I am an immigrant. I moved to the US for graduate study in late 1990s. My husband and I, having finished our PhDs, moved to New York in 2001, only weeks before September 11, for our first jobs. The city has since given me so much in so many different dimensions and defined me as an individual: a foodie, a film buff, a theatre lover, a feminist, a wine snob, a runner and more… Even though we moved to the South five years later for new jobs, we could not give up on New York. We still have a tiny apartment on the Upper West Side and we are proud part-time New Yorkers 😀
And, as I mentioned a billion times before, Billions is a dream show for me not only because my favorite actor is in it, but also New York, from its landmarks to city parks to its distinct neighborhoods, appears as a cast member! As someone who feels the only home she has in the world is the city that never sleeps, I particularly love it that Billions 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. So this Billions Season 2 Location Guide is a loving tribute to my most favorite place on earth and a heartfelt thank you to the Billions show creators for giving us a love letter to the city.
ps. 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: Risk Management
The first time we met Axe in Season 1 was at Capparello’s Pizzeria, a staple of his youth. We find him at the beginning of Season 2 at another staple of his youth: Yonkers Raceway. It turns out it all started here for Axe with betting on harness racing followed by a seat at 4 WTC to trade stocks. And the rest is history.
75 Broad Street
As a fresh freelancer, Wendy gives a motivational talk at Krakow Capital at 75 Broad Street and shows the finger to a guy who makes inappropriate comments. Her ride is waiting to take her probably to her new digs at…
400 Madison Avenue
…where Axe visits her to say he needs her back at Axe Capital and she shows him the finger, too 😀
Chuck does not only get to play chess but also gets to meet Ari Spyros in beautiful Washington Square Park to find out about a certain Oliver Dake investigating his office’s methods and conduct
And Oliver Dake probably takes Acela Express from Washington D.C. to New York’s Penn Station for his new mission and…
…catches up with Bryan as the latter walks through the Manhattan Municipal Building with Tony Rosenthal’s FUN 1 in 5 in the background symbolizing the interconnectedness of the five boroughs.
Episode 2: Dead Cat Bounce
They film 99% of the show in New York State but when Chuck needs to pay a visit to the AG’s office, Billions goes to Washington!
With Car Seat Headrest’s “Fill in the Blank” in our ears, we see the “180, Chuck” victory parade from Washington D.C. Union station through the National Mall, with Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in the background, to the Robert F Kennedy Department of Justice Building.
Episode 3: Optimal Play
Given that the entire hedge-fund industry is under siege and that he needs to adapt, Axe is ready to venture out of city walls and straight into the NFL. He pays a visit to Steve Tisch at MetLife Stadium, the NJ home of NY Giants, to ask for his support!
After talking about Chuck and Stalin over lunch with Boyd, Axe gets into Hall’s car waiting in front of Caroline Herrera store to tell him he is hearing Chuck’s voice in his dreams now!
When Wendy advises in couple therapy that Chuck should consider getting his own place, she indirectly forces him to sell his first edition of Churchill’s The Second World War, signed by Churchill himself to General Montgomery with the highlight of his “never give in” speech. Chuck sells his precious collection to Chartswell Booksellers, the only Churchill bookstore in the world, and accepts a $40K check in return.
The heart of the hedge-fund world beats at the Alpha Cup Charity Poker Tournament at Edison Ballroom in Optimal Play. Krakow may be a better poker player than Axe, but Taylor is better than both!
Episode 4: The Oath
Chuck kicks off his long play — likens it to Normandy saying this first wave is just to make sure the second wave stands a chance — with a search warrant sending windbreakers to Spartan-Ives in the beautiful Cunard Building just across from the Charging Bull.
Fun Trivia: Lady Trader remembers the days Cunard Building used to be a post office. The building now houses Cipriani, a private event space, where Billions had its Season 2 premiere in February 2017.
Damianista’s personal note: If you happen to visit Cunard Building and Charging Bull, say hi to the lovely Fearless Girl who stands just across from The Charging Bull.
Chuck then meets Lawrence Boyd in the Lotos Library at the Lotos Club, one of the oldest literary clubs in the United States, to start the “first round” of negotiations with him.
In line with the WWII theme in the episode, Bryan tells Dake to fuck off at the East Coast Memorial honoring the missing American servicemen who died in the Atlantic Ocean while engaged in combat during WWII. The memorial has beautiful views of Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn.
Episode 5: Currency
Wendy “fixes” Wags in my personal Zen Garden — Central Park.
Episode 6: Indian Four
After his surprise arrest, Boyd makes bail and leaves Bronx County Courthouse to find Axe waiting in his car.
Axe and Wendy negotiate the terms of Wendy’s return to Axe Capital at Pier 62 Skatepark while Eva is taking lessons.
Episode 7: Victory Lap
I could not spot any major location in this episode. Let me know if I am missing anything!
Episode 8: Kingmaker
Chuck Sr shows some love to his “1998 Fundadores” and calls his son who suggests the age of the kingmaker is over a “hippie” at the flagship retail store for Nat Sherman Tobacco, a brand name for a line of handmade cigars and luxury cigarettes.
Well, this is where you end up when you “fire walk” with Wags!
I do not know if they shot the episode at Saint Venus Theater but it is a real place with its mission described as follows on the website:
“Our mission is to create something special, something positive and progressive in a world that is dominated by female exploitation and dissatisfaction. We seek to do the opposite. We celebrate the feminine in erotic themes. Our greatest desire is to give the Venus Effect its greatest tribute.
We are many things but we are not a strip club, a burlesque revival show, a swingers event, or a fetish party. We want to excite one’s heart, mind, soul and libido, not just the libido. We have a wide variety of erotic performances that are always a tribute to woman and female sexuality.
We also feature the most erotic and physically transformative lap dance you are likely to have ever known.”
Fire walk at your own risk, if you can 😀
Well, Axe may have rubbed me the wrong way a bit this season, but he absolutely stole my heart when he jumped on a motorbike to go crash that “old money” party at The Yale Club.
My hunch is that they did not shoot at the real Club since the building we see in The Kingmaker is not the Yale Club that I have been to for a few times.
I did not stay at the Yale Club but visited friends who stayed there. And while I did not crash a party like Axe did, I have violated the dress code like Axe did! Our friends gave us a tour of the place and we sneaked into some rooms we were not supposed to in jeans! 😀
As the two Chucks have their “Fundadores” in total bliss probably on the roof of the building that stands in as the Yale Club, Chrysler Building, one of the major architectural landmarks in the city, is beautifully lit in the background. Fun trivia about Chrysler Building is that it was the tallest building in the world only for 11 months until The Empire State Building surpassed it — it is just another kind of New York pissing contest 😀
Episode 9: Sic Transit Imperium
White Plains City Hall
White Plains City Hall is a stand-in for Sandicot City Hall when Chuck and his team show up at The Town Council to tell the citizens of Sandicot they do not deserve Bobby Axelrod.
Episode 10: With or Without You
Taylor is checking out a fancy apartment. They find out this 26K a month apartment will not stay until lunch when the listing is on MLS the next day. Right!
Well, we will do a complete Billions Season 2 Dining Guide next week but we treat Rosa’s Pizza not as a restaurant being featured on the show but as a Billions staple. Axe visits Bruno in this episode to find out he cannot afford a conversation with him. I really hope Bruno stays in the show and that Axe makes it up to him in some way.
Episode 11: Golden Frog Time
Bryan catches up with Taylor at the entrance of their new “swanky” building. This exterior scene is at a different location than the one Taylor checks out and then rents for 26K a month.
Episode 12: Ball in Hand
This one required a bit of forensic research on my part but the clues have taken me to Cafe Billiards Club, which turns out to be yet another staple from Bobby Axelrod’s early life, aptly located in Yonkers!
Chuck and Bryan take a field trip to go see Wendy meeting Axe at September 11 Memorial. The building you see behind them is one of the newest additions to New York Architecture. Oculus, built by the celebrated Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, houses Westfield World Trade Center, a shopping mall, as well as the new World Trade Center station and is adjacent to the September 11 memorial site.
This location requires some personal reflection. The 9/11 Memorial stands in the exact place the two towers used to stand and is an architectural wonder with a mesmerizing eternity feel to it. Everyone that died in the towers (in 2001 and in the earlier attacks in 1993) has their name engraved on all sides of the memorial. They place a rose on a victim’s name on their birthday. It is not an easy place to visit.
I was in New York on 9/11. I did not cry that day. I felt numb. I could not hold back my tears though when I first visited the memorial especially when I saw the names of the first responders.
I am an immigrant. September 11 may be the first day I felt American.
The location for Axe and Wendy’s meeting makes perfect sense. This is the place where the entire Axe Capital story kicks off just after the planes hit the towers. And, Axe now has to face what he fears the most, windbreakers, at the exact location where his rise to power began 15 years ago.
Hope you pick and choose and take your own Billions tour in New York City and beyond and give us feedback! And in case you missed our locations guide for Season 1, you can check it out here. Finally, stay tuned for our Billions Season 2 Dining Guide coming up next week!