A Friend Til the End

My first apartment was in New York City. The walls were purple, the peephole had an empty gold frame around it and we could see an ugly naked guy from the window. There was a lot of laughter, a few tears, and, most importantly, friends.

Chandler, Monica, Joey, Phoebe, Ross and Rachel may be fictional characters, and their purple apartment may have just been a set, but to me and millions of other viewers, that apartment meant something. To this day it’s my comfort blanket; whenever I feel really stressed or sad, I put on my “Friends” DVDs and am transported back inside those four walls.

Sure, the entire set-up is completely implausible. Monica’s two-bedroom, two-bath apartment was in Greenwich Village, in the heart of SoHo. I’m sure you can make decent money as a chef, and Rachel did have that gig with Ralph Lauren, but could they really afford a place that, in reality, would have cost as much as $5,000 a month?

Probably not—but that’s the beauty of TV.

“Friends” gave me a lot of expectations—some realistic, many not—about my 20s, from love to friendships to apartment living. When the series ended, I wanted my own amazing apartment just as much as I wanted to find my lobster. (In “Friends” speak, “your lobster” is your soulmate—the Ross to your Rachel.)

When I moved into my own apartment a few years later, it didn’t quite have the glitz and glam of Monica and Co.’s pad. We didn’t have a wall of windows overlooking the city, or exposed brick, or our best friends living across the hall. But my apartment did have one thing in common with the one on “Friends”—in many ways, it’s defined my 20s and given me my first taste of adulthood. 

Within those walls, I’ve lived with two best friends, watched—and screamed at—my roommate as she tried to shove an entire, uneaten lasagna down the garbage disposal, planned trips across the country and world, fell in love, spent countless nights watching horrible reality TV with my best friend and marked each passing year.

On the surface, my apartment has nothing in common with the one shared by six of our favorite friends. But really, it has everything in common. Both apartments have silently starred in our lives, serving as background characters that were always there for us when it hasn’t been our day, our week, our month or even our year.

But that’s just one apartment story; now we want to hear from you. As NAA celebrates its 75th anniversary, we want to hear about your own apartment memories—real, fictional or somewhere in between. What do you remember most about your first apartment? What crazy, funny, memorable things happened inside of those walls? Send your thoughts—and pictures—to me, Lauren.

Don’t be shy—you’re among friends.

Lauren Boston is NAA’s Staff Writer and Manager of Public Relations. Unsurprisingly, she writes a lot—most often for units Magazine and as a weekly blogger for APTly Spoken. She enjoys making people laugh, sharing embarrassing childhood stories and being the (self-proclaimed) Voice of the Apartment Industry. She welcomes feedback, unless it’s negative (in which case, please keep it to yourself).