Why Friends is the Best

Last year marked 25 years since the first episode of the sitcom "Friends" first aired. While the celebrations are still ongoing (the anniversary was in September 2019) and a reunion has been announced,  I  started watching a full rerun of Friends AGAIN on Netflix. just before the end of the year when Friends was leaving the streaming service. Here I am going to explain why Friends is the Best, even after 25 years, and why I will keep watching it even when I am 80 years old!

The Storyline of Friends

Friends is about 6 friends: Rachel Greene(Jennifer Aniston) Ross Geller ( David Schwimmer) and his sister Monica Geller( Courteney Cox), Chandler Bing(Matthew Perry), Joey Tribbiani (Matt Leblanc) and Phoebe Buffett (Lisa Kudrow) who are living in New York City. It is mostly centered around a lilac colored apartment in the West Village on the corner of Grove street and Bedford street. Across the hall is a second apartment that gets a lot of air time. The friends spend a lot of time together, each have a special bond with one another, and you really see them mature in front of your eyes while we follow them in what life throws at them. Even though the storyline is a bit outrageous here and there, it is well-written by the shows creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, and all show's main characters shine at their own times. The whole show is thought out so well, that every part is why the show is such a success and most people love to watch it over and over again!

WATCH ME VISITING THE APARTMENT BUILDING OF MONICA GELLER IN THIS VIDEO:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDMkYFHV7Eg&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1JzuuUGqBrj4jktlGRDQE9KbQTGFkRTewBqujTffX3WYY_k1Z6Ntcn-2A

Friends intro

First of all, the intro helps this sitcom be a success. You hear an upbeat song that is easy to sing along and you are excited to watch another episode. Even if you are watching episode after episode, I notice I do not skip the intro but let it play, as it really makes me happy every time I hear (and see ) it.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs-HbHCcK58

 

Apparently the show was going to be called differently first "Friends like us" and the theme song would be REM's Shiny Happy People":

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl5751mttoE

As you can see this song is beautiful, but wrong. If they would have gone with this song and intro, I think it wouldn't have become such a success. Most people do not realize what an intro song does to how you perceive the rest of the show. The intro sets the tone. if the tone makes your heart make a little jump, most likely you also enjoy the rest of the show.

READ MORE: The story of the shoot for the final FRIENDS intro

Also, the lyrics (written by the Shows writers!) is like it really resonates with you.

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job's a joke, you're broke
Your love life's D.O.A
It's like you're always stuck in second gear
When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but....
I'll be there for you.....

Everybody has that feeling sometimes where everything is not going well and you have to keep the Faith and keep going!
or as Monica would say:

Welcome to the real World. It sucks, you're gonna love it

My thoughs on the storyline

Partly believable. For instance, the rent of the apartment of Monica and Rachel would be so high in real life they were probably not able to afford it. But what happens to each character in career and private life can happen in real life as I have been living in NYC for over 15 years and have seen even crazier things happen to myself or my friends! New York City is a place where spontaneous things happen. You go to a meeting and you end up at a theater show. You go grocery shopping and end up joining friends to a gallery opening. Anything is possible if you do not plan but just let life happen while being in NYC. (that's what I love so much about this City!) I also love Rachel and Ross getting together, even though I think Rachel was a bit hard on Ross at times. Chandler and Monica should have started dating earlier in the series if it was up to me. Phoebe had her shining moments with her songs "Smelly Cat" and others that stay in your head... Joey's storyline was great that he was so nice and struggling in his acting career but kept going and made it! Phoebe, Rachel, Monica and Joey all struggled throughout the ten years, but kept going. This is very normal in NYC. People never give up in getting a career. Ross had a steady job and even though Chandler switched jobs, he also had a more steady income stream. But most of all: I just love how most scenes happen at their cosy home. This is how I love my life too: with my best friends spending quality time at home!

Friends reruns over and over again

Why do I watch Friends reruns all the time and not other sitcoms? I mean, I watched other sitcoms, and also ones that are based in NYC like "How I Met Your Mother", "Seinfeld" and even "Sex and the City". But for some reason they all have something in the show that makes me not wanting to watch it again. Or that I am happy I watched it, but it was something that I watched during a certain stage of my life. Why do I keep watching Friends? I have thought about it, and these are my reasons why I still think Friends is the Best:

My 14 reasons why Friends is the Best

  1. Every time I hear the intro, it makes me happy!
  2. With everything bad going on in the World sometimes, it is great to just tune out and turn on a familiar sitcom you know is going to make you feel better!
  3. Everything was just better in the 90's/beginning of 2000's. When people did not have a cell phone yet and people would leave messages on their answering machines. If you watch the show episode after episode you see that this is a topic that comes back all the time.
  4. When I have to do household chores or work on my website or other serious things and I have to focus, I play a Friends episode in the background.
  5. Watching the show feels familiar as I also live in NYC and certain scenes are exactly like how a New Yorker would do it. For instance the episode where Rachel and Ross are going to do laundry together. It is so New York! (even though I am now one of the lucky few who has her own washer and dryer in her apartment, a true luxury in NYC!)
  6.  I walk by the street where the apartment is supposed to be located almost daily. Whereas the steps to the house of Sex and the City's Carry is not attracting as much attention anymore compared to years ago, the facade of the building that we see all the time in "Friends" episodes still gets many fans to visit to take pictures.. even though the apartment is not there as everything inside was filmed in a studio in Hollywood!
  7. The apartment itself is like a copy of my own apartment in NYC. I moved into my loft in 2006. My friends who have visited my apartment since, and who I have spent endless nights with chatting and cooking together remember the colorful green, orange, lilac, and blue walls all over, and the eclectic mix of furniture and little ornaments that I found at flea markets, the colorful and overpriced "Bazaar" ABC Carpet, or even sometimes on the streets of NYC (because New Yorkers throw out the most expensive stuff as space is expensive and storage is as well, throwing out a piece of furniture is a better financial option than storing it). I also had magnets on my fridge, I also had a weird lamp. Everything in my apartment goes together, while nothing matches and everything is all over the place. The way Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Joey, Monica and Phoebe use apartment 20, is how I have used my apartment over the years. A place to hang out for me and my friends and to host lovely holiday parties. While I have since toned down the colors on my walls ( I have grown up after all) the spirit of my apartment is still the same and I still love to have people over just like Monica did! And by the way.... I also have a naked guy in the apartment across the street in the Summers for years.
  8.  What Friends character am I? Reading the previous comment it is obvious that I am a "Monica". Or "Lonica" (how many people in the USA pronounce my name) I might just be a mix of brother and sister Geller. I am a cleaner, a cook and a perfect host, and a bit uptight sometimes ;) But I am also clumsy like Ross, I choose to be a bit naive like Ross, and I am funny when I am not trying to be funny, and I am not funny when I try to be funny: just like Ross. (and I might have been a bit like Phoebe for a while, when I was all into alternative healing stuff and a vegan lifestyle.) I am for sure not Rachel, Chandler or Joey.
  9. I have so many favorite scenes! Probably the ones with Ross (no not the Pivot scene, although it is good!) Like when he is on the phone with Julie and he has an issue to hang up and Rachel does it for him. And I loved the wedding of Monica and Chandler, and Phoebe in the Winter cold. Because I just love NYC in the snow.
  10. My favorite characters are from favorite to least favorite: Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe.
  11. My favorite guest characters are "Richard" Burke Monica's boyfriend played by Tom Selleck and of course.... JANICE!!
  12. I am not a crazy fan of Friends or the 6 celebrity lead actors, I do think they are great. These 6 people are one of the big reasons why this show is a success. What I am trying to say is that I appreciate all parts of the show equally. I also really like the writing and the way the show looked, the stages of the different scenes. It looked so colorful and cozy. Marta Kaufman once said the show is like comfort food, and I think that is exactly what it is!
  13. Rachel (I love her last name) ended up working at Ralph Lauren, Of course I love that because Ralph Lauren is also the reason why I could live in NYC.
  14. Is there something I don't like? Well, now I have matured myself, and now that I am married, I look back at the show a bit different than before. I now watch episode after episode, I noticed HOW MUCH DATING these characters do during 10 years! Just like Sex and the City this show is really pushing the notion that twenty year olds date a lot and sleep with a lot of different people in NYC. It is kind of normal. Now looking back, I think that part could have been a bit less.. But these love interests of the main characters have definitely given enough funny storylines in the show that is for sure!
A Holiday party with my friends at my apartment in NYC back in 2008/2009, when the walls were still bright orange and I had all this eclectic stuff everywhere!

 

Thanksgiving dinner with friends, hubby and my dog Vito at my home (when I had repainted the walls!)

Here are a few lovely scenes for you to reminisce, while I am going to overthink if I should get that "Friends" sweater that I saw at Urban Outfitters today...

Love, Lonneke
Updated in 2020

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKIauVdgk_Y


Sunset at Palmetto Bluff

My stay at the Palmetto Bluff Resort

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin (now known as Hailey Bieber) got married at this beautiful resort in South Carolina, called Montage Palmetto Bluff resort. Funny thing is that I had a photoshoot there for Ralph Lauren a few years ago, and I wrote an article for Organice Your Life about it! 

My trip to Palmetto Bluff

I am so lucky that I get to go to amazing locations for shoots. One time, I landed in Savannah, Georgia, and drove to a nearby town called Bluffton, where this amazing resort was located: The Inn at Palmetto Bluff.

The Cottages on the property.

Photo shoot

Here I shot Ralph Lauren, together with John Dennis, a male model I know from way back, when we shot Ralph Lauren when we were really young. That's the nice thing about the Ralph Lauren team: you really get to know each other, and become friends! This team was again a group of people that I have worked with for years, so it almost feels like going on vacation! 

The Spa plus pool & Gym

The resort itself

Back to the resort: The Palmetto Bluff is located on a 20.000 acres (!) piece of land. It used to be owned by a big industrial company, but then got sold and became a resort around 2006. And in and around 2008 it was taken over by the Auberge group, and it seems that in 2013 it was taken over by Montage Resorts . Now it is just an amazing resort with cottages, little villas, a little wedding chapel and located next to the beautiful May river. The food is great and you can find the southern hospitality here.

 

My roomservice salad with green beans, yellow beets and goat cheese.

The rooms

My cottage had a fireplace that turned on with the switch of a button. It also had a steam shower (loved it!) and a nice bathtub. Wireless internet is also for free, and there are a lot of local tv stations. You get a bike for free with your cottage so you can ride anywhere yourself (smart!). Or the golf carts can bring you anywhere.  Since our flight got delayed a day, we ended up spending more time at the resort, which was definitely not a bad thing!

The fireplace.

Ghost stories

I was told a story about a possible ghost haunting the premises, but I have not seen him! It is supposedly a little boy, who died over 100 years ago on this property. The manager of the resort told us he appeared to cleaners in the gym/spa area, and now nobody dares to clean by themselves. Honestly, I was fine, was not scared by that ghost, but did watch out for the alligators that are in the waters in the area.

The cemetery on the property of Palmetto Bluff. one of the people who died is a 3 year old boy, is he maybe the ghost?

Staying at Palmetto Bluff

But back to the good stuff: I really like the nature, the water and the resort in this area, and think it is beautiful to have a luxurious vacation, golfing or enjoying the high-class spa, or even get married! (This is most likely the chapel that Justin Bieber and Hailey got married in.)

 

The little chapel where you can get married, really cute and romantic!

Palmetto Bluff in the early evening.

 

I hope I can go back again sometime! I can recommend this beautiful property for a wonderful vacation or even a wedding. Wishing the Biebers lots of love in their marriage!

 

Love, Lonneke

First published on December 3rd 2010, updated in 2019


Interview with Corey Stanford, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Blazetrak.com

Corey Stanford, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Blazetrak.com, tells us about his successful online-based platform, which links the general public to established industry experts and celebrity talent, his healthy and green lifestyle, and his favorite charities.

So tell us about your company.

Blazetrak is an online-based platform that provides video access to the world’s top professionals in the areas of music, fashion, tv/film, sports, business & lifestyle.  It is the first website that allows you to get directly in touch with established industry experts and celebrity talent – and be guaranteed a direct video response.  Blazetrak has a roster of 400+ professionals utilizing the platform including Big Boi, from the Grammy Award-winning duo Outkast, Edyta Sliwinska, formerly with “Dancing With the Stars”, Tyson Beckford, Ralph Lauren Supermodel, Mathew Knowles, World-Renowned Music Executive, Tara Conner, Miss USA Winner, and Darren Sharper, of the New Orleans Saints.

We, at Organice Your Life®, promote a healthy and organic lifestyle in all areas of our life.  What do you do to stay healthy?

I workout six days a week, which includes taking a Zumba class, completing a Kukuwa Dance Workout, a strength-based session at the Firm Studios, playing basketball, and swimming. In addition to working out, I eat a well balanced meal on a daily basis, with the exception of Friday’s. I generally splurge with pizza on a Friday.

Does living a healthy lifestyle carry over into your work? Do you let others around you know the benefits of eating organically and being green?

Living healthy is not only part of my work; it’s a part of my life.  My wife is a physician and a workout fanatic. She continuously encourages me and leads by example. I frequently hear stories of her patients who end up in the hospital due to a poor lifestyle choice. Many of the complications she faces with her patients could have easily been avoided if they lived a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes we run to medicine as the solution when ultimately, the solution may be as simple as changing your diet or being physically active.  Instead of just telling my colleagues, associates, and friends the benefits of eating organically, or being green, I demonstrate it.  I walk to the grocery store. I carry my green shopping bags. Sometimes, I even post my grocery list on Facebook and Twitter.

As a very busy executive, what are the major drawbacks that you see regarding living a healthy life?  How do you overcome these? 

The major drawback is definitely traveling. It’s very difficult to maintain your balanced nutritional plan, when the only food selections around you are fast food restaurants.  To overcome this challenge, I typically pack FiberOne Bars and apples in my suitcase. It’s pretty amazing how full you become eating those two items. I also generally purchase a grilled chicken sandwich from a fast food restaurant. I have to admit, at times, I do succumb to the combo meal. However, I pay for it with an intense workout afterwards.

What are your healthy living secrets?

My healthy living secret is to partner with someone to stay healthy. Without my wife, I would have a difficult time. It can be a spouse, companion, friend, colleague, or associate. Encourage each other to eat healthy. Plan workout dates or even report to each other what you have done, good and bad. It really helps.

Do you have a favorite charity? What kind of charity have you been involved with?  Tell us about your charity.

My favorite charity is Rosie O’Donnell’s, Rosie’s Theater Kids. Rosie’s Theater Kids is an arts education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the arts. Using professional teaching artists, Rosie's Theater Kids provides instruction in dance, music and drama and a professional theater experience for children who might otherwise not have the opportunity. Blazetrak has supported this organization through in-kind donations, including capturing some of their highlighted moments on video (http://vimeo.com/29853752). Blazetrak Co-Founder Nathaniel Casey sits on the Jr. Board of Rosie’s Theater Kids as well.

Blazetrak has also recently become a premium sponsor and has partnered up with event producer Faisal Al-Juburi, who has assembled a consortium of not-for-profit organizations – including Friends In Deed; God’s Love We Deliver; Hispanic Federation; International AIDS Prevention Initiative; The NAMES Project Foundation; and Rosie O’Donnell’s Rosie’s Theater Kids - to serve as beneficiaries of funds raised at a gala event to be held in New York City during the week of World AIDS Day. This event, centered around a staged reading of QUILT - A Musical Celebration, will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the AIDS crisis and the 25th anniversary of The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. A large scale viewing of portions of The Quilt is also planned to coincide with the reading, curated to reflect panels made by and/or for New York City artists in the fields of theatre, music, and fashion.

Lastly, we’re also working with Blazetrak Advisory Board Member, Candice Cook, who has connected us with several global organizations. She is assisting us with developing a solution to integrate our technology with the non-profit sector, to spread awareness and receive donations online via our platform.

 

 


Ralph Lauren Romance ad

Nacho Figueras and wife Delfina Blaquier.

ralph Lauren ad

The latest ad for the Ralph Lauren  fragrance "Romance" is featuring Ralph Lauren Model/ successful polo player Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina. I have known them for a while working together for Ralph, and I was interested to know about their family life, for the latest issue of Organice Your Life® magazine "Family First." So I spoke to Delfina and Nacho about their lives in Argentina and the USA, their gorgeous kids and Nachos favorite food! Also just in time for Valentine's Day!- By Valentina Zelyaeva.

Let's start from the beginning: Delfina,  how did you two meet?

Delfina: In November 1997, I met Nacho when we were both watching a polo match (the Argentine open) in buenos aires. I was going up the stairs towards my seat and when I looked up he was looking down at me, standing, about to take his seat. he was a little further than where I was, and I felt that silence you get in an empty room. Later that day, we were introduced by my cousin whom I saw chatting with him, so I went and asked her who he was and she told me “his name is Nacho Figueras, and he asked me the same about you!” After that, we went on vacation separately as it was the end of the year and Summer holidays. Coincidentally, we met again that following March.

Nacho, you are a professional polo player, where did the love for horses come from? Was your family a big influence on your choice of profession?

Nacho: "My father loved the sport. he always wanted me to play. I started riding when I was 9 years old. Then, my father bought a farm close to the farm of his best friend, whose son Lucas also played polo and that’s how we became best friends."

Nacho playing polo

Delfina, tell us about your passion of photographer. What kind of photos do you like to take? Have you had any exhibitions already?

Delfina: "I’ve always loved art and photography. In 2003, Nacho’s grandfather gave me a 1963 Polaroid camera (which I still have and use when I can find film for it). I started taking portraits of Nacho’s horses, and then I got into a more creative mood so I began working on a fragmental image. That allowed me to speak with my eyes and show what I thought the beauty was in them. after that, I started portraying women in that same way. I approached things in a very simple manner, almost from the minimalist side, which again allowed me to portray the beautiful soul. and then I thought I would like to do the same with architecture. After that, I met Aldo Bressi, the great Italian photographer who moved to Buenos Aires and who later became my mentor. With him, I had showings in Buenos Aires Photo, in galleries, and at the Museum Centro Cultural Recoleta. Last September, an exhibition opened at Vered gallery in East Hampton, New York."

You two have 3 beautiful kids. How do you entertain them? What are their favorite things to do? Are they into horses as well?

D: "We do lots of riding, including our baby who loves riding with Nacho or me! Aurora rides a pony, and Hilario is already playing polo! I think my children inherited our passion for horses. We love to spend a lot of time together. Hilario is 11, Aurora is 6, and Artemio is 2 years old. As you can see their ages are varied, and their interests are as well. But the kids play a lot together and enjoy themselves, and I like that."

Ralph Lauren Romance ad with family

What do you find the most important things to teach your kids?

D: "For the boys I think that manners and to respect women are the most important things. Then I say to them ‘ Always look someone in the eyes when talking or listening to them!” That’s something that seems to be very difficult nowadays with so much going on. There’s too much information everywhere in this “multitasking” era we live in! I think that it is very important to keep true to yourself, so no matter what you are doing or who you are with you should never forget where you come from and who you are inside. and the key is to keep family together as much as you possibly can."

Do you have family traditions? Perhaps a sit- down dinner every evening? Or a family holiday getaway?

D: "Yes, we spend Christmas and the end of the year together. We have dinner at home with the kids every night, and I have lunch with Nacho every day since we live very close to the stables and polo grounds, that is, in the suburbs of Buenos Aires where all the polo is. So for us it is quite easy to stay together."

What is your favorite family summer vacation destination and why?

D: "We love going to the coast in Uruguay, or to our farm. We like to stay home or around home a lot as we don’t get to do as much of that as we’d like to, due to all the traveling during the year."

 Delfina, share with us your secret family recipe that is Nacho's favorite meal, and what is your kids favorite meal?

D: Every time we have rotelle with tomato and basil, i can see it in his eyes! he could have this meal every day and be the happiest man on earth.

Recipe for rotelle with tomato and basil:

  • Cook pasta following instructions. (it can be any pasta, but semolina based is better)
  • Cut cherry tomatoes in half. (organic or from a farm stand tastes so much better! it’s my son’s favorite!)
  • Grate parmesan cheese using a thick grater.
  • Use olive oil and balsamic vinegar as dressing and pepper makes it so much better!
  • If you like, you can add salt but i prefer not to as the parmesan has a lot in it already.
  • Get the basil leaves, wash, dry, and cut them.
  • Serve one bowl with the hot pasta and use a separate bowl for the tomatoes with parmesan and dressing.

 

Ralph Lauren Romance ad

Your romance fragrance ads look incredible! Tell us about the experience of making it. Where did it take place and how was it shooting together? And why do you think Ralph Lauren chose you to be the next "Romance" Couple?

D:  Thank you! It was shot in Argentina at my father’s estancia “La Concepcion”. That was where he and his siblings (he has 7 sisters and 1 brother) grew up-- some of them got married there. it was also where all of their children (my cousins and I) grew up, too. so it means a lot to all of us. We even got married there as well... I think Ralph Lauren falls in love with real things and real people. He saw a real family in us and “Romance” for me goes beyond a romantic dinner or getaway with your boyfriend/husband. Once you have children you experience this whole new love--this whole new “romance”. you share so many things together so you find romance in small things, like in a conversation, or making future plans while lying by the fire together...or just finding time to spend alone... which is hard nowadays due to the speed of the World.

Watch here a behind-the-scenes video of the Ralph Lauren Romance commercial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvkojBAfvqw

What does "Home" mean to you?

D: Home is home. It is where we find each other at ease. We make the world our home, and sometimes we are lucky to be in Buenos Aires where our family is and our house and horses too. but as I said before, home can be anywhere as long as we feel safe and together.

Ralph Lauren Romance

Buy the fragrance here: Ralph Lauren Romance Womens 3.4 oz EDP

Follow Nacho Figueras on Twitter

Follow Organice Your Life® on Twitter

Watch the commercial here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfwtM5khSYs

 

This interview was published on OrganiceYourLife.com by Valentina Zelyaeva on February 11th 2012.