The second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was added to Netflix on Friday, and while the show takes place in a bit of an alternate universe, à la 30 Rock, it's undeniably New York City's alternate universe. And this season, the city and its many characters, problems, and attractions are present enough throughout that it can be considered a cast member.
An underlying plot point over the 13 episodes is also something that real life New York is familiar with: gentrification. Lillian battles to keep her Brooklyn neighborhood real in nearly every episode, staging protests at condo construction sites, tagging walls, and trying to run hipsters out of the local establishments. Below, some of the best nods to NYC.
Thanks De Blasio
"De Blasio Pledges To 'Ruin City'" shouts a headline on the front page of BM New York. This would have been more of a NY Post headline, but then we wouldn't have gotten that AM New York punnin'.
East River Burial
The best part of this kind of alternate NYC is that we also get things that only exist in fantasies that occur in a New Yorker's darkest, most alone moments. The "Unloved New Yorker Disposal Unit" is one of those—the spot on the East River is a modern day potter's field, where New Yorkers who die alone are dumped in the water.
Bed Bug Street Furniture
No one's gonna touch Titus's street piano if he spray paints it with the two most dreaded words in the New York City lexicon: "Bed Bugs."
Lillian spots her old friend Pizza Rat, but he's too big now and ignores her. Diva. And this isn't his only appearance. Another sign of gentrification in her neighborhood comes when the gang spots a new street: Pizza Rat Blvd.
The Times Square Elmo has made more headlines in the recent years than any other Times Square character, and in the show he lives up to his bad reputation.
In one episode, during a rather critical moment, Kimmy finds herself on NYC's oldest, most whiplash-inducing rollercoaster: the Cyclone.
NY1's Pat Kiernan
The most recognizable anchor in NYC, Pat Kiernan, is also the busiest with cameos. Here he adds another appearance to his IMDB page.
Millennial Hipster Gentrifiers
The Millennial Hipster Gentrifier is the trifecta of gentrifiers, and the show perfectly cast Girls star Zosia Mamet as a vintage-Polaroid-toting trust fund artist, along with her husband played by Evan Jonigkeit (who has also appeared on Girls).
When Lillian sees a man tagging the wall she's pleased that the neighborhood isn't changing that much, until she learns he's a FIOS tech who plans to install high-speed internet.
She creates her own tag next to it, in honor of Notorious BIG.
One of the characters this season has a silverfish infestation, but you see silverfish easter eggs in other episodes, like with these advertisements. Of course, in real life NYC this would have been roaches or toilet rats.
The street meat vendor nervously declares that his meat is definitely not from a rodeo. Perfect. Though we would have liked to have seen a pigeon in his cart.
In this season Kimmy gets a job as an Uber driver, and we're betting Tina Fey's very drunk character probably has a pretty low rating.
And lastly, there's the Upper East Side lady-who-lunches, who resides in an alternate universe even in real life NYC. (She gets our full endorsement on bench wine, though.)