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
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!
The Times Center, Midtown Manhattan
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!
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!
1010 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side
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
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
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
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.
Episode 3: Yum Time
Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn
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! 🙂
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.
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!
Episode 5: The Good Life
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.
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?
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!
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.
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! 🙂
Episode 7: The Punch
I could not spot any NY landmark in this episode. Let me know if I am missing anything!
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.
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!
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?
Waterfront Promenade, Battery Park
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.
Episode 9: Where The F*** is Donnie?
Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse, Civic Center
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
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
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.
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 🙂
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!
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 🙂
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! 🙂
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.
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!
Henry P. Davison House, Upper East Side:
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…
…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.
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!