Expectations vs. Reality: Friends IRL

It’s been nearly two weeks since all 236 episodes of Friends were made available for streaming on Netflix instant, something that many fans have been looking forward to for years. And while I have seen some folks on the interwebz talking about how they’re binging on the entire series for the first time, we here at Cookies + Sangria have been fans of the show for about half of our lives (as evidenced by this entire week we dedicated to Friends last year). So naturally, when we went to New York City together in September, we had to pay homage to one of the greatest sitcoms of all time by hitting up a couple of the gang’s hot spots. But it’s important to remember that Friends is a TV show.

Yes, I know it’s hard to believe sometimes that these six friends aren’t actually our real friends at all – or even real for that matter (in our hearts and minds 4evr, of course). That being said, sometimes, if you have a certain image of something in your head, or expectations about something you’re looking forward to, it doesn’t always turn out to be what you hoped for, for better or for worse. That kind of happened to us on this trip.

First off, we needed some assistance on getting around parts of the Big Apple, so we consulted with a map. Joey tells us that you have to go into the map to understand it.

Natch, we tried it expecting to get a clear lay of the land:

Photo Sep 19, 1 15 45 PM

But believe it or not, in reality – it didn’t work.

You know what’s a much more efficient way to getting around these days? Your phone’s map app. Too bad Joe didn’t have this back in London (Baby).

Photo Sep 19, 1 16 00 PM

Using our trusty iPhones, we made it to what we had seen on the internet was the exterior of the friends’ apartment building in Greenwich Village, listed at 12 Bedford Street. However, we got there and found this:

Photo Sep 19, 9 19 37 AM

Luckily, we were just a few buildings away – for those who want to head to the mecca, it’s actually at 90 Bedford Street, at the corner of Grove and Bedford. It was glorious.

Photo Sep 19, 9 16 27 AM

Excited we actually made it!

Finally, when we were in NYC, we just happened to be there at the time the Central Perk pop-up shop was happening. It was still the first week of its opening, and we planned on meeting my friend Scott (fellow Friends freak) there. We expected to go in, take pix, go out and grab brunch. Alas, we did not anticipate a line going around the block. And then down the block. And then across the street. Down that block. We waited 20-30 minutes before it even opened, and decided it wasn’t worth it and got food instead. Didn’t get a pic of us waiting in the long-ass line, but I’m sure you seen a line full of insane Friends fans waiting to go into a fake coffee shop before. We did however take a pic in front of Central Perk without having to wait in line:

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For those parties interested, the real Central Perk is permanently located on the Warner Brothers lot, where they filmed Friends. I have been on the studio tour thrice (and not even ashamed), so here are a few photos of the real deal – Gunther not included.



Visit #1 of 3. Only the second time were we allowed to take pictures actually SITTING on the couch!

So there you have it Friends fanatics. If you find yourself in NYC, just know what you’re getting in to. And expect to lower your expectations, because either way you won’t be disappointed.