The second season of Modern Love from Amazon Studios is out and the filming locations may come as a surprise to those who watched the first season which was filmed predominantly in New York City. Much like the shift in Master of None, which was set in the Hudson Valley and filmed entirely in the United Kingdom due to COVID-19, Modern Love was also filmed outside of New York City (as well as within the city).
Modern Love continues to be based on essays from the New York Times column of the same name and the latest cast of stars includes Minnie Driver, Kit Harrington, Garrett Hedlund, Tobias Menzes, Anna Paquin, and Jack Reynor, among many others.
1. Stoneybatter, Dublin, Ireland
In the first episode of season 2 of Modern Love, a Stag convertible car becomes the embodiment of a lost love for Minnie Driver, whose first husband purchased the car while they were both in medical school. In the episode, “On a Serpentine Road, with the Top Down,” the car becomes associated with some of the best moments of their lives together, including having a child together, and also difficult moments when her husband becomes ill.
In the present-day part of the story, Driver’s new partner suggests selling the Stag because it’s constantly breaking down and costing a lot. It leads to a soul searching for Driver, as she comes to terms with what it means to say goodbye at last.
The episode is filmed in Ireland, mostly in North Dublin in the Stoneybatter neighborhood where films such as Love, Rosie (with Emily in Paris‘ Lily Collins), The Boxer, and Angela’s Ashes were filmed in the past. The third episode, “Strangers on a (Dublin) Train” is also shot in Dublin.
2. New York City
In “The Night Girl Finds a Day Boy”, Zöe and Jordan, played by Zöe Chao and Gbenga Akinnagbe, meet in a diner. The story is based on this Modern Love essay by Amanda Gefter. Most of the episode is filmed in New York City and we see Chao on the New York City subway late night after the meet cute at the diner to Chauncey Street station in Ocean Hill and Brownsville areas of Brooklyn on the J/Z line. Chao plays someone who has been a nocturnal “night girl” (“for as long as she can remember.” We also see things like the Kosciuszko Bridge lit up.
In one of the main scenes, the budding couple meet at the Brooklyn Museum (at night of course). They stroll through the galleries and talk about the things they like to think about and the things they do. As they walk the townhouse-lined streets after, they talk about the improvement in bike-ability in New York City after which reveals Zöe’s nocturnal ways or, “delayed sleep phase syndrome” as it’s officially known. We also see the Long Island City skyline, Newtown Creek, and the Greenpoint neighborhood. When Jordan’s mother comes to town, they go to a Chinese dim-sum restaurant in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. If you’re looking for some of the restaurants IRL however, some scenes were filmed in upstate New York with fake restaurant names.
3. Schenectady, New York
“A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One” and “How Do You Remember Me?” are both filmed in Schenectady, New York. Andrew Rannells who directs the latter episode explained in a New York Times episode that they shot in Schenectady during COVID because it was “easier to control” than Manhattan. Though it took longer to shoot than a usual episode due to COVID protocols, the atmosphere had the feel of a “summer stock” due to the number of theater actors on the shoot and how everyone had their meals together.
“A Life Plan for Two” opens with a shot of the marquee at Proctor’s theater, located in Schenectady. A fake subway station entrance was added for the Morgan Avenue L train station (and eagle-eye New Yorkers may notice the size of the font is a bit too large on it. In addition, IRL, the Morgan Avenue stop has a more industrial feel than is shown in the episode. We also see the New York City skyline from a Long Island City rooftop in this episode.
The episode “In the Waiting Room of Estranged Spouses” starring Anna Paquin and Garrett Hedlund is filmed in Albany. One of the more recognizable spots may be at Riverfront Park along the Hudson River, next to the Dunn Memorial Bridge. Albany is most famous for being the capitol of New York State, with the stunning Capitol Building. It is also home to the Governor of New York and has a quaint downtown area.
Other episodes and parts of episodes were also filmed in Troy, New York. If you’re just getting into the series now, you can catch up on all the New York City (and Hudson Valley) filming locations in the first season on the next pages!
Releasing on Amazon Prime Video on Thursday October 18th is the new series Modern Love, based on the popular column in The New York Times that explores relationships of all kinds. The series, inspired by true stories from the column that “explore love in New York City in its many forms — Romantic, Universal, Familial, Platonic, and Self-Love,” features a large ensemble cast including Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Andy Garcia, Dev Patel, Julia Garner, Catherine Keener, John Slattery, and many more.
1. Fairway in Red Hook
In the episode “Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am,” with Anne Hathaway and Gary Carr, Hathaway’s character Lexi meets Carr’s character Jeff inside the Fairway in Red Hook, Brooklyn (“I was in cold meats and cheese, he was in fruit and veg, we knew it was love.” A coordinated dance breaks out (as imagined by Lexi) in the brick building.
The warehouse, with those awesome real shutters, was once a warehouse for William Beard and part of the industrial activities connected to the Erie Basin (itself part of the Erie Canal). “If you can find love early morning in the supermarket, you know you can trust it,” Lexi, a lawyer struggling with bipolar disorder says. The person whose essay the episode was based on says in a recent interview with the New York Times, “With John, he mentioned wanting to do the manic episode like “La La Land,” and I thought that was brilliant because that’s the way it is. Everything’s so bright. You are Mary Tyler Moore in her opening sequence.”
2. 41 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights
In the opening episode, “When Your Doorman Is Your Main Man,” Cristin Milioti’s character Maggie lives in a pre-war apartment at Copley Plaza at 41 Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn across from the Brooklyn Public Library. Her doorman, Guzmin, stands guard, judging the dates she brings back, sometimes in advance summoning a yellow taxi to take them home before things get beyond the front door.
Maggie wants the approval of Guzmin, but also wants him to go easy on a new British guy she’s dating. The episode description has in her words, “Ours was a common and unsung friendship, that between women living in New York, single and alone, and the doormen who take care of them, acting as gatekeepers, bodyguards, confidants and father figures.”
Maggie arranges to meet with the British guy to break him the news that she’s pregnant and he’s the dad. They meet inside Gladys, a Caribbean food restaurant on Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights. The restaurant redesigned its facade after the show filmed but unfortunately closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
4. Arlo Nomad
In “When Cupid is a Prying Journalist,” Dev Patel plays Joshua, the CEO of a dating app, who is interviewed by Catherine Keener, a journalist for the New York Times named Julie. They meet at second floor lounge of the the Arlo Nomad hotel.
Julie asks Joshua if he’s ever been in love, throwing him off. Still, this conversation will “change the course of both of their lives,” the episode description promises.
5. Washington Square Park
Joshua and Julie continue their conversation, grabbing coffee, and heading to a bench in Washington Square Park where Joshua spills the story behind the scenes: he’s heartbroken over the infidelity of his ex-girlfriend, and hasn’t really recovered. Julie then shares her story about a man she never forgot about, but who didn’t show up to meet her at her Paris apartment.
Julie recounts how she gave a book talk at the Riverrun bookstore in Hastings-on-Hudson and her old love shows up at the signing. He shows her the train ticket he took, and she realizes for the first time, he did try to come to Paris to see her.
The book he had written her address on was stolen on the train. They spend the evening together (mostly platonically it seems) wondering what it might have been like had things turned out differently.
7. Village East Cinema
In the episode “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive,” Tina Fey and John Slattery play Tina and John, a couple in therapy trying to figure their relationship out. They take in a movie at the Moorish-inspired Village East Cinema at 181-189 Second Avenue, which leads to deep questions about if there is any point in being together once their kids fly the coop.
“We rallied, not with the adrenaline-pumping determination to win at all costs, but with the patience and control that came with not wanting it to be over: not the summer, not our son’s childhood, not this game, ever,” the episode description reads.
8. 333 Central Park West
Tina and John go to a therapist played by Sarita Choudhury whose office is located at 333 Central Park West. They visit here repeatedly, without much result, and in a key moment, John runs into people he knows on the street.
9. Central Park Tennis Center
The therapist suggests that Tina and John do a hobby together and so they go to play tennis, sometimes the two of them, sometimes with their kids. Most of the tennis scenes are shot in the Central Park Tennis Center, just south of the 97th Street Transverse north of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.
10. Carl Schurz Park
In the “Race Grows Sweeter Near its Final Lap,” Jane Alexander and James Saito play Margo and Kenji, two New Yorkers in their twilight years. They meet in a running race that ends on the waterfront at Carl Schurz Park (where Gracie Mansion is). Margo wonders where Kenji is, joking “I’d be very disappointed if he died before I got the chance to ask him out!”
“Old love is different. In our 70s and 80s, we had been through enough of life’s ups and downs to know who we were, and we had learned to compromise. The finish line was drawing closer.
11. East Village
In “Hers Was a World of One,” Olivia Cooke (from Me, Earl and the Dying Girl) plays Karla, a homeless pregnant woman who is offering her baby to gay couple Tobin and Andy (played by Andrew Scott and Brandon Kyle Goodman). She ends up moving in with them in the living room of their apartment in the East Village at 37 East 7th Street down the street from McSorley’s Old Ale House and Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen, and you’ll see many scenes shot in the neighborhood and along the waterfront.
In the description, “There was no guarantee that doing an open adoption would get us a baby any faster… in fact, our agency warned us that, as a gay male couple, we might be in for a long wait.”
12. Elizabeth Street Garden
“There is never a good time to fall off your couch onto a martini glass and begin losing a dangerous amount of blood, but having this happen in the middle of a promising date is an especially bad time,” is the premise of “At the Hospital, An Interlude of Clarity” starring Sofia Boutella as Yasmine and John Gallagher Jr. as Rob, who ends up in an ambulance and at the hospital in a date gone wrong.
Later in the episode, they go to to the Elizabeth Street Garden, one of Nolita’s great gems, which is currently at high risk of being demolished and replaced by housing.
13. Central Park Zoo
In “So He Looked Like Dad. It was Just Dinner, Right?” Julia Garner plays Maddy, who develops a relationship with a “Genius” in her robotics company in the hopes that he’ll stand in for the dad she lost when she was eleven. They go to the Central Park Zoo on a weekend afternoon, which the Genius definitely thinks is a date.