Billions on Showtime, Season 1 Locations: The Grand Tour in New York and Beyond

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

I told you all before. Billions is a dream coming true for me since it is bringing two of my favorite things in the world together: Damian Lewis and New York. And I particularly love the fact that the show is taking over New York, the BIG film studio that it is, and shooting all over the place, from Manhattan to Queens to Brooklyn to The Bronx to Long Island and to northern suburbs.

I published a warm-up Billions locations post months ago, just using information from teasers and trailers, before Season 1 hit our TV screens. And, in that post, I promised a comprehensive locations tour by the end of the season… and so here we are with Billions Season 1 Locations: The Grand Tour in New York and beyond. This is my tribute to my most favorite place on earth as well as to my all-time favorite actor and my favorite TV show. Hope you enjoy it!

And if you think I am missing a location, please let me know and I will be very happy to add it to the list.

Episode 1: The Pilot

David N Dinkins Municipal Building

source: Billions trailer
source: Billions trailer

Chuck looks very preoccupied as he is walking on Reade Street, doesn’t he? And the building you see on the left with “New Amsterdam” engraved on its facade is the Manhattan Municipal Building that has recently been renamed as David N Dinkins Municipal Building after the former mayor.

Where is Chuck heading to? Well, I’d say he’s heading to his office in…

Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse, Civic Center

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York sits in the courthouse and it is one of the most influential and active federal district courts in the United States, largely because of its jurisdiction over New York’s major financial centers! And, once Chuck passes the municipal building on the right, and turns left on Centre street, he hits the Courthouse!

thurgoodmarshall

The Times Center, Midtown Manhattan

The first time we see Axe and Chuck together in a scene is at the Delivering Alpha conference shot at The Times Center.

source: Billions trailer
source: Billions trailer

We see Bobby Axelrod talking about hedge-funds being the white blood cells of the financial system in this room called The Stage — a state-of-the-art auditorium perfect for lectures, conferences at Times Center. It is also the venue for the celebrated Times Talks!

source: iacp.com
source: iacp.com

Billions takes advantage of downstairs, too, for the very popular “Fuck You Money” scene! Both Times Center and this particular scene are very special for us just because it was there and then Damian found out about our blog!

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

1010 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Certainly a NICE New York address on the Museum Mile with previous apartment sales averaging around $7,000,000! This is the pre-war apartment building where Chuck Sr lives. Oh yeah our US attorney is as blue blood as one can get in NY 🙂

Episode 2: Naming Rights

Bowling Green Park, South Ferry

teamaxelrod4

source: Billions trailer
source: Billions trailer

We see our glorious couple first standing in front of and then leaning on the fences of Bowling Green Park — city’s oldest. Besides, it is believed to be the site of the legendary sale of Manhattan to Peter Minuit in 1626.

Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian, South Ferry

source: Billions trailer
source: Billions trailer

Axelrods are leaning on the fences of Bowling Green Park and looking at this beautiful building that used to be an US Custom House and now houses Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian. In Billions, the building is a symphony hall named after Elliot Eads. Axe gets the naming rights and puts his name on the Hall.

Prospect Park, Brooklyn

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Chuck buys donuts for Kevin and Eva from Carpe Donut NYC at the entrance and then walks into Brooklyn’s equivalent of Central Park: Prospect Park.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Episode 3: Yum Time

Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Absolutely one of the best places to drink in the views of Manhattan skyline as well as the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. And this is the place where Chuck, for the first time, convinces me he’s working for the public good. He yells at a guy who does not clean after his dog. Forgetting the bag at home is no excuse. “You have hands!” As a part-time New Yorker, I applaud the US attorney. Don’t tell Axe! 🙂

Helmsley Building & Met Life Building

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Two NYC landmarks, Helmsley Building and Met Life Building towering behind it appear in the background as Axe and Wags cross Park Avenue (at East 49th street, I think) talking about their meeting with the “reasonable” Yum Time Board members.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Episode 4: Short Squeeze

Centre Videotron, Quebec City, Quebec

The main location for this episode is not NYC because Axe jets to Quebec to see the biggest band in the world! If you happen to be in Quebec City, you can visit Centre Videotron, the second largest arena in the province of Quebec, or better yet, you can catch a concert there!

source: Showtime
source: Showtime
source: Showtime
source: Showtime
source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Episode 5: The Good Life

Rye Playland, Rye, New York

Rye Playland is the amusement park Axe takes Dean and Gordie while he is doing his Telecom play and seemingly “on a break” from Axe Capital.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime
kiddyland2
source: Showtime

Columbus Park, Chinatown

Another beautiful city park, Columbus Park (alternatively known as Mulberry Bend Park or Paradise Park), makes an appearance in the scene where Mike Dimonda persuades Lonnie Watley to feed him information about Chuck and the Axe Capital case. Columbus Park is located in Chinatown, in the heart of one of the oldest residential areas in Manhattan, and adjacent to the infamous “Five Points.” Gangs of New York, anyone?

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Lyric Theater, Times Square

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Wendy sees Axe at his home to use her “black magic” on him so he gets his shit together but the magic seems to work on her that she finds her “dancer legs” at Lyric Theater to see On the Town and indulge in her first dream of being a famous Broadway dancer!

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Episode 6: The Deal

Ancient Baths of New York, Tribeca

Well, if you want to have the unique experience Axe and Wendy have in their meeting, you can just head to Ancient Baths of New York. You can check the services and rates here. It seems this particular scene takes place in the Tepidarium. Notice the plaque on the column to the left of Axe.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

imageedit_56_4111696403

Henry Hudson Parkway, Upper West Side 

Once the deal is off, Axe drives his Bentley like crazy on Henry Hudson Parkway to home in Connecticut. We see that the next exit is West 79th Street Boat Basin — hey, Axe, it’s my exit, if you take that and drive couple blocks south, I am there! 🙂

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

imageedit_1_8777188125

Episode 7: The Punch

I could not spot any NY landmark in this episode. Let me know if I am missing anything!

Episode 8: Boasts and Rails 

Weylin B. Seymour’s Building, Brooklyn

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

The location for Big Apple Circus that both Axe and Chuck attend as VIP guests and chat with the Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira  is a landmark building in Brooklyn: Weylin B. Seymour’s building was opened in 1875 by the Williamsburgh Savings Bank. We only see the interiors in the show, but it’s really worth a look from outside as well.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Here is what New York Times says about the landmark building: ““As sumptuous as a jewel box suspended 110 feet over the mosaic marble floor, and as radiant as a peacock’s plumage, the great dome of the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank headquarters at Broadway and Driggs Avenue once again inspires awe.” Look at the fantastic dome!

source: Showtime

Yale Club of New York, Midtown

Could there be a better location than Yale Club of New York for Chuck to meet the guy from Horvath, the best Supreme Court litigation firm, who offers him a job with an “if you want to be a rainmaker, you can make rain” guarantee?

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Waterfront Promenade, Battery Park

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Bryan and Chuck have their serious talk on the Waterfront Promenade in Battery Park (or “The Battery”) before they go get drunk and fuck the pouch 🙂 The park is located at the southern tip of Manhattan and, with its beautiful waterfront and gardens, is a lovely place to stroll.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Episode 9: Where The F*** is Donnie?

Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse, Civic Center

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

We see Chuck now on the stairs of Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse as he sarcastically tells Bryan on the phone how surprising it is that Donnie is not live-tweeting his road trip  🙂

194 Riverside Drive, Upper West Side

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Finally! Billions is in my neighborhood! Chuck pays a visit to Lonnie in his apartment on the Upper West Side (UWS). According to an article in New York Times, this building appeared so many times in TV shows and films over the last two decades. Peter Ferrera the president of the co-op says: “We’re not raking in billions. But if your heating bill is $140,000, you can defray some of that.” I cannot agree more with that. And I am thinking now about why my co-op has not got into this business yet!

Episode 10: Quality of Life

Wave Hill, The Bronx

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Donnie Caan’s memorial service takes place at Wave Hill, a 28-acre estate, with its beautiful gardens overlooking the Hudson river and the Palisades, and its vistas stretching to George Washington Bridge. It’s late fall foliage with all yellows, reds and purples darker than ever providing a romantic setting.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Central Park

Finally! Central Park is my favorite place on earth, and I really really really wanted Billions to let it shine in some capacity. So here it is displaying some wonderful late fall foliage with Lonnie serving Judge Wilcox’s head to Chuck on a silver platter 🙂

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Episode 11: Magical Thinking

Lunapark in Coney Island, Brooklyn

The night Kate wants to do “something dangerous” Bryan and Kate end up at Lunapark in Coney Island — the largest amusement park in NYC — and play with fireworks! You can see one of the park’s rides, The Thunderbolt, in the background!

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Episode 12: The Conversation

Crosby Street, SoHo

Axe waits on Crosby Street in SoHo (between Broome and Spring Streets. A private note for JaniaJania: Axe is just half a block from Balthazar !) for Wendy to leave Soul Cycle so he could give her a tiny little gift: A brand new Maserati 🙂

imageedit_3_6753557138

Chambers Street Subway Station, Civic Center

Lonnie Watley gets out of Chambers Street Subway Station beaming about his happy return to Southern District. I will give him another reason to be happy. A few blocks west, you have the best wine store in the city: Chambers Street Wines. You are welcome! 🙂

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Explorer’s Club, Upper East Side

Explorer’s Club appears in two different scenes in the season finale:

Axe and Wags have one of their “capital raise” meetings in the club’s library.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

And the club’s front desk goes as Yale Club of NYC where Chuck checks in upon getting his ass kicked out of their “off promenade brownstone” by Wendy!

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Henry P. Davison House, Upper East Side:

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

This one was a challenge. I can see it’s Upper East Side (UES) but then there is a campus map which I read as “…. anan University” as Axe and Wags leave the building and I am like “What is ….anan University?” knowing there is no such thing on UES. But then as they keep walking, I notice the Italian flag in the background…

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

…and the rest is history: The building Axe and Wags leave is Henry P Davison House that houses the Italian Consulate of New York. And this is also the day I caught these two on the set! Well, who caught who is a bit up for debate 🙂

Grace Building, Midtown

And, hey, where does Axe start stripping before his meeting with Carter Staley? We see him just across from Grace Building which means he is standing on 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. And behind him is yet another NYC landmark, the beautiful Bryant Park.

imageedit_14_3563828520

Hope you pick and choose and take your own Billions tour in New York City and environs and give us feedback!

Billions is not only showcasing the landmarks of NYC and its environs but also the world class New York dining scene from very fancy places to neighborhood joints to dive bars to wall-in-the holes. So… stay tuned for our Billions Dining Guide next week!

UPDATE: Check out our Billions Season 2 Locations Guide and Dining Guide, too! ENJOY!

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

20 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, Season 1 Locations: The Grand Tour in New York and Beyond”

  1. I love this! I have never had the pleasure of visiting New York, aside from a layover I had in the airport once. I can’t imagine living in a city so large and vast!

    1. Thank you! What are the odds your favorite actor and your favorite place on earth come together in a show that becomes your favorite TV show? I feel incredibly lucky! It was such a pleasure to put this one together! And we need to do something about your “never been to NY” situation! 🙂

      1. Amazing tour of the city that I thought I knew well until you have showed me better. Thanks!

        As you were taking me around I was wondering about your guesses re the geography of the next season. Will the plot take us back to 9/11 territory? Even further back to Yonkers and wherever Wendy came from? Sail us around the world safely away from old or new enemies? Will there be redemption for Chuck or will he continue to wallow in the same elegant quagmire he created for himself?

        I would love to hear you speculate on it,

        Agnes

        1. Thank you, Agnes! It was so much fun putting this together as a tribute to my favorite actor and my favorite city that happen to be in my favorite TV show! 🙂

          If Billions comes back to our screens same time next year, we have almost 9 months to speculate about what will happen – yay! Speculation is half the fun for me. Having said that we know how surprising the writing could be so I would say they could go in any direction. But a few things I could think about:

          1. Axe – Wendy – Chuck triangle. They both seemingly lost Wendy but they will both make their moves to win her back. But again we don’t know where we will pick up in S2 — if we will find them where we left them or we will fast forward a couple of months or a year and find them where ever they are. What I know is that both these guys need Wendy. Badly.

          2. Bryan: He did not say no… but I think he will still be in the US Attorney’s office. He will be more of a grown up now knowing that neither side of this fight is clean!

          3. Some more information about the past: This is just me begging the writers room to show us a bit more about the past of these people. I am particularly interested in Bobby’s past which I would love to write about just with the little info they have given us so far. I am dying to know more about Wendy’s past and how Wendy and Bobby met. Was Lara there when they met or she got into the picture later? Wendy said “disgust is off the table” when Bobby is concerned. Does it still apply or no? Will she ever be able to trust him again? I just love it that the show, in this context of high finance of NYC, gives us these very complex relationships and make us think an think hard about a lot of stuff. This, I am sure, will again be there in Season 2!

          4. 9/11: That I don’t know. What he did after 9/11 was not illegal. And it seems Axe has made peace with that. He now suffers from reputational damage thanks to what he did, but as he pointed out several time, people will forget over time. Which I think is true. We see it all the time in real life, don’t we? So I don’t think we will go deep into 9/11 territory again. But who knows maybe there is still some plot to dig in right there!

          We are keen on thinking and talking Billions over the next months and I think fall will give us even more to speculate on what will happen in S2 as a little teaser or the first trailer is out. Let’s continue the conversation! Thanks so much for reading us – please keep your feedback coming!

  2. Thank you so much for doing the homework on where all the locations were. Just because I’ve lived here for decades doesn’t mean I know all these places. Good work! I always like to know where they are filming in NYC. I don’t always know.

    It shows how they have gone all over the city and surrounding areas to film. And it is shot on such a film quality level. And to be filming in such a congested city with all kinds of rules and regulations and unions – hats off to them. I don’t know how they do it – get people out of the shots. I know they have assistants to keep people back and have observed filming in NYC but I still don’t totally get how they do it. Often I don’t know where locations are in films and TV shows – I squint when I watch “Louie” and try to guess where he is.

    Some of the Billions locations I tried to guess but wasn’t sure. Like the Times Center. I haven’t been in there yet. I really appreciate your enthusiasm for NYC!

    I don’t know if I’m going to be a NYer forever but I do love the city as you do. I tried leaving before and then came back. I think if I leave again I won’t come back but I will always love it.

    1. Thank you, Ann! It took a bit of time to go over all episodes and honestly I did not know all places, either. It’s difficult to know about the Ancient Baths of New York in Tribeca, for example, and to be honest I know Manhattan much better than the other boroughs. But it was such a pleasure to go over the season, do the research and put it together. I think of this as a tribute to my beloved NYC as much as a tribute to my favorite actor and my favorite TV show.

      Funny you mention Times Center. I had not been to Times Center before I waited in front of it for 10 hours to tell Damian about the blog. I would love to go to one of the NY Times Talks — it would be wonderful if Damian or Billions writers/actors did one of those over there!!!!

      Interior shoots are easy. But I have no idea how they pull it off on street shoots especially in such a congested city like NY. Maybe closing off a block or two? It seems I need to do my homework for this one, too. I know there is a lot of regulation but also the city also encourages and accommodates shows and it seems more and more shows are now being shot in the city. This season Homeland is coming to NY as well.

      I am working on a Billions Dining Tour for next Monday. Hope you enjoy it, too. Please keep the feedback coming. Thanks! <3

  3. Were you outside the Times Center when they were filming those scenes and then saw him outside to tell him about the blog? I wondered how he found out about it. I thought he just heard from someone and then checked it out online.

    Did he come out and say hi to fans and sign autographs?

    They say making a film is a lot of waiting around and sounds as if you did just that!!!

    Ann
    NYC

    1. Yes! I guess nobody really knew about Billions back then when they were filming the Pilot Jan-Feb 2015. My husband and I were the only ones waiting outside. They shot indoors all day. But it was my one chance to let Damian know about the blog because you know his number is not in the phonebook — so I took my chances!
      Here’s the story for your laugh of the day: https://www.fanfunwithdamianlewis.com/?p=8217

  4. You could always write to him care of his agency which is listed different places like on Damian-lewis.com fan site, but this way you really know that he knows.

    He was so friendly and polite. I am amazed at how nice he is even during filming. I guess it depends on what type of scene he’s doing. If it was something really heavy he might not talk much but who knows. You are very charming and hard to resist with your enthusiasm. All artists have fans of their work. I’m sure it’s very flattering for people to take an interest and to do something serious such as a blog with real writing (even though you also keep it fun and light).

    He knows he might encounter fans if he goes outside. And no one was keeping fans away. He could always have food brought in to him. It’s also a way to gage interest in the show. It was just coming into our consciousness. Maybe someone told him there were fans waiting outside. How nice the crew were friendly to you and helpful.

    I guess they always have the food like this outside for shoots. I see it all the time.

    He was in his costume and about to do that great scene by the stairs. And probably he DID have your address still in his pocket. What a story.

    So this is how he first came to know of the blog and then he already knew you when you went to hear him in the New Yorker interview at that theatre in Chelsea and he spoke to you. I guess he had read the blog by then. That was the end of 2015 in November. Hey, if you’re going to do something do it wholeheartedly and you certainly do with this great blog. It’s called “Fan Fun” for a reason!

    Yes, you gave up “Dances With Wolves” for “Wolf Hall”.

    1. I LOVE it: I gave up on “Dances with Wolves” (all 4 hours of it – I had tHAT director’s cut at home that I watched over and over and over for years) for “Wolf Hall”! 😀 Thank you for all your kind words, Ann! Yes, we pour a lot of love and energy into this and we are all very enthusiastic about what we are doing! Our dream is coming true if our enthusiasm is contagious 🙂

  5. So many of these streets I’ve walked myself. Lovely to see it all summarized like this. 😀 Interesting that the Lonnie Dimonda meetup at a lunch truck happened in Chinatown. The script used Columbus Park as Brooklyn. (Lonnie relegated to working for Eastern District, with its fewer lunch options, and Dimonda living up the street in Cobble Hill)

    Gosh, how I love New York and all its neighborhoods. Sad to see it all become a little more homogenized when I last visited, with identical Jamba Juices all up and down the full length of Broadway. This post makes me happy to see that some of the neighborhoods still remain identifiable in some way.

    I guessed that the shot of Bobby rising up to become a part of the Manhattan landscape was somewhere in the Village or SoHo. So fun to know it’s so close to where we had our giddy dinner. I’ll be paying more attention to all of this, next visit. 😀

    LOVE that they’re filming in NY! And LOVE that you took the time to identify all the NY sites for us. <3

    1. Thank you!!! Haha Lonnie was probably dreaming about THAT burger at Eastern! Yes, it seems they used Chinatown as some place in Brooklyn.

      True about NY changing but I think neighborhoods still have their characters that you can really say this should be some place on the UES or some place in SoHo — like the street Axe is waiting for Wendy to give her the Maserati! Haha yeah the guy who said “Enjoy Balthazar!” is just half a block away from Balthazar in that scene!

      Taking the time to do all this is such a pleasure, feels like a tribute to a number of things I really really LOVE.

  6. Does anyone know where to find the location of Victors house in episode 2?? I’m dying to find out the design and who built it, but I need to know where it is!!!

  7. What is the name of or location of Bobby Axelrod’s hour with the stone exterior? I can only seem to find the beach house location in Southhampton. I love the architecture of that building but can’t seem to find the information for it.

    1. Same here. We have not been able to locate that one, either. Sorry I am not able to help there. We pretty much figured out everything else though 😀

  8. Great job! Very interesting, lovely sites. Do you know where is the family house? Not the big one on the beach. The other where lotvof action take place.
    Thanks for share

    1. Thank you for reading! Hope you come back and read our Season 2 Locations Guide that will be published as soon as Season 2 is over!

      The beach house is on Meadow Lane in Southampton. The location of the family house is not clear. It is probably standing for a place in Greenwich, CT where the hedge fund guys mostly live but it can be anywhere — Westchester and Long Island are possibilities.

Join the conversation!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.