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Remembering Screenwriter Nora Ephron, a New York Treasure

Meg Ryan "fakes it" for Billy Crystal at Katz's Deli in "When Harry Met Sally"

Nora Ephron was a screenwriter and director with New York in her blood. And it coursed through many of her films as well.

Perhaps her most famous piece of New York City movie making was When Harry Met Sally. Ephron wrote the script for the Rob Reiner classic Billy Crystal-Meg Ryan romantic comedy. The famous “orgasm” scene where Reiner’s mom says, “I’ll have what she’s having,” took place at Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side.

The Big Apple proved a popular backdrop for the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan vehicle — You’ve Got Mail. Ephron co-wrote and directed the movie, in which Ryan discovers that Hanks has been her secret crush all along when they meet at Riverside Park. The film uses numerous New York locales, including Zabar’s, Gray’s Papaya, and Cafe Lalo.

Of course, who could forget the duo meeting at the Empire State Building for the Sleepless in Seattle finale?

Part of her last major hit, Julie and Julia, was shot in Manhattan, featuring the blog to book to movie story of Julie Powell as she attempted every recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

Ephron lived, during her college years, at 110 Sullivan Street, between Prince and Spring Streets.

She died yesterday in a Manhattan hospital of pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia. She was 71. Her son, Jacob Bernstein, a contributing writer at Newsweek Daily Beast, announced the news of his mother’s death to The New York Times last night.

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