You might not have moved on from Friends, but the people of New York City’s West Village certainly have. Warner Bros. Television had been planning to close off the sidewalk at Bedford and Grove streets for a Friends photo op with the iconic orange couch from the Central Perk coffee shop. The sidewalk is right outside the building now famous as the exterior of the Friends apartment, but it’s also part of a real neighborhood, and the residents are clear: They don’t want thousands of tourists crowding their streets for a chance at a selfie on an ugly orange couch.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the sitcom, Superfly, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and Warner Bros. Television Group are organizing a Friends NYC pop-up experience — complete with set recreations, costumes, and props — in the heart of SoHo from September 7 to October 6. And for the locals, that’s already plenty to worry about — no need to block the sidewalk with a large piece of furniture. According to the Community Board’s resolution, the sidewalk is “incredibly narrow and cannot contain the throngs of people anticipated for this event.”
Residents at the building on Bedford and Grove streets claim to already have plenty of tourists hanging around their homes on regular days and don’t need to get any more attention.
Despite this setback, Warner Bros still plans to pursue the pop-up project. “We are hopeful we can still move forward with the permit,” said a spokesperson for the company, “and create a unique experience for fans of the series.”