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2002-05-25 - 7:49 p.m.

So. What are the chances, really, that the faux French band Les Sans Culottes would be playing in New York City the very same weekend that I meet the real Sansculotte? Also, what are the chances that Sans would turn out to be the coolest person in the world, and that we would get along even better in person than we do over email? Or that Speed Levitch would show up on time for our walking tour of the Lower East Side? Or that everyone - and I mean everyone - friends and family and assorted others - would get along as famously as we all did this weekend?

It was just that sort of vacation, folks. The kind where the stars aligned and everything worked out and I was happy, happy, happy.

But on to the details. If you are not fond of the details, feel free to stop right about now.

Wednesday: Arrive in Manhattan. Chinese food with my gracious sister Erin. Loud gay bar in Hellís Kitchen. Erin gets toasted after one rum and diet Coke.

Thursday: Erin and I go running in Central Park. We eat bagels. Hit the Museum of Television and Radio. Meet up with my brother Michael, and go to the New York Public Library (we have to get to the third floor before we actually see books) and the Empire State Building (and once I stopped picturing planes crashing into us, I really did enjoy the view). Make our way to the Upper East Side for dinner at a vegan restaurant. I leave early to meet Sans at her nunnery slash women's hotel. Within five minutes of meeting her, I am braiding her hair. We talk nonstop - a theme that continues for the rest of the weekend. Off to Chelsea for a launch party for Erotic New York: The Best Sex in the City. Sans had written several reviews, and got me on the press list by saying I was a freelance writer who specialized in lesbian erotica. We didnít stay long. Ten dollar mixed drinks, men in suits, and women in fetish wear. Escaped to a quiet Irish pub.

Friday: More bagels. Meet Sans at Columbus Circle. We wander through the East Village, and Union Square, and Washington Square Park, and the Strand, and Kiehlís (Sans scores me free samples). Eat lunch at a kosher vegetarian diner. I want Sans to adopt me and move me to New York. Meet up with Michael and Erin for Speed Levitchís walking tour of the Lower East Side. Speed spends the first ten minutes pointing to things like "fruit" and "boxes." It picks up after a while, and we are all thoroughly entertained. We are, apparently, the only tourists in the Lower East Side. Erin thinks Speed is dreamy. Meet up with my sister Danielle and Sheila and Ryan for vegetarian dim sum in Chinatown at the Vegetarian Dim Sum Restaurant. We walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and drink beer in Brooklyn Heights. I am triumphant from my solo subway ride back to Erin's dorm room, only to discover I am locked out. A sympathetic RA lets me in, where I find Erin sleeping soundly in her bed, oblivious to the ringing phone and the incessant knocking on the door.

Saturday: Erinís graduation in the Bronx. It's cold and rainy, and the graduation gets moved indoors. Michael and Danielle and I get there early, and save seats for everyone else. Michael and I almost get into a fight with some pushy New Yorkers. We win. Erin graduates. Erin's girlfriend Mary drives us back to Manhattan. Big Italian dinner at Carmine's - huge bowls heaped with food come to the table. I escape early to meet Sans so we can see Les Sans Culottes. I get there early, and can't remember the last time I went to a club alone. Sans shows up, and later, Danielle. We love the band. People dance. I bob my head.

Sunday: Early brunch with my mom's family. Sans comes, and I discover she has that enviable quality of being able to talk to just about anyone. After an extended farewell outside of the restaurant, and the tedious act of getting my mother and grandmother to Lincoln Center for Graduation #2, Sans and I are once again exploring the city alone. Greenwich Village. Falafel. MASH at the Film Forum. A belated birthday cupcake, complete with candle. Talking about sex on the steps of a brownstone. Talking about everything, really. I wait for her to grow tired of me, or vice versa, but it doesn't happen. I decide to adopt Sans and move her to Austin. Beer at a pub in the Village with Michael.

Monday: More bagels. Navigate my way back to LaGuardia, where I almost miss my plane, despite getting there the requisite two hours early. Austin looks drearily the same.

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