Westeros and Essos aren’t the only fictional worlds created by television executives. The New York City of TV Land doesn’t seem to bear a lot of resemblance to the Big Apple ordinary Americans live in. Sure the landmarks are the same, but there’s no way these characters could have afforded the lavish lofts they lived in. These are just some of the luxury pads that gave us unrealistic expectations of New York City living.

1. Sex & The City’s Carrie Bradshaw Enjoys the High Life

Newspaper columnist Carrie Bradshaw seemed to be living the dream in Sex & The City. She had a great group of friends, a string of hunky suitors, and a gorgeous Manhattan apartment with a massive walk-in closet packed with designer apparel. Only in a dream world could Carrie keep her head above water.

Even as a big name newspaper columnist, she would be lucky to earn $45,000 a year. However, the rent on that spacious one-bedroom apartment on in-demand East 73rd Street would easily have cost $5,000 in rent every month. That leaves her $15,000 in the red, and that’s before she paid for her weekly cocktails and new season Manolo Blahniks.

2. 2 Broke Girls’ Max & Caroline’s Williamsburg Pad Not for Broke Girls

Max and Caroline are the central characters on 2 Broke Girls, a sitcom which makes no bones about their dire financial situation. However, you wouldn’t know that these waitresses are struggling by the state of their apartment. Experts suggest the average studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn costs $2,700 a month, more than comparable digs in Manhattan.

This is no average dwelling. It’s enormous inside and out, with a patio or yard big enough to hold Caroline’s horse! No broke girls, or even two with a fledgling cupcake business and an appreciation for Goodwill clothes, could ever hope to live there.

3. Friends’ Monica Gellar Lives Large in Greenwich Village

The Friends‘ gang spent much of their time at Monica’s enormous SoHo apartment, but why didn’t anyone ask how she was affording this two-bedroom, two-bathroom gem? The writers explained it was a hand-me-down from Grandma Geller and thus rent-controlled. Yet similar New York pads were charging between $3,000 and $5,000 a month.

Monica spent her early days as a struggling chef with stints of unemployment. Her roommates Rachel and Phoebe were even less financially secure. Between the three of them, they would have struggled to scrape together $30,000 a year. It seems improbable that Grandma Geller would have got her hands on this apartment early enough for the girls to ever afford it.

4. The Mindy Project’s Mindy Lahiri Lives in her Dream Apartment

Mindy Lahiri might be a trained OB/GYN, but she’s surely living above her means in her West Village apartment. Her pad seems pricey with its foyer that goes on forever, the walk-in closet that is to die for, and its spiral staircase that is oh so chic.

Dr. Lahiri could feasibly be pulling in $200,000 a year, but she also sends money to her parents and helps pay her brother’s college tuition. Then there’s the money she drops on all of those fabulous date outfits. With the apartment costing around $2.5 million, the numbers just don’t add up.

Television is meant to be aspirational, but the idea of these characters living the high life in New York is pure fantasy.


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