Anyone who's ever watched Friends will tell you: The show makes you daydream about moving to New York. The sitcom just makes it seem like the ideal place to live, especially for those who are bored of their unexceptional suburban lives. There, in Friends' NYC, you'll meet interesting people, your buddies will always be steps away, and anything you can possibly ever want is right at your fingertips. To some extent, that's true. Opportunities for anything—careers, meet-cutes, awkward encounters with homeless people—are boundless in the city and every one is so crammed together on the tiny island that you're bound to always be near a friend or two.
But it isn't utopia and things, as any naive former suburbanite will come to find out, will not come as easily to you as it did Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Monica, Ross, and Rachel. In honor of the series finale's 10th anniversary, this everything Friends makes you expect from the New York—and the harsh reality you actually have to deal with.
You'll be able to afford a huge two bedroom apartment in Manhattan.
Not only will you be living the life in the most spacious apartment ever built in Manhattan, but you'll also fill the second room with your very best friend. Cherry on top of the cake? Your other besties live across the hall! Friends fueled your middle school daydreams. You and your buddies were going to live with each other and never ever think about going back to your hometown. (Your mom won't even let you stay at the mall past 8 p.m.)
Enter: Reality, where a four-bedroom with eight roommates in the dodgy parts of Brooklyn sets you back at least $800 a month. Also, you like your friends, but the thought of most of them being around you 24/7 is exhausting. Living with your best friend proves to be the quickest way to end up hating your best friend. Do your dishes and clean the toilet for once, Eric, swear to God.
Your spot at the local coffee shop will always be open.
Hahaha, oh man, hilarious. Good luck even finding a spot to sit in your packed coffee shop, let alone your regular spot. Even the backless chair with the wobbly table and no outlet nearby is taken. Do people have regular coffee shops? Maybe just the "writers" looking desperately for a fresh face for a character, conflict for their screenplay, and free WiFi because Time Warner Cable will literally penetrate your ass.
There's no way you'll find a big comfy couch and numerous plush armchairs for you and five of your friends. Tight on money? Gunther isn't even going to throw you a bone and hire you unless you've got two years experience as a latte artist and he sure as shit isn't going to let you perform original songs with an acoustic guitar.
You will never ride the subway.
After all, you already live in Manhattan, your only friends live across the hall, and the only business you frequent—your coffee shop—is downstairs. Where would you possibly need to take the train to? Plus, your slightly unstable but well-meaning friend is a cab driver. You'll never have to upturn a baby carriage to get onto a packed train or elbow a grandma in the face for the last seat on a rank-smelling train. That's for peasants—people who live in Brooklyn and Queens (God save your soul if you live in Staten Island or New Jersey).
You won't get Hepatitis from dancing in a fountain.
Spoiler alert: you will. You'll also probably be arrested for it—we don't know, we aren't the cops. But that water is dirty as hell. Hobos take baths in there and birds poop in there, man. Don't do this, sane people don't do this. Your shoes are ruined.
You'll land your dream job.
Rachel became an assistant buyer for Bloomingdale's then worked for Ralph Lauren with no work experience in her life besides coming from a rich family. So that's not you. Joey became a famous soap opera actor. Soaps don't really exist anymore, so you're out of luck. Monica's a head chef at a fancy restaurant. You can't boil an egg. Ross does stuff with dinosaurs—boring stuff. Phoebe is a street performer and a masseuse, but you don't have the talent nor the loving aura for that.
More likely than not, you'll get job like Chandler's: a boring one you'll loathe entirely. And that's if you're lucky. Most people in New York do temp work or joyless and demeaning retail/fast food jobs. To break into any business in the city is near impossible without giving two years of unpaid work as an intern, and most of us can't afford to work for free.
Hope Schreiber is a freelance writer. Her father was a beekeeper and her mother was allergic to bees. Her Twitter is here.