Friends, was my favorite sitcom of the 90’s. It made living in New York, while surrounded by quirky personalities and frequenting a hip coffee shop very alluring. As a suburban teenager, I escaped my ordinary carpool/private school existence through the television.
However, living my life vicariously through fictionalized characters in a coffee shop, which was actually in the Valley didn’t seem as appealing. My life goal was to live the most interesting life.
When I moved to New York it mirrored a child running loose in F.A.O. Schwartz. Everything was filled with wonder, curiosity and happiness. After my first few months in the city, I wandered everywhere by myself. I took myself out to coffee on the Upper East Side, long walks in Central Park & day trips to Brooklyn. Something was missing. As I sat on the steps of a Broadway theatre an epiphany hit me. I need friends.
My first step was to start volunteering at the Gay & Lesbian Center. I volunteered at an event and met my first friend in the City, Gino. He and I took one look at each other and knew we were destined to be life long friends. We hit it off instantly. After the event, we wandered the East Village, eating falafel, grabbing Starbucks and people watching on Saint Mark’s Place. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
My voyage to create an ideal urban family progressed. Soon, I made friends everywhere from the subway, market & work, to the park, walking the pavement and even my stoop. I then had enough characters to make any 90’s sitcom memorable. Not only did the fast paced concrete jungle have a cozy side; having friends to share the city with made it exciting.
Today, I am edging closer to a thirty-something and working on establishing my copywriting career in New York. Although, I don’t have a rent controlled large apartment on Bedford Ave, there are plenty of colorful characters to inspire me on a daily basis. I also have my own version of Central Perks in the East Village, of course.