I’ll be there for you…Central Perk pops up in Soho

28 09 2009

Like most people, I had always assumed that the lyrics to the 10-year Friends series – I’ll be there for you… simply referred to the friendship shared by 6 of the funnest friends in Manhattan I’ve never actually had. After this past Saturday morning, however, I discovered that Friends is actually really there for me – right now, present tense, in the form of the Central Perk pop up cafe in Soho on Broadwick Street.

Central Perk pop up

Two weeks ago I’m kicking myself for not talking more about pop ups, planning a trip to the Icecreamists at Selfridges as my first pop-up experience. This Saturday MissDani has me up at the crack of dawn to truck it (okay, train and bus it) from Deptford to Soho to press our noses up against the glass of what quite frankly is a coulda-fooled-me pop up of the Central Perk cafe. At 9am on the dot, along with the 20 or so other Friends fanatics and pleasantly surprised passerby, we are let in two by two into the cafe, which is complete with the red couch, neon signs, and central perk signage.  It’s pretty realistic, especially looking out over the sofa, cafe tables and through the Central Perk window –  I even half expect to see Ross chasing Phoebe and Rachel outside proving his Unagio total awareness theory!

Very key and hilariously quotable scenes from the ten seasons play on flat screens, as this is, after all, a PR stunt to sell the latest 10-season comprehensive box set for the series’ 15th anniversary, complete with – of course – never before seen and extended footage. I could care less why it’s there. Point is – we hung out and had coffee at Central Perk, saw live and direct the Turkey that Monica wore on her head to cheer up Chandler on Thanksgiving, along with Phoebe’s Buffay the Vampire Layer porno and the front page of Ross’s Science Boy comic book.

Monica's Turkey Head

Phoebe Buffay the Vampire Layer


It’s only on until 7 October so if you do want to check it out, do it soon, before your shot at sitting in Central Perk is no longer there for you….Oh, and there’s free coffee, too!

Friends Pop up Soho

Missdani on the 'set' of Friends

Missdani on the 'set' of Friends


Pop Ups: The revolution will not be permanent. Or, an Ode to Ice Cream.

10 09 2009

The Icreamists 2Permanent is so yesterday. The Pop up retail revolution is here and the coolest pop up shop has just sauntered into town, and this here post is an ode to the ice cream pop up.

I’m a bit of a trendsurfer. I like to wait out in the water until I see the perfect trend swell up, and when I know I can ride it, I paddle out and ride the trend in to the shore. We’re not talking fashion here, but trends in media, tourism and retail. Inevitably, a trend will come and go, and I will have blinked to miss it. So it wasn’t really worth watching.

Trendwatching can be hard to hang on to, and sometimes I feel like Lucy and Ethel at the chocolate factory just trying to keep up:

But the Pop Up Shop trend? It’s like I see the wave coming, but I paddle in to shore, put down my board, and head over to the cocktail cabana where I order my Sex on the Beach and while towelling a glass, the bartender stares out to sea, letting out an exasperated gasp at the size of the wave building behind me, himself considering whether or not to run for cover, and then literally screaming at me to turn around so I don’t miss it, and me, slowly turning around to face a Point Break style wave 10 feet tall in front of me.

Trendwatching first covered Pop Up Retail in 2004 – read here for an in-depth look.  I’ve known about the pop up shop since I started paying attention, too, but I have not said a word about the trend. Until now ladies and gentlemen.

You may ask: Why now, Jessica?

I may just answer: Because I found the BEST pop up shop in the world and I want to (ice)scream from the rooftops about it.


The Icecreamists! The agents of cool, Liberating the World One Lick at a Time guerrilla pop up shop at Selfridges from now until September 1st.

The Icecreamists

The website is gorgeous and the marketing is mad on target.  I completely buy their whole campaign one ice cream scoop at a time.

Ice Cream menu includes:

Obamarama, Obamarama at the White House, Vanilla Ice Ice Baby, the Prince Harry Ice Cream Sandwich, cocktails with names things like the Sex Pistol and even Champagne Ice Lollies.

It’s a pop-influenced lollie-pop-having pop-up…and they are even open for breakfast.

Sometimes keeping up with trends can be like Lucy and Ethel in the Chocolate Factory – but at least you get to shovel in all the chocolate (or ice cream) while you try to stay ahead of the trend.

God save the cream.