21 What-ifs: This Would Happen If Friends Was Set In Mexico City 

Friends is a synonym of New York. The streets, smells and slang of the Big Apple transpire in almost every scene of the show. However, one of the big missteps of the Warner Bros. sitcom was its lack of diversity: few non-white characters were given major roles, and New York seemed to be as white as a glass of milk.

In the spirit of diversity and trying to let our imagination run wild, here’s 21 what-ifs… Imagine Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and Rachel actually lived in Mexico City, a metropolis as richly complex as New York. If the famous amigos were chilangos (slang for Mexico City dwellers) their lives would be a tad spicier and a bit more chaotic.

Venga, pues!

1. Joey would be a struggling telenovela actor

Credit: Friends. Warner Bros.

Part of Joey’s charm has to do with his constant failures as a thespian. In Mexico City he would get minor roles in period telenovelas and would have to wear ridiculous costumes and talk in old-fashioned Spanish. She would also receive a cachetada or two.

2. Phoebe would open a trendy spa in La Condesa: “El gato apestoso”

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous.

“El gato apestoso” means “smelly cat”. If you are fans of the show you get the reference. Phoebe would be an esoteric guru in trendy La Condesa, a gentrified hood full of hipsters and lovers of all things organic.

3. And she would live in Coyoacán

Credit: 168119-Coyoacan. Digital image. Expedia

But Phoebe would not live in La Condesa, but in the hippie central of Coyoacan, the home of Frida Kahlo and El Hijo del Cuervo, a bohemian bar where we can totally picture her singing a tune.

4. Ross would teach at the UNAM

Credit: UNAM-mexico-city. Digital image. Tellanto

The Universidad Nacional is the oldest university in the continent and home of the country’s brightest minds. Dr Ross Geller would certainly lecture here. His students would think he is a snob, un fresa.

5. And he would have grown up in Satélite

Credit: images.jpg. Digital image. Fuerza Mexico.

This suburb has a personality of its own and its inhabitants, satelucos, often deny actually being chilangos. The Gellers would be one of the oldest families in this area north of the city, once sold as suburban paradise.

6. Monica would end up working at Pujol (one of the best restaurants in the world)

Credit: download. Digital image. Gourmadela.

Mexico City has a buoyant culinary scene. Monica would work her way up and end up working at chef Enrique Olvera’s Pujol, which is often voted as one of the top 15 restaurants in the planet. Tacos never looked so good.

7. Chandler would take Monica rowing to the Chapultepec Lake

Credit: lago-de-chapultepec. Digital image. TripAdvisor.

Rowing in this greenish lake smack in the middle of the city is a common date. It is a bit kitschy, but so is Chandler. We can imagine them tripping into the water and Monica getting a horrible allergy and ending up in hospital. Pinche Chandler!

8. Ross and Rachel would have a hot date at the top of the Torre Latinoamericana

Credit: torre-latino-cdmx-dos. Digital image. Mexico Desconocido.

This is one of the first high rises in the city, and Ross and Rachel could have a Sleepless in Seattle moment watching the endless sea of lights flickering below them. Ay, cositos! 

9. “The one where Little Ben would get lost in Perisur”

Credit: Friends. Warner Bros.

Perisur is one of the biggest malls in the South of the city, El Sur. Rachel would babysit little Ben and lose him while window shopping and daydreaming of haute couture. He would be saved by a heroic abuelita.

10. Joey’s flirting phrase would be “Qué transa, chiquita?”

Credit: Friends. Warner Bros.

TBH Joey is a bit creepy and sleazy. His catchphrase in Spanish would sound even stickier than his famous “How you doin?”. He would rightfully get slapped a time or two.

11. Rachel would work at the Palacio de Hierro in trendy Polanco

Credit: download (2). Digital image. Sordo Madaleno Arquitecto

After cancelling her wedding Rachel would work as a waiter for years and they find her dream job as a personal shopper for fresa ladies from Las Lomas and Polanco in this superfancy department store.

12. Joey and Chandler would go to Teotihuacán to try to hook-up with gringuitas

Credit: Panoramic_view_of_Teotihuacan. Digital image. Wikipedia

This archeological site is just an hour out of Mexico City. Whenever both of them were single, the dynamic duo would try to flirt with American tourists in their broken English, pretending to know the history of ancient Mexico.

13. Central Perk would be a hipster cafe in La Roma: Delicia Central

Credit: coloniaroma. Digital image. Dinero en Imagen

La Colonia Roma is one of the most traditional neighborhoods in the city. It is full of amazing colonial architecture and recently has become home of all things hipster, organic and yummy. Central Perk would be Delicia Central, a homy yet sophisticated cafecito.

14. Gunther would be an Spanish chavaruco: Pierre

Credit: uELlY02. Digital image. Memes del Chavoruco.

One of the funniest secondary characters in the show is the manager at Central Perk. Instead of German he would be French and his name would be Pierre. He would be the epitome of the chavoruco: the stereotype of the man in his 40s or 50s who feels and acts like he is 20.

15. They would all get together on January 6 to eat Rosca de Reyes

Credit: Giphy. @iequezada

One of the most amazing traditions in Mexico is getting together on January 6 and sharing a delicious round, donut-shaped pastry with hidden plastic or ceramic (in the fancier versions) figurines of baby Jesus. Whoever gets it is obligated to buy tamales for everyone on the Day of the Candelaria, February 2.

16. And Joey would actually EAT baby Jesus to avoid buying everyone tamales

Credit: Friends. Warner Bros.

He is a voracious eater, so he wouldn’t just eat most of the rosca, he would also swallow Jesus because he is cheap.

17. They would ALL complain about the traffic

Credit: Trafico_Ciudad-1-e1513188266727-960×500. Digital image. Animal Politico.

Mexico City’s traffic was recently classified as the worst in the world, so many episodes would start with characters being grumpy, sweaty and uncomfortable after spending hours sitting in a hot car.

18. Phoebe would also open a vegan taco stand

Credit: tacos-veganos-de-jackfruit-e1494947848296. Digital image. Mercado Flotante.

Phoebe was ahead of her time. In the 1990s she was a weirdo, but today she would become a business mogul, particularly in trendy CDMX (Mexico City’s official name). She would open a taco stand and serve tacos al pastor made with jackfruit. Yum.

19. Joey, Chandler and Phoebe would be chairos 

CreditGiphy. @am85

Mexico City is the epicenter of a social division that has deepened in Mexico between the upper-middle and upper classes and basically everyone else. After the election of the leftist AMLO as president (he starts his mandate on December 1), his supporters were called chairos. Given Joey, Chandler and Phoebe’s more modest origins, and their support for social and gender justice, they would likely belong to this camp.

20. Monica, Ross and Rachel would be fifís

Credit: 1142_fifi_620x350. Digital image. SDP Noticias.

On the other hand, the other three are quite privileged, so chances are they would be sort of conservative and terrified of a left-leaning government. They would proudly be fifis, a term coined by AMLO.

21. They would all have maids, so Friends would have many more characters

Credit: Devious Maids. Lifetime.

Social dynamics are different in Mexico and it is common for even middle-class households to hire a domestic worker. The characters in Friends would most likely have some hired help, giving the scriptwriters endless possibilities to discuss class issues and add a joke or two.

People From Around The World Are Responding To A Billboard Asking For A Kidney To Help Save A Young Man’s Life

Things That Matter

People From Around The World Are Responding To A Billboard Asking For A Kidney To Help Save A Young Man’s Life

GoFundMe / Ilya Polyakov

On the corners of Barrington and Mississippi avenues in West Los Angeles, you can find a billboard of a man looking for a kidney. That man, Antonio Calderon, 31, suffers from a kidney disease known as FSGS, or Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis. So when his friend, Ilya Polyakov, wasn’t a match, he stepped up in the only way he could, buying a billboard to help find a matching donor.

Antonio Calderon has been on the kidney donor waiting list for about two years. He hopes this billboard will help find a match.

Calderon was diagnosed with the rare kidney disease back in 2009 and has been on dialysis for the last two years. This means every night he’s hooked up to a catheter machine to remove excess waste from his body.

The 31-year-old is now in desperate need for a kidney transplant. “I just got bum kidneys. It’s not a hereditary thing, it’s just bad luck,” he told CBS2.

Polyakov, with the help of about 30 others, stepped up and raised $5,000 through a GoFundMe to purchase the billboard in West LA. He hopes it will catch someone’s attention and help find a kidney match for his dear friend.

“I tried to be a donor for Antonio two years ago and unfortunately due to my own health I was not a compatible match,” Polyakov said. “I couldn’t really think of a more visible way than a 48 x 14-foot billboard that is there for the city to see.”

“You can’t (legally) buy a kidney, so we bought this billboard to save our friend’s life,” the billboard reads. “Find out if you are his donor match.”

The billboard has already caught the attention of people from around the world trying to help.

The billboard, in addition to posts across social media and the GoFundMe page, has resulted in about 200 inquiries. Calderon has been blown away from the quick responses from complete strangers willing to help.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Calderon told LA Magazine. “It’s surreal and then it’s just cool to know that there are that many people that seem to genuinely be good people and be caring. You know, none of them know me, but at the same time, they’re touched by the gesture that my friend has done.”

Calderon has been sharing some of the feedback and support he’s received since the billboard went up. He said on Twitter that a person from as far as Turkey contacted him about the billboard.

While the billboard has gotten a lot of attention, Calderon is still looking for a matching donor.

Calderon is blood type O+ and can get a kidney from those with blood types O+ and O-. He is still currently looking for a matching donor with those specific blood types.

Despite all the hardships Calderon has gone through the last few years, he’s grateful to have the support he’s received from his good friend and complete strangers.

“To know that there’s this many people that care about me to donate and then to actually see the billboard to get a bunch of eyes to give me a kidney is like so awesome,” Calderon told FOX11. “I’m personally prepared to live on dialysis for as long as it takes on the deceased donor list but this will get it much quicker and it’s incredible.”

READ: 21 Health Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow Right Now

21 Episodes:  What-If Friends Was Set In Los Angeles?


21 Episodes:  What-If Friends Was Set In Los Angeles?

Instagram @ x.friends.x.x

Los Angeles is the epicenter of the film and television industries, but very few sitcoms are set in this multicultural metropolitan hub. Most sitcoms happen in New York, even if they are shot in sets built in California. Crazy, eh? Well, what if Friends actually took place in the City of Dreams?

1. “The one where Joey wins a taco eating competition at Carnitas Michoacan”

Credit: 030913-244750-Carnitas-Michoacan-Exterior+. Digital image. Serious Eats

Carnitas Michoacan is an angelano institution. Mexican food experts claim that they are the real deal. In this episode, Joey would be broke after his acting gig fell through, so he would enter and win a taco eating contest to be able to afford rent. Chandler would need to care for him after he gets indigestion.

2. “The one where Ross finds a fossil under the Hollywood sign”

Credit: Best-Photos-Burbank-California-Things-to-do-in-Los-Angeles-@StephBeTravel-1-of-1-1024x692_Digital image. TRAVEL BREAK

Paleontologist Ross Geller would be trekking near the Hollywood sign and suddenly trip on something. On close inspection, he would realize it is a dinosaur bone! He would not be allowed to dig and that would throw him into a fit of frustration.

3. “The one where Phoebe marries a Chicano muralist”

Credit: Botello -1-thumb-600×401-61605_KCET Digital image. KCET

Strolling the streets of East Los, our favorite silly girl would meet a sexy muralist called Jorge, and marry him on the spot. She would later discover that once you marry a Latino you marry the whole family!

4. “The one where Rachel and Monica find a job at Canter’s”

Credit: Canters-Deli-Los-Angeles_0.  Digital image. The infatuation

Rachel and Monica find out that working with your best friend isn’t that easy. Monica is a cook and Rachel is a waitress at this LA institution… Rachel keeps flirting with rock stars in the late night shift and Monica gets her fired.

5. “The one where Joey and Chandler get the Dog Whisperer for their pet duck”

Credit: Cesar-Millan-LA-Times_Digital image.The Yucatan Times

Desperate because their duck quacks all night, the dynamic duo finds Cesar Millan and begs for help. Hilarity follows.

6. “The one where Monica bumps into her ex Richard at Chateau Marmont”

Credit: chateau-marmont_TripAdvisor Digital image.TripAdvisor

Monica just can’t seem to keep a job in Los Angeles. As a cook in the infamous Chateau Marmont, she bumps into her ex Richard, who is a dentist to many celebrities! He is there to untangle two teenage stars whose brackets got stuck while they were making out. Classy.

7. “The one where Chandler moves to Echo Park and breaks Joey’s heart”

Credit: Echo_Park_Lake_with_Downtown_Los_Angeles_Digital image. Skyline Planning and GIS

BFFs Chandler and Joey can’t live together forever. Chandler finds a great investment opportunity in up and coming Echo Park and moves to the cool neighborhood. All is forbidden when Joey discovers a tamale cart across the street. Two verdes, please!

8. “The one where Ross jumps into the fountain at The Grove”

Credit: grove-hero+. Digital image. Caruso

The Grove is perhaps the prettiest mall in the US. Ross is seeing someone while he and Rachel are on “a break”. He is holding hands with this new girl and suddenly he spots Rachel at a distance. How to hide? Just jump into the fountain. He gets cheers and claps from everyone and Rachel obviously sees him!

9. “The one where Chandler proposes to Monica at LACMA”

Credit: image Time Out. Digital image.Time Out

Los Angeles has one of the coolest contemporary art museums in the world: LACMA. In this episode, Chandler takes Monica to this amazing installation, gets down on one knee and proposes. Eso, mi Chandler!

10. “The one where Phoebe discovers she ate an ostrich taco at El Coyote”

Credit: img_0402 . Digital image. Peace Love Lunges

One of the most traditional Tex-Mex spots in the city. In this episode, Phoebe discovers that the delicious taco she just ate was made with ostrich meat. She loves ostriches and feels super guilty, so she ends up adopting three big-ass birds!

11. “The one where Phoebe dates a Laker who also loves ostriches”

Credit: Kuzma-1049957_. Digital image. Daily Express.

After adopting the three ostriches, Phoebe joins an online community of ostrich lovers. She meets a famous basketball player and moves in with him, but moves out after not being able to stand the smell of 20 ostriches living in their house…. and sleeping in their bedroom!

12. “The one where Rachel and Ross make up while trapped in the Santa Monica Ferris wheel”

Credit: offthehooksmpier610x250. Digital image.  CBS Los Angeles

Rachel and Ross enter the Santa Monica Ferris wheel as exes, but after a mechanical malfunction they get stuck up there for 5 hours and are an item again after finally being released at sunrise. Romantic as hell!

13. “The one where Chandler inherits Amoeba Music”

Credit: PPGTYHMYKFFHXIL6DV477QG4GQ.  Digital image. Los Angeles Times.

Chandler’s mom dates the owner of this cultural institution. The owner dies and inherits the shop to Chandler’s mom, who in turn tells him it is HIS early inheritance. Chandler ends up revitalizing the business! Think High Fidelity on a bigger scale!

14. “The one where Joey dates a cello player”

Credit: walt-disney-concert-hall-night_. Digital image. Discover Los Angeles.

Joey is quite a Don Juan and somehow gets interesting, cultured women to date him. In this episode, he goes to the opening night of a concert season, but he falls asleep and falls down from the upper floor of the hall… The concert is interrupted and Joey gets dumped!

15. “The one where Phoebe adopts a mountain lion!”

Credit: hollywd-p22-national-geographic-cant-use. Digital image. CBS News

Just stop it, Phoebs! In this episode, Phoebe is jogging in a national park and finds a mountain lion who seems to be sick. She puts her into her car and drives it home. She names him “Mariachi”. Chaos follows.

16. “The one where little Ben reveals himself as a Lego genius”

Credit: legoland-california-with-transport-in-los-angeles-158951 . Digital image. Viator

Ross takes his son to Legoland and… surprise… Ben builds an amazing rocketship in record time. Everyone is impressed at his genius building skills and Ben gets an sponsorship from the company. He now makes more than his academic dad.

17. “The one where the gang goes to a karaoke bar in Koreatown”

Credit: 1426854317758. Digital image. Traveller

They all pretend to sing K-pop and get a crowd to cheer and laugh at these gringos pretending they know a second language!

18. “The one where Rachel’s dad moves to Malibu… and buys a house for Rachel next door”

Credit: VC_LivingTheDream_SupportingContent_Other_Malibu_Stock_RF_108795_1280x640_0. Digital image. Visit California.

Rachel has always tried to solve things by herself and move away from her “rich daddy’s girl” persona. In this episode, Rachel mush stand true to herself when her dad buys her a 3 bedroom beach house in Malibu just to keep her close.

19. “The one where Joey beats Danny Trejo at a chili eating contest”

Credit: 1156848_1280x720. Digital image.  ABC7 News

Joey’s true abilities come to light in Los Angeles! In order to woo a hot Latina, Joey enters a chili eating competition with Danny Trejo. And he beats Machete!

20. “The one where Monica dates a muscle guy from Venice Beach”

Credit: muscle-beach-venice-bodybuilding-outdoor-gym-in-los-angeles-usa-3. Digital image. Venice Beach.

Monica meets a bodybuilder when he saves her from being run over by a bicycle. The gang feels intimidated at first but soon finds that the Hulk is a sweetheart with a love for extra sweet pastries… Monica bakes every single day to keep her guy’s calorie intake on check.

21. “The one where Joey becomes a Hollywood Boulevard impersonator”

Credit: hear+arrested+Spiderman+Sesame+Street+Kobe+PPXXoCtR1Zkl. Digital image. Zimbio

Life is tough in Los Angeles for a struggling actor. In order to make ends meet and not compromise his histrionic abilities, Joey dresses up as a different superhero each day and takes selfies with tourists on Hollywood Boulevard. He gets good at doing it but all the other impersonators stage a coup against him and kick him out!


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