The news that Netflix is streaming all episodes of Friends was welcomed by many people looking for something to cheer up the cold, January nights. If the return of the gang on your TV has made you long for coffee in Central Perk or a dance in a fountain to the strains of The Rembrandts, you could incorporate some of those sights on a break in the city that never sleeps.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking to stay awake, you’ll need to find somewhere other than Central Perk to get your caffeine fix because it doesn’t exist in New York. You can visit the iconic café as part of the Warner Brothers studio tour in Los Angeles, but in reality the café is called The Little Owl; not only is the interior very different, with not a giant couch in sight, but it also serves Mediterranean cuisine, rather than bowl-sized mugs of cappuccino.
Although most of the show was filmed in Los Angeles, you can visit the apartment block where Rachel, Monica, Joey and Chandler all lived, at the corner of Grove Street and Bedford Street in the West Village. You can also make a pilgrimage to the office where Chandler worked and the Pulitzer Fountain is close enough to the one created for the show to make an excellent photo op. If you’re looking for more than just sights, you could always visit the American Museum of Natural History, fictionalised in the show as the New York Museum of Prehistoric History where Ross worked. Or for the true New York experience, visit Rachel’s workplace of Bloomingdale’s. There are three stores in the city, the original on Third Avenue is the place to go – nine floors of shopping heaven in a beautiful Art Deco setting.
New York has been the setting for many iconic shows of recent years, from Sex and the City and Girls to darker dramas such as Mr Robot and Marvel’s Daredevil. If you’re spending January hibernating in front of the TV, look out for the many iconic locations you may want to visit later in the year. Don’t forget that as well as many TV shows, New York has played host to classic films as diverse as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, An Affair to Remember, Ghostbusters and Taxi Driver. You might want to sign up for a tour to make sure you don’t miss anything – or else you could just hop in a yellow cab just like Phoebe’s and wherever you choose to go, you’ll find the city is there for you.
Wherever you decide to go, take the prepaid explorer multi-currency Mastercard® as your travel companion. It is a convenient way to look after your money when you’re away from the UK and while you’re seeing the sights and maybe some locations from your favourite shows.
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