#24YearsOfFriends: Can you guess how much does Monica's apartment cost?
An opening scene in an unassuming coffee shop kicked off the cultural phenomenon that is 'Friends'. It has been more than two decades since the show debuted on NBC on September 22, 1994, yet its popularity remains strong. However, some fans have asked a pertinent question: how did Rachel and Monica manage to get that premium apartment in Manhattan? And we have the answer.
Fans of the show would remember Monica's perfectly arranged apartment, with the purple walls and iconic yellow frame on the door. What they might not have noticed is that the apartment is really spacious by Manhattan standards. Rachel and Monica shared a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment with a balcony. The floor space was estimated to be between 1,125 and 1,500 square feet.
According to Yardi Matrix, a real estate research company, an average two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan is 975 square feet. This clearly makes Monica's apartment above average. No wonder, Chandler and Joey were ecstatic when Monica and Rachel lost their apartment to them, in a game.
All this talk about Monica's apartment must take into consideration that the apartment scenes were shot at the Warner Bros. studio, set in California. However, the exterior shots of the apartment showed a real building on 90 Bedford Street, in Manhattan's pricey West Village. In fact, the show has plenty of parts where characters refer to the locality as 'the Village'.
The apartment was so nice, that even the show makers gave a reason how Monica could afford it. She inherited a rent-controlled lease from her grandmother and had to pay only $200 a month, in rent. However, considering Monica and Rachel went through unemployment, and Rachel waitressed for the first 2 seasons, it is surprising they held on to the apartment for a decade.
Monica and Rachel could never have afforded the apartment at current costs. The average two-bedroom in West Village is rented for $4,500, monthly. The rent for an apartment at the exact location where Monica's apartment was would be between $7,000 to $8,000, monthly. Though the fictional apartment had no elevators, its 'massive' size would fetch a whopping $2 million, if someone bought it.