadside attraction at Strawberry Point, Iowa.

Crewe Neck

Is a fictional gated community introduced in "The Invitation" and described in "The Daria Diaries" as "Where nobody mows their own lawn, mops their own floor or colors their own hair in the sink. The unofficial motto was "Private and Proud." Brittany Taylor and her family live at Deerview Court. It's in the south, worryingly near to the unstable landfill.

Dega Street

Dega Street is located in Downtown Lawndale and most promiently shown in the episode, "Pierce Me". The Zon is assumed to live there. "Virtual Lawndale" puts this in the south west, close to the railway.

Halcyon Hills Corporate Park

Is a fictional corporate office park in Lawndale shown on the map in "The Daria Diaries." Morgendorffer Consulting is located in Building G. The sunlight reflecting off the buildings has been known to set nearby woods on fire. Located outside of town, up in the north.

High Hills Park

Is a public park shown on the map in "The Daria Diaries", near the high school. "Picnic tables, tennis courts, nightly Satan worship."

Lawndale High School

Lawndale High School is one of the primary settings for the show. The school is featured on the map in "The Daria Diaries" and also the "Virtual Lawndale" map on the MTV website.

Lawndale Mall (AKA Cranberry Commons)

The Lawndale Mall is also an important setting for the show and featured in multiple episodes. In the "Daria Diaries", the map was labelled "Cranberry Commons" but was changed to Lawndale Male for the "Virtual Lawndale" map.

Lawndale Shopping District

As seen in "I Loathe a Fair". Daria sums it up with: "Where the residents do the five percent of their shopping that they don't do in malls." Based on "Virtual Lawndale", it's next to Dega Street.

Rx Plex

It is the medical office complex shown in the episode, "Too Cute" where Dr. Shar's Swan Shoppe is located. It lurks on the north-west edge of town, hiding behind the mall. One of the earliest dating clues in the series is a banner that read, "1997 Adjustable Bed Show" visible when Daria and Quinn arrive.

Sedimentary Rock Country Club And Links

Is a fictional country club and golf course shown on the map in "The Daria Diaries", far away in the north-west from all the riff-raff. The description is, "Not restricted. At least, nobody's been able to prove it in court."

Seven Corners

Seven Corners is a complex intersection shown on the map in "The Daria Diaries" and described as "Lawndale's most confusing intersection". It's behind the high school and hosts a speed trap. Most notable for use in fan fiction.

Village Green

Is the town center for the main town, shown on the map in "The Daria Diaries". It has a statue of a bearded man "who was famous once, but nobody remembers why".

Unstable Landfill

Shown in the map on the far edge of town, in the south east. Lawndale's Director of Public Works lives outside it. (A sink hole opened in his garden)

Winged Tree Country Club

The country club seen in "Is It Fall Yet?".

Lawndale Businesses

24 Hour Photo

24 Hour Photo

It is seen along the Homecoming parade route during "I Loathe a Parade." The Coffee Snob is to the right of it, if one is facing the store.

A la Lawndale

A la Lawndale

At store of uncertain business along the parade route of "I Loathe a Parade." Most notably, Daria Morgendorffer found Tad Gupty crying in front of the store because he had lost his parents.

Axle's Peircing Parlor

Axl's Piercing Parlor is a Dega Street business shown in "Pierce Me" run by Axl.

Big Sub Shop

Big Sub

Seen in "I Loathe a Parade" near the spot where Daria, Tad and Tom Sloane hop on the Fashion Club float. Also seen as "Mmm Sub".

Cashmans's

Cashman's is a high-end clothing store in the Lawndale Mall and a frequent shopping destination of the Fashion Club.

Cedars of Lawndale

Cedars of Lawndale

Cedars of Lawndale is the fictional hospital in Lawndale shown in "Jake of Hearts" and mostly likely also the hospital in "Ill".

Chez Pierre

Chez Pierre is a high-priced French restaurant in Lawndale that is a favorite of Quinn Morgendorffer and others of the Fashion Club.

The Coffee Snob

The Coffee Snob

Is a downtown Lawndale store seen along the Homecoming parade route during "I Loathe a Parade." 24 Hour Photo] is to the left of it, if one is facing the store.

Deuce Hardware

Deuce Hardware

Is a fictional hardware store seen in several episodes. It is located next to the Pizza Place. Lackluster Video is located on the other side of the store.

The name is a play off of the Ace Hardware store chain.

Dr. Shar's Swan Shoppe

Dr. Shar's Swan Shoppe

is the cosmetic surgery office run by Dr. Shar seen in the episode, "Too Cute." It is located in the Rx Plex.

Drugs 'N' Stuff

Drugs 'N' Stuff

is a fictional store in downtown seen in the episode, "I Loathe a Parade". This is the store where Daria Morgendorffer buys the toilet paper and where she first meets Jane Lane during the parade.

Mr Fun's Exciting World of Games

The local arcade, seen in "The New Kid" - with incredibly advanced virtual reality combat games for a small town in 1998 (and now!). Daria regularly goes and allots $15 of her weekly budget on it ("The Daria Database").

Play House 99

A cinema in downtown Lawndale, which has put on arty film festivals like Food In Film. Seen in "Monster", the Food In Film playlist shown in "The Daria Database". Likely holding the Fellini film festival in "Fire!". It also shows standard blockbuster films.

Neighbouring towns

Whichever county Lawndale is in, it has a number of other towns with high schools. Oakwood is mentioned in several episodes, as Oakwood High School's football team (the Taproots) are a key rival of the Lawndale Lions.

MTV's old website mentioned the towns of Briarwood, Eagleton, Lawrenceville, and Lakeland.

Lawndale and the paranormal

Lawndale has been the centre of some quite bizarre occurrences, and equally bizarre urban legends:

  • Everyone in town spent a whole day singing ("Daria!")
  • Artie is allegedly abducted by aliens time and again in Lawndale, though this is not independently verified
  • The newspaper's article on the Dutch Orthodox cemetary is warning that disturbing the grave may result in something supernatural.

In most of these cases, nobody talks about this odd events ever again after they've happened. (While the show presents them as really happening, many fans have theorised alternate explanations for the events - others have used them as 'carte blanche' to write more fantasy-based fanfiction.)

Fandom's Views on Lawndale's Location

Debate exists among fans as to other possible locations for the fictional suburb, or at least places that had a curious similarity to it. For example, Richard Lobinske has brought up the Florida Connection (though this is more about inspirations than actual location). Suggested locations of Lawndale, other than the Baltimore area, include the following, listed with the fan who offered the idea.

External Links

PPMB threads discussing Lawndale and Its Location