New York, New York … it’s a helluva a town to portray on television.
From “Friends” to “Sex and the City” and “Seinfeld,” Hollywood has made a habit of portraying New York City homes as comfortable apartments where all your closest friends can gather in a sprawling living rooms (I’m looking at you, Monica Geller), newspaper columnists can afford walk-in closets and cereal boxes can be left open without the slightest worry about bugs, rats or roaches.
The great minds at The Washington Post recently broke down what our favorite TV apartments would actually cost.
GIRLS (2012 – 2017)
Hannah Horvath: In Hannah Horvath, Lena Dunham made “millennial” a household word. She may have thought herself the “voice of a generation” but the barista who eventually became a freelance journalist probably wouldn’t be able to afford the rent on her 2-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood. Her pad is estimated to cost anywhere from $2,200 to $3,000. An unattainable expense for a character who said she made less than $24,000 a year as a freelance writer.
Shoshanna Shapiro: On “Girls”, Shoshanna (played by Zosia Mamet) gushes that she landed her Nolita studio on Elizabeth Street near Broome Street for an “amaze!” price at $2,100 a month. And she’s right. The real-life cost of the studio in that area ranges from $2,000 to $2,500 a month.
FRIENDS (1994 – 2004)
Rachel Green and Monica Geller: Pizza. Bagels. 24-hour public transportation. New York City has it all. One thing the Big Apple simply doesn’t have? Massive rent-controlled apartments where two 20-something best friends live … and their best friends move across the hall. Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Monica (Courteney Cox) live in the West Village at 90 Bedford Street while they struggle to figure out their careers, love lives and friendship. One thing to add to that list could have been the rent: the real-life cost of a spacious two-bedroom is around $4,500 a month.
SEX AND THE CITY (1998 – 2004)
Carrie Bradshaw: Carrie would have never set foot in a shoe store if she knew what her apartment actually cost. The columnist, whose mused professionally for the New York Star, paid a jaw-droppingly low rent of $750 a month for her Upper East Side home at 245 E. 73rd Street (although no such building exists and the exterior shots were actually filmed in front of 66 Perry Street in the West Village). The truth is she’d have to write a lot more for Vogue (where she was famously paid $4 a word) to afford the $2,800 rent.
SEINFELD (1989 – 1998)
(Image credit: Hulu/Monica Schipper)
Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry was funny, but let’s face it, laughs don’t pay the rent. While claims were made the stand-up comedian benefitted from rent control, a 1-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side (129 W. 81st) actually cost $1,550 a month in 1993.
THE JEFFERSONS (1975 – 1985)
George and Louise Jefferson: As the theme song famously recounts, George and Louise moved on up from Queens to a “deluxe apartment in the sky” … or a luxury apartment on the Upper East Side. Though on the show George and Louise’s rent was never specified, the real-life cost of their Park Lane Tower home at 185 E. 85th would range from $600 to $800. With the success of George’s dry-cleaning business, “it makes sense that the couple would take advantage of their newfound wealth,” the Washington Post writes.
I LOVE LUCY (1951 – 1957)
Lucy and Ricky Ricardo: The producers behind “I Love Lucy” were right on the money when they claimed the couple paid $125 for their home at 623 E. 68th Street. Classifieds from the Village Voice during the 1950s show several one-bedroom apartments asking for a similar rent, specifically $150 a month for a one-bedroom near the East River. But paying slightly below market rates didn’t keep the musician and the housewife from trading in their 99-year lease for a home in Connecticut (something that still makes this New Yorker cringe).
Check out more apartments (plus awesome graphics and floor plans) over on Washington Post.