Illustration by Amy Chase, Staff Illustrator
Dearest Central Perk,
You have been so good to us all. When times are tough, you are a welcoming comfort from the stresses of life. And I am so glad that comfort is once again easily accessible with Friends finally debuting on Netflix, and it will continue to be a major part of my life.
Central Perk first brought some great friends into our lives, and gave our dear friend Rachel her first job, and her first sense of independence from her father and his trust fund. Ross and Rachel had their first kiss here, leading to their seemingly never-ending off-and-on relationship. It is also where Ross drones on and on about his job as a paleontologist, and everyone else pretends to be interested. Sometimes.
It is where Chandler, oh sarcastic Chandler, attempted to break up with his awful girlfriend, Janice, drinking countless shots of espresso in the process. It was this moment of stress-based, caffeine-fueled nerves that made me feel better about my own coffee addiction. It is also where he has made countless witty quips to us all from the pleasure of the comfiest-looking couch I know. And just because his jokes may be rather immature, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t hilarious in their own way.
It is on this same couch that Monica has complained about her parents so obviously favoring her older brother, and their disappointment in her often nonexistent love life which, though unfortunate, gives people hope.
Much like Monica, on a bad day, I turn to Phoebe and Joey for easy laughs. While customers sip lattes and espresso, Phoebe plays her guitar and sings about her smelly cats. The customers of Central Perk and I have learned to love her not so great performances, and I still struggle to get that song out of my head every time I hear it. Phoebe meets Mike here, though it may be in very strange circumstances, but what about Phoebe isn’t just a little bit weird?
Speaking of weird, Joey has also had his moments here. Many of those moments include flirting and the fabled pick-up line “How you doin’?”, but we love him just the same. He has rehearsed his lines here for his many odd acting auditions, and he has even worked here when that wasn’t working out the way it should have been.
So much has transpired at this lovely café. Some may think it’s weird that these people spend so much time together, but maybe they are all the friends they need. It is not only when I’m feeling down that I take a trip to Central Perk to enjoy it with them; I venture to that cozy coffee cantina whenever I feel like it. Sure, the now outdated clothing and electronics are pretty funny, but so are the people! Central Perk is the place to go when you are having a bad day. It is a place of comfort, familiar faces, and easy laughs. Although we all evolve as people, Central Perk remains the same.
Thank you, Central Perk, for allowing this group of people to take over your comfy couches and talk about their days. Thank you for the stories, for the funny ones, the sad ones, and the average ones. Thank you cheering me up when I need it and for entertaining me when boredom strikes. Thank you for being in my life in the past and continuing to do so today.
Most of all, thank you for staying in business for all of these years.
A Frequent Customer