August 14th, 2003. Fifteen years ago, in the midst of a massive heatwave, New York City went dark. Subways stopped, traffic lights went out, and, less than two years after 9/11, Manhattan yet again faced some mayhem.
While I remember spending hours in the car that day, just for the sake of air conditioning, lighting candles, and taking a freezing cold shower just to stay cool, my most vivid memories of the 2003 blackout belong not to me, but to the cast of MTV's tragically short-lived reality show, Rich Girls.
A precursor to the television-defining hit, Laguna Beach, which aired a year later, Rich Girls chronicled the wacky, privileged lives of Ally Hilfiger (daughter of Tommy) and her friend Jaime Gleicher. I, of course, was obsessed.
As Marie Lodi put it in The Cut, "Over the years, I deduced that there were two types of people in the world: those who were ardent fans of Rich Girls, and those who had never heard of the show in their life."
Seeing as I most definitely fall into the former category, today's 15 year blackout anniversary could only remind me of one thing: the blackout episode of Rich Girls. And though the series was full of absurd moments (looking at you, burrito freakout), the way Ally and Jaime navigated the (albeit somewhat controlled) chaos was seriously Emmy-worthy.
While Jaime panicked, Ally took a cab down to the Tommy Hilfiger store, learning about the power outage during her ride. As she explains on the show, "We met my aunt down at my dad's store in Soho, and they wouldn't let us in because there was no power. And I was like, OK that's understandable, but we know the guy there."
Cut to Ally and her aunt calmly browsing the racks in a mostly empty store. "This is so cool," she shrugs. "We're just shopping, it's fine."
I'm telling you, this is quality stuff:
[Photo via Getty]