90 BEDFORD STREET (Greenwich Village): The apartments.
45.000 kilometres away from the LA soundstage where Friends was filmed, it stands the building where the gang lived (supposedly) up in the 20th floor.
Excuse us, it would be better to say “the building where Chandler payed rent for him and Joey and Monica shared with Rachel the apartment she had inherited from her grandma.
In reality, the building in 90 Bedford Street (at the corner of Grove Street) dates back to 1900 and has 22 one-bedroom apartments. Nothing like the spacious interiors we see on the show.
If you pay a visit to this address in Greenwich Village in NY you will be able to spot another difference with the TV series. Yes, this building doesn’t have any balconies.
So, don’t worry, you won’t have to see a renter throwing into the street the clothes of her Italian (ex)boyfriend like Rachel did in season one.
Do you want to get a feel of the neighbourhood where the gang lived? In our ‘Activities’ section we recommend you a couple of experiences around this area of NY, also home to Carrie Bradshaw!
WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK (Greenwich Village): Establishing shot of NY on the show.
Only 10 minutes away walking from the Friends apartment, it is located Washington Square Park. This is a famous park in the city that the TV series occasionally uses as an establishing shot of NY.
You won’t have any trouble recognizing the grand park’s fountain area and its impressive marble arch, even though they featured briefly on the show.
It’s true, we never saw Rachel, Ross, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler of Joey walking around Washington Square Park. But if this group of friends had actually lived in New York city we are sure they would have spent their free time at this park (apart from Central Perk, of course).
It is one of the best known public parks in the city for being a meeting point for cultural and political activities. A stop in your trip to NY to take a much needed brake and people-watching!
CHERRY LANE THEATRE (Greenwich Village): Joey's musical.
Barely 120 metres is the distance between the Friends apartment and the theatre where Joey premieres a musical play in season one called ‘Freud”. A short stroll along one of the most picturesque blocks in NY.
The whole gang attends to this “event” in Cheery Lane Theatre, located at 38 Commerce Street, to see her friend Joey dancing and singing while trying to mimic Freud’s German accent. A disturbing experience nonetheless.
Cherry Lane Theatre is really the oldest continuously running off-Broadway theatre in New York City. It is not possible to see Joey’s musical (sadly or luckily) but this theatre offers a range of productions for you to immerse yourself into the city’s cultural life. No bad German accents, we promise.
LUCILLE LORTEL THEATRE (Greenwich Village): Joey's play.
The Lucille Lortel is another theatre that makes its appearance in the show. In season three, Joey finally gets a new role in play and (Joey being Joey) he has a fleeting romance with his co-star Kate Miller, played by Dina Meyer.
This theatre is located at 121 Christopher Street, also very closed to the Friends apartment in Bedford Street and to the Cherry Lane Theatre. It was built in 1926 as a movie theatre (not a play theatre) but the interior is largely unchanged to this day.
BLOOMINGDALE’S (Upper East Side): Rachel's workplace.
We head now a bit up north towards Central Park, and at 59th Street and Third Avenue we find Rachel’s workplace: Bloomingdale’s Flaghip Store.
Bloomingdale’s is an American luxury department store chain where Rachel works as a personal shopper in the third season of the show.
But “Bloomingdale’s” a name we hear often in the Friends universe and waaaay before Rachel starts to work there. For example, do yo remember what Rachel asks Monica when she finds out her friend has been shopping with Ross’ new girlfriend?
“Okay Monica, I just have to know one thing… Did you go with her to Bloomingdale’s?”
So you know, if you visit this famous department store in the city, please, remember to take your friends with you (or you would be committing HIGH treason).
SOLOW BUILDING (Midtown): Chandler's workplace.
Nobody really knows what Chandler does for a living (is he a transponster?).
Beside the fact that he carries a briefcase and that it is something to do with numbers and processing, all we know about his work is that every morning he goes to the Solow Building, a skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan at 9 West 57th Street (near Fifth Avenue).
This building is 210 metres tall and was built back in the 70’s overlooking Central Park.
The Solow Building, and its characteristic design, has appeared in films like Superman or Zoolander. And the restaurant in its basement, the Brasserie 8 1/2, was a filming location for Sex and The City.
THE PLAZA (Midtown): Monica and Chandler engagement party.
The Plaza Hotel in New York is bot a luxury hotel and a condominium apartment west of Fifth Avenue, right at the southeastern corner of Central Park.
It is one of the most famous hotels in the whole world and the “modest” venue where Monica intends to celebrate her engagement with Chandler before Rachel “steals her thunder”.
The French Renaissence-inspired château style building opened in 1907 and its beauty has featured in films like Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Great Gatsby or Sleepless in Seattle to name a few.
HILL AND PULITZER FOUNTAINS (Central Park): "The fountain" from the opening credits.
Unfortunately, the fountain that appears in the opening credits of Friends is actually located at the Warner Bros. Studio outside Los Angeles.
However, if you are literally on the other coast of the country, in New York, and you still want to dance around a similar fountain to the rhythm of “I’ll be there for you”… we’ve got you covered! We suggest you visit two similar fountains which greatly resemble the one from the show.
Both fountains are located in Central Park, one being in Grand Army Plaza (Pulitzer Fountain) and the other in the Cherry Hill circular plaza (Cherry Hill Fountain).
You can easily see these two fountains while you go for a stroll in Central Park on you own. Or do you prefer joining a Central Park movie locations walking tour so you don’t miss a famous spot? Click on the ‘Activities’ button to know more!
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY (Upper West Side): Ross' workplace.
It is a well known fact that Ross loves dinosaurs since he was a little kid. And now as an adult, he works for the American Museum of Natural History as a paleontologist.
This museum is at 79th Street and Central Park West and it is one of the greatest science museums in the world.
The American Museum is Ross’ workplace in five season of the show (out of the ten there are in total). However, one day is fired when he has a panic attack because the director ate his sandwich. How dare he!
After this “incident”, Ross is hired by “the New York University”. And we use the quotation marks because the show doesn’t clarify if it is Columbia, NYC, Cornell or other university in the city.
The American Museum of Natural History was “brought to life” by the film Night at the Museum starring Ben Stiller. Visit our ‘Activities’ section if you want to explore this amazing museum when traveling to “The Big Apple!”
MOONDANCE DINER (SoHo): Monica's workplace.
Before becoming the recognised chef we all remember her as, in season three Monica worked as a waitress at a diner in SoHo.
The place in question was the legendary Moondance Diner. An American restaurant located at 80 Sixth Avenue the southernmost part of Manhattan.
Sadly, now it is impossible to visit this restaurant since it closed in 2007 due to rising rent. The iconic diner (and its revolving crescent moon) were then moved to Wyoming, but it closed definitely in 2012.
Not only Monica worked at this restaurant in Friends, Mary Jane and Jonathan Larson were also bartenders at the Moondance in Spider-Man and Tick, Tick… Boom! respectively. And this was also a filming location for a scene of Sex and the City.
We had already told you, the Moondance Diner was legendary!