an ode to sally albright

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Sally Albright is the reason I couldn’t move to New York.

Long before I met Carrie Bradshaw, I met Sally. A cheesier, more naïve, and all-around adorable character I latched onto the moment she first gasped at Harry’s indulgent male self-importance. How could I avoid falling in love with this emotive bundle of intellect, principle, sunshine, unexpected bravado, and HAIR? I’ve considered perming my hair exactly 37 times in the last year solely to look a little more like Meg Ryan’s best incarnation.

I went to New York a few times growing up to visit my dad’s family in Poughkeepsie. From there, a short train ride took us into The City to do ham it up at all the classic sites. I wore outfits riddled with hilarious early 2000s trends such as pageboy hats, denim mini skirts, pink and green graphic tees, and a slinky hollow scarf you could also turn into a top if you were weird enough. I marvelled at the Rockettes, imagined myself Eloise while touring The Plaza, and discovered the simple recipe for the most magical day in the history of Christmastime: run around FAO Schwartz and then ice skate in Central Park.

But when I visited again during my junior year of college, the sugar plum city I remembered melted away just a teeny bit. With childhood must-sees behind me, new romantic visions in my mind, and the hustle of post-collegiate life looming just ahead, I realized sadly that The City would never live up to the film version in which I so longed to live. For some people, it’s Gossip Girl; for many more, it’s Sex and The City; but for me, When Harry Met Sally had created an impossibly charming figment of New York In Autumn, 1989, and ruined my hopes of ever being happy there.

That, along with the high cost of living, large chunks of the city where I felt a bit claustrophobic because I couldn’t see the sky, and countless fashion industry employees I met who seemed like their souls had been sucked out through their privy-to-next-season’s-trends eyeballs.

So I moved to LA instead. I knew more people here, liked the idea of the beach, and knew next to nothing about the city – no preconceived lifestyles of any unexplainably wealthy, happy-ending characters. But I’ll never let go of the magical New York Nora Ephron believed in, delivered to my screen and my heart via two of her coziest characters, Sally and Harry. At least once each fall, I rewatch this compilation of perfect scene after perfect scene and am so filled with bliss and hope and utter joy that I fear my heart will burst for lack of Billy Crystal types in my life.

So maybe one day, I’ll give The City a shot. Or fall in love with a longtime friend who will marry me despite my telling him I hate him at midnight on New Year’s. We’ll have a huge, tiered cake with chocolate sauce on the side because I, too, am a particular eater. Or maybe I’ll be happy just to revisit this story each year when the leaves change and life begins anew. Whatever I settle on, I’ll always be glad to have met Sally Albright.

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Shot at The Getty Villa by Tommy Crawford.

Outfit inspired particularly by Sally in the bookshop (and the fact that I don't own any
cord blazers or chunky red sweaters... I have set out to fix this immediately).

Reformation turtleneck (similar), Vintage Wimbledon sweater vest,
vintage Lauren Ralph Lauren pants, random vintage flats.