Charlotte, as experienced by every ‘Friends’ personality

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CharlotteFive archives

So no one told you life was going to be this way… 

“Friends” is incredibly relatable. Even though the show originally aired in the ‘90s, the scenarios and comraderie of the characters parallel scenarios we still experience today. 

Whether you’re trying to keep your cool at work after someone ate your sandwich, or arguing over whether you and your current fling were “on a break”, you can likely pinpoint which character you embody on a day-to-day basis. 

The upcoming Friends Trivia Bar Crawl, which starts at Lucky’s Bar and Arcade on Saturday at 4 p.m., inspired us to consider where each “Friends” character would frequent in Charlotte. 

Based on rigorous research (watching all 236 episodes multiple times over the past 10 years), we’ve compiled a list of things to do in the Queen City, based on your “Friends” personality.

Chandler: The one who wants to relax

It’s tough to be a “transponster” all week, and you just want to unwind. 

“I’ve had a very long, hard day.” — Chandler Bing

As Chandler, it’s obvious that you work a bank job as an IT professional, or, as your friends call it — a “transponster.” No one truly understands what you do, but you look forward to relaxing after a long day of work. After all, it’s tough practicing your “work laugh” around the water cooler.

Instead of perusing your TV Guide addressed to Ms. Chanandler Bong or heading in for a bubble bath, consider other options that will relieve stress and promote relaxation: 

The city offers a myriad of yoga classes, from classes for beginners to advanced hot yoga. Check out NoDa Yoga’s original location, which offers adaptive, yin, gentle, warm, vinyasa and restorative yoga, among others. Its new location opens in Oakhurst in January. 

[Related: Exclusive: NoDa Yoga expanding to Oakhurst, opening second location near Swirl bakery]

NoDa Yoga
CharlotteFive archives

For intense hot yoga that will leave you feeling refreshed — and sweaty — book a class at Yoga One

[Related: Fitness classes that won’t have you saying, ‘Thank u, next’]

“It’s a Sunday; I don’t move on Sundays.” — Chandler Bing

Sundays, on the other hand, prove an ideal day to draw a bubble bath while mentally preparing for another workweek. Consider creating the ultimate sanctuary with a candle made just for you. Drop by The Candle Bar in the Design Center for a class where you select your own vessel and fragrance before pouring a candle personalized to your tastes.

[Related: Your guide to what’s coming to South End—from The Railyard to The Design Center]

If you’re planning a day in bed or on the sofa, grab a few novels from a local bookstore like Park Road Books or Main Street Books to read in your pajamas post-bath. 

Main Street Books
Photo by Jessica Swannie

[Related: Get off your phone (after you read this): 11 ways to disconnect and relax]

[Related: Day trip to Davidson: Explore a bookshop, eat Bolognese, visit a dog park]

Could this BE any more relaxing?

Joey: The one who loves food

No more sharing small plates.

“Joey doesn’t share food.” — Joey Tribbiani

Charlotte harbors a strange obsession with tapas, but you, Joey Tribbiani, understand the importance of a hearty meal that’s not meant for sharing. Feed your Italian roots with a big bowl of penne alla vodka from Mama Ricotta’s or say “how you doin’” to a pound of hand-made pasta coupled with fresh focaccia from Pasta & Provisions. If you bring it home and spill on the carpet, no worries — it’s Joey’s place!

Mama Ricotta's Penne Alla Vodka
CharlotteFive archives

[Related: A pasta addict ranks the 9 best places for pasta in Charlotte]

[Related: Gems of the Queen City: Mama Ricotta’s]

“You hung up on the pizza place? I don’t hang up on your friends.” — Joey Tribbiani

If you invited a few friends over and want to enjoy dinner on a budget, consider a Joey Tribbiani favorite: pizza.

The Sicilian pizza at Hawthorne’s New York Pizza and Bar will feed a crowd. This 18” authentic New York style pizza is prepared with a thick crust, sauce and mozzarella cheese. Or head to Bisonte Pizza Co. for pizza cooked with a family recipe. The owners hail from Buffalo, so you know the side of wings will be worth the extra money. 

[Related: 5 places to get a bite of Buffalo, NY in Charlotte, from wings to hot dogs]

Monica: The one who thrives on organization and winning

You’re the planner of the friend group, but your picks for fun may bring out your competitive side.

“We’re supposed to start having fun in 15 minutes.” — Monica Geller

Running out of ideas for an exciting weekend afternoon outside of the coffee shop that will please everyone? Consider one of your favorite hobbies — cooking. Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen offers hands-on classes, where attendees will prepare flavorful meals with seasonal ingredients. Check out her calendar of upcoming classes here

Chef Alyssa's Kitchen
CharlotteFive archives

[Related: 10 basic cooking skills and terms you should know by the time you’re 30]

Or, encourage your friends to embrace your organizational skills in a SkillPop class like Decluttering Your Space. The class, offered Aug. 22 at Hygge Coworking West, will teach a minimalistic approach to living and how to go from chaos to calm in your living space. 

“I’m winning because I’m better than you.” — Monica Geller

If your friends prefer to forgeo cooking and cleaning on the weekends, channel your Thanksgiving flag-football-winning spirit into a competitive afternoon. During the warmer months, head to the U.S. National Whitewater Center for a rafting trip, rock climbing excursion or ropes course, where you can show off your athletic skills. Or, challenge your comrades to a game of bowling or shuffleboard at Queen Park Social.

U.S. National Whitewater Center
Courtesy of U.S. National Whitewater Center

Phoebe: The one who doesn’t conform 

While your group of friends prefers the popular, you prefer the eccentric, off-the-beaten-path finds.

“Ugh, look at this. Pottery Barn, yuck.” — Phoebe Buffay

You appreciate finding unique, eclectic pieces instead of what you believe to be mass-produced and inauthentic. Instead of heading to a big-name furniture store to find an apothecary table, you choose to seek out the pieces with a story at local antique stores. 

Instead, you spend the afternoon perusing Nadeau, coined “furniture with a soul,” or wandering The Sleepy Poet Antique Mall for a one-of-a-kind piece. 

Rachel: The one who’s learning to “adult”

You just moved to the city and realized you need to learn to fend for yourself. 

“I’m gonna go get one of those job things.” — Rachel Green

The Charlotte region added more than 8,000 jobs since last year and has added new jobs every quarter since Q4 2010, according to a report by the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. Whether you’ve recently moved to the city or you’re seeking a new role, try joining a networking group to find your niche and meet people with whom you may see a professional future.

Popular networking groups include:

Ellevate: a professional women’s network comprised of successful, motivated women from various industries. Look out for upcoming chapter events like Cooking and Entrepreneurship with Chef Alyssa.

Creative Mornings: Originally started in New York, this collective is designed to celebrate the city’s talent and provide a space to connect with like-minded individuals.

Charlotte Alliance Young Professionals: Created by the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, this group cultivates a young and diverse workforce by providing leadership growth and professional development through networking and community service. Look for luncheons, after-hours mixers and annual signature events.

[Related: For ultimate adulting status, have these 10 documents by the time you’re 35]

“Does this look like something the girlfriend of a paleontologist would wear?” — Rachel Green

Once you’ve found the ideal role, it’s time to dress the part. Ditch the blazer you bought for your college internship interviews and head to local boutiques to find the perfect first-day outfit. After all, since you’re Rachel Green, you love to shop.

These local boutiques are the perfect place to start for a work chic look:

Ivy & Leo
CharlotteFive archives

Ivy & Leo: Think cute, but affordable. This shop, with locations in Uptown (100 N. Tryon St. in Founder’s Hall) and SouthPark (6401 Morrison Blvd., #13-A) offers a colorful selection of tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories that cater to the young professional. 

Laura James Jewelry: Looking for a statement piece for your next big meeting? Shop local to find unique, handmade earrings and necklaces prepared by Laura James. Find her brick-and-mortar shop in Cotswold Marketplace (200 N. Sharon Amity Rd.).

[Related: 8 must-have spring arrivals from local shops]

Capitol: Have a big budget? Check out this SouthPark boutique for labels like Marc Jacobs, Givenchy and Proenza Schouler. For a smaller budget, their sister concept, Poole Shop, features up-and-coming designers.

Ross: The one with the knowledge

You know so much, and you want your friends to share that passion for seeking more knowledge.

Y-O-U-‘-R-E means ‘you are,’” Y-O-U-R means ‘your.’” — Ross Geller

Face it, you’re the nerd of the group (raises hand). Discovery Place Science in Uptown caters to all your knowledge needs, from interactive displays to rotating exhibitions (yes, they’ve had dinosaurs in the past). Check out the Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks through Sept. 2, where over half a million LEGOs come together to create a wonderland of colorful skyscrapers. Or, head to Science on the Rocks, an adults-only themed experience on the third Friday of each month. On Aug. 16, immerse yourself in artistic mediums from music to photography to dance at Art Deconstructed

Discovery Place Science
Photo by Jessica Swannie

While none of the local museums offer any dinosaurs at the moment, they’re still fun to walk through on a rainy afternoon. Check out the Mint Museum for global art and design or learn how the Queen City became what she is today at the Charlotte Museum of History.

Photo by Melissa Oyler

No matter which “Friend” you are, you know you can always come together with your closest pals for an afternoon spent sipping a warm beverage at Smelly Cat Coffee House and Roastery.

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