On September 22, 1994, the TV show Friends premiered on NBC. Airing 10 seasons, it was consistently one of the most popular shows on television, and after decades of syndication, one of the most popular in history. And for a generation of young 20-somethings, it shaped their views of, and in many ways reflected their experience of, what their lives were supposed to be like. While the show was shot in Burbank, California, almost all it was supposed to take place in Greenwich Village, where the apartments of all of its main characters were located. Thus it also shaped a generation’s views of what living in Greenwich Village, even if your job was a joke and you were broke, was like. In honor of the show’s 25th anniversary, we take a look at the places where Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Monica, and Chandler were supposed to have lived, and how the TV world Friends created lined up (or didn’t) with reality.
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‘Friends’ in NYC: How plausible were the Greenwich Village apartments depicted in the hit ’90s series?, Thu, September 12, 2019
Listing images by May Pearl; courtesy of CORE
When interior design couple Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent bought their former Greenwich Village penthouse in 2013, they also picked up this charming one-bedroom at nearby 2 East 12th Street. After carefully styling the space with “a mix of vintage finds and pieces from their current collections,” the duo has just listed the cozy pad for $800,000. For an added price, prospective buyers can choose to purchase the apartment fully furnished—including major bragging rights for living in a quintessential Village home, styled head-to-toe by the celebrity designers.
Listing photos by Chris Riccio, courtesy of the Corcoran Group
In all of Taylor Swift’s $84 million real estate portfolio–including almost $50 million worth of property in downtown NYC–only the pop megastar’s former rental at 23 Cornelia Street gets a mention on “Lover,” the just-released album enjoying a typically frenzied response from her vast and loyal fan base. In fact, the Greenwich Village address gets its own track: “Cornelia Street” references tender memories of the carriage house Swift was renting for $39,500 a month from Soho House executive David Aldea in 2016 while renovations were underway at an $18 million Tribeca townhouse she’d bought. In the song, she tells a new squeeze “I rent a place on Cornelia Street.”
Many artists have been inspired by the scenes of life in New York City, particularly Lower Manhattan. But perhaps no artist captures the feeling of New York during the hot, heavy days of August like the painter John Sloan. Sloan was one of the leading figures of the “Ashcan School” of artists of the early 20th century, a loosely-defined movement which took its name from a derisive reference to the supposed lowbrow quality and themes of their work, and the smudgy, impressionistic brushstrokes they utilized. His workaday subjects and hazy images of city life capture the heaviness of the air of New York during its dog days. Here’s a look at some of those paintings of life in our city 100 years ago.
On August 8, 2008, Village Preservation and the East Village Community Coalition (EVCC) submitted a request to the LPC to landmark a little-known but remarkable survivor– Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 515 East 6th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A. The building was the last operating “tenement synagogue” in the East Village. A young, little-known developer named Jared Kushner was planning to tear it down and replace it with condos and a new space for the tiny congregation, which had operated out of the building since 1910.
The story has a (relatively) happy ending – the synagogue and much of its surroundings were landmarked in 2012, and the demolition plan was dropped. But unlike the deservedly beloved and celebrated Eldridge Street Synagogue, now a National Historic Landmark, Mezritch is one of several unique but in many cases overlooked historic synagogues still standing in and around Greenwich Village, the East Village, and the Lower East Side, which in the early 20th century contained what was by many accounts the largest Jewish community in the world. Ahead, we take a look at the history of seven of them and what makes them so unique.
Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Greenwich Village apartment of Museum Hack founder Nick Gray. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
A few years ago, a date brought Nick Gray to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and showed him all of the pieces she really loved. Something clicked. “The passion was contagious,” Nick said. “I went back to the museum dozens of times, iPad in hand, doing a deep dive into the pieces I found most interesting.” As this became a serious hobby, Nick, who has no background in art or history, began inviting friends to join him at the Met to teach them fun facts about lesser-known works of art and artifacts. What started as a new obsession with museums, grew into Museum Hack, a million-dollar company that leads “renegade” small-group tours of museums in New York City and four other cities.
Nick’s enthusiasm follows him into his Greenwich Village apartment, where its minimalist design comes packed with memories. On a recent tour of his apartment–which boasts super tall ceilings, a skylight, and a wood-burning fireplace–he eagerly showed us a wall covered with polaroids of friends, his blue velvet couch inspired by a piece of furniture at the Met, and a large photo of “the craziest party” he’s ever thrown. Ahead, tour Nick’s bright pad, take his advice for museum newbies and learn about what he has planned next (it involves guacamole).
It’s tough to find family-sized apartments in downtown Manhattan neighborhoods, but this split two-bedroom co-op in the classic Bakery Building at 42 West 13th Street in Greenwich Village, asking $2.25 million, has room to create a third bedroom. Other people-friendly pluses include a recent renovation, a sunny terrace that spans the length of the apartment, plenty of room for living and dining, zoned central air conditioning, and 10.5-foot ceilings.
After 25 years as the home of The Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, this 3,200 square-foot duplex condo asking $3.75 million is still a classic Village live/work loft. The late, famed photographer Phillip Leonian is known for his iconic portrait of Muhammad Ali in a crown and red velvet robe; the foundation has funded photographic education and documentary photography across the United States. The American Felt Building at 114 East 13th Street was once home to the suppliers of the hammer and bushing felt for the Steinway piano company; it was among the area’s first to be re-purposed for loft living, loved for the high ceilings and massive windows that made former industrial spaces so popular.
While upgrading water mains under Washington Square Park in 2015, city workers unearthed two 19th-century burial vaults containing the skeletal remains of at least a dozen people. As part of Landmarks Preservation Commission protocol, intact burials were left untouched, but the city had removed several hundred bone fragments. Four years later, plans to rebury the remains under the park are moving forward as the Parks and Recreation Department presents its idea to place the fragments in a “coffin-sized” box, according to the Villager.
Via NPCA on Flickr
Millions will converge in New York City this weekend to celebrate events which took place in and outside of a Greenwich Village bar 50 years ago. The Stonewall Riots will not only be memorialized here in New York City, but those events have come to take on international significance. There are celebrations and marches in countries across the globe, with the name ‘Stonewall’ also used by countless organizations and entities around the world to signify the quest for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality.
But 50 years ago those three nights of protests were barely noticed beyond the boundaries of the local neighborhood and a small but energized group of activists and rabble-rousers. They garnered little media attention, and most of the attention received was pretty negative – including from the gay community. So how did the events at the Stonewall 50 years ago go from an obscure set of disturbances at the tail end of the decade marked by strife and disorder, to an internationally-recognized symbol of a civil rights movement? Ahead, learn about Stonewall’s long road to becoming a civil rights landmark.