New York City’s West Village became a pilgrimage site on Sunday as fans of the beloved American actor, Matthew Perry, gathered outside the iconic apartment building used in the filming of the hit TV show “Friends.” Perry, renowned for his role as Chandler Bing, passed away on Saturday at the age of 54, leaving behind a legacy that continues to resonate with fans across generations.
Despite the drizzle, visitors paid their respects at the recognizable corner of West Village, where the six-story building stands adorned with classic New York brick façades and metal fire escapes. Many left flowers and heartfelt farewell letters on the spot, emphasizing the profound impact Perry’s character had on their lives.
“I grew up watching him,” said 26-year-old Taylor Lanthier, one of the participants in the pilgrimage. “Chandler is a funny guy. He’s caring. He’s someone who is very dedicated to his friends. And that’s what I think Matthew was too.”
The enduring popularity of “Friends,” which aired from 1994 to 2004, showcases the enduring power of the series, captivating audiences through reruns and streaming services. Perry’s portrayal of the sarcastic yet lovable Chandler made an indelible mark on viewers worldwide.
Chris Triebel, a 39-year-old tour guide specializing in TV series and film locations in the city, noted the show’s significant influence on people’s lives. “I’m sure you can find stories of people moving to New York because of the ‘Friends’ series,” he said.
While the show has faced criticism over the years for its lack of diversity and simplistic portrayal of reality, it undeniably served as a source of joy and laughter for millions. Perry’s untimely demise has left a void, but the outpouring of love from fans outside the “Friends” building stands as a testament to the impact he made as Chandler Bing, a character cherished by audiences worldwide.