September 1, we were back in New York and still homeless.
We’ll fast forward through the finer details of my rather intense illness contracted in Paris, but played out in New York. I will say the sickness I had mildly haunted me on the airplane, but did not stop Michael and I from basking in the glow of his new job or from day dreaming about a castle in the clouds, but by the time we got back to NYC I had not had anything to eat and barely a sip of water in close to 48 hours. I passed out face first to sleep off my jet lag and thought I would wake refreshed and hungry. Instead I woke up and decided I needed to get to a hospital. When you’re so thirsty that your dreams are filled with a longing for an icy cold saline drip…it’s probably time to go get one.
Fast forward to the end of the week. I was back from the hospital diagnosed with a possible food borne illness, on the lookout for signs of e coli and only allowed to eat Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. The B.R.A.T. diet. After the doctor ran tests he gave me Cipro. That’s what they give you when you have anthrax. !! So…you can pretty much imagine how it shut my system right down. The good news was that all the tests showed I was a very healthy woman. I just probably ingested a mean bacteria or parasite (parasite?).
‘Can you tell me the last time you ate before you felt sick?’ he asked.
I can! It was the meal I had before I went to Victor Hugo‘s house.
Little did I know that while I was enjoying my last lunch in Paris, consumed with heady thoughts of somehow being intertwined with Victor Hugo’s life, he was putting me in my place by unleashing a legion of French bacteria on my tummy to make me Les Miserables.
Here is a photo of the The French Bug in my tummy—
he sort of looks like Victor Hugo doesn’t he? Ok, maybe more like Dalí
I told the doctor I couldn’t possibly be that healthy, I have been sick once a month, every month since last October. He said, ‘Well are you abnormally stressed?’
Who me? Nooooo! Don’t be silly.
At some point during our Parisian adventures, Uncle T offered for us to stay at his beautiful home away from home on Jane Street in the West Village. This was incredibly sweet of him. I had lived in the West Village on Christopher street for a year or so just before 9/11. I loved it, but 10 years changes a place, so I looked forward to 18 exploratory days there. After that we weren’t sure where we were going. Would we go on tour with Michael? Would we move into an apartment on the Upper West Side? Either option felt delightful to me. While I did spend 15 of our 18 days at Jane in a hazy fog of fever and hunger, I did manage a wander over to Perry Street.
Perry street is an idyllic old street with beautiful old townhouses. As we walked I noticed a group of people standing in front of a stoop getting their photos taken one by one. There was a chain across the stoop and a sign that read,
‘Please no photographs on the stoop. Be respectful, this is someone’s home.’
Well, clearly their sign wasn’t having the desired effect, but I wondered why people were stopping there and I thought…’is that where Heath Ledger died?’ Can you believe I thought that? How morbid. But you should see how many people flock to the Dakota to see where John Lennon died. So I had to go find out…I went up to 2 women who didn’t speak English. I said, ‘Excuse me, what is this?’ while I pointed to the stoop. ‘Sex and City,’ they both replied with big smiles on their face.
What??? Sex and the City?
‘Carrie’s stoop!’ they beamed.
Carrie’s stoop. People were coming down to Perry street to have their photo taken on the stoop that was used in the TV show. Amazing. That is amazing to me. If you google Carrie’s Stoop you will see countless images of young women posed on the stoop in various outfits.