IMG_3695Everyone knows — at least everyone who comes to this blog does — that it’s legal in New York for women to go topless outdoors, anywhere that it’s legal for men to do it. But being fully nude is another story.

IMG_3493There are times and places where it’s legal — if you’re putting on a play or participating in the creation or exhibition of art, for instance — but generally speaking if it’s just a nice, sunny day and you’d like to lose your swimsuit bottom as well as your top, your options are limited.

IMG_3550IMG_3539What New Yorkers commonly do is go up to the roof of their apartment building and do it there, though it’s not without risk. You won’t get stopped by the police, but a neighbor might see you and object, or see you and rather too enthusiastically not object, and either way can be awkward.

Our solution for the past several summers has been to visit the sundeck of a little hotel in Chelsea that has made its rooftop officially clothing optional — the sole official nude sunbathing option in the city, as far as we know. You can only use it if you’re a guest at the hotel, so we book a room and then the roof is ours.

IMG_3387It’s a five-story walk-up, so lugging supplies can be a chore…but we’ve been known to do it anyway, reconstructing the better part of a neighborhood bodega up there, from water and beer to fruit and chips and guac and muffins and…

IMG_3708And books. Like this much-loved copy of Stephen King’s It, dating back to when its reader (It‘s reader) was just 12 years old.

IMG_3851On the other end of the spectrum, our friends at Hard Case Crime gave us an early look at Understudy For Death, which isn’t going to be in stores for another month!

IMG_3593And when we weren’t reading or noshing,

IMG_3716IMG_3889IMG_3881We hung out and chatted–

IMG_3441And cooled down in the outdoor shower–

IMG_3439And napped–

IMG_3321And hydrated–

IMG_3517IMG_3401And shot selfies, with and without the church in the background–

IMG_3514IMG_3447And got a teeny, tiny bit of exercise running from one part of the deck to the other.

IMG_3661IMG_3662IMG_3664We modeled outfits and jewelry–

IMG_3821IMG_3873IMG_4010–and heart-shaped linzer cookies.

IMG_3428As you can see, not everyone went fully nude; no one has to. It’s just really nice to have that option.

IMG_4005IMG_3609IMG_3351IMG_3927Yes, there were a few penises out in the sun too. They deserve Vitamin D as much as vulvas do. (Vulvae? Sure, if you want to be all linguistically correct about it. Which of course we do.)

IMG_3777In short, we had a wonderful time. And until this particular sort of wonderful time is allowed in the middle of Central Park, we’ll continue enjoying it in our little rooftop sanctuary.

Would you like to join us next time? Or for our next topless visit to one of the city’s parks, for that matter? Either way, drop us an email — toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you, and perhaps to induct you into our sun-swept sorority for the summer. IMG_3573IMG_3649

 

IMG_2297So, we got this email.

It was from a fan of our group who lives in Ireland. She’d read about us online some years ago and had been excited ever since about what we do. “Coming from a country that’s FINALLY started controlling women’s bodies just a little bit less,” she wrote, “I can’t imagine anything happening like this in Ireland.” She was only going to be in New York for a few days, but did we have a meet-up planned that she could join?

IMG_2288Well, we didn’t — but the weather was looking cooperative, and we can’t say no to a fan who’s been waiting years to meet us, so we made a snap decision to see if one or two of us might be free on short notice to meet in Bryant Park, behind the main branch of the New York Public Library. And then…

We got this other email.

IMG_2397This one wasn’t from overseas, but it was still from pretty far away, in the heart of the great American midwest, from a woman who wrote, “I am a nudist (and English major, so I love books!) who is in town for a few days with my boyfriend, also a nudist. When I Googled nudist activities in New York you guys came up.” Did we have a meet-up planned on Wednesday that she could join…?

IMG_2355Well, yes. As it just so happens, we did, thanks to our new friend from Ireland.

IMG_2312And so, what had started out as a tiny, last-minute thing turned into a proper event with more than half a dozen of us lying out on the lawn, relaxing blissfully top-free in the mid-afternoon sun, celebrating freedom and international comity. (Or is it amity? Harmony? We leave it to you and your thesaurus to decide.)

IMG_2480IMG_2494IMG_2503We shared sunscreen…

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IMG_2350…and showed off our ink. (One of us even bore the Dark Mark! Go, Slytherin!)

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IMG_2455We shared towels and reading material, and we broke bread.

IMG_2264And when the time came to call it an afternoon, it was like old friends saying goodbye.

IMG_2513If you’re from far away but plan to be in New York sometime this summer, let us know. We can’t promise to get something up on short notice every time (so the more notice you can give us, the better), but we love to meet women from other parts of the country and other parts of the world who share our outlook on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and let us know when you’re going to be in town.

And if you’re a New Yorker? Why, that just makes everything even easier.

Get in touch.

Wherever you’re from, far or near, we’ll be bosom buddies before long.

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IMG_2143School’s out…there’s a Star Wars movie in the theaters…grocery stores have broken out the hot dog buns and the red white and blue…it may not officially be summer yet, but we’re calling it. Finally. Enough with the cold, enough with the rain, and enough with the clothes.

IMG_1605As those of you who’ve followed our adventures for a while know, it’s legal in New York for women to go topless anywhere a man can. But you rarely see women doing it, even when the weather would easily justify it. Why? Either because people don’t know it’s legal (or aren’t 100 percent certain it is — though it absolutely, 100 percent is) or, even if they do know it’s legal, because they’re worried about what might happen if they tried it. The result: when we came to the lush and lovely East Lawn in Central Park this weekend, we saw this…

IMG_1124And even this…

IMG_1128But until we showed up, not this:

IMG_1980So we had a job to do. Our mission is to act as a sort of aide-memoire, reminding everyone in shouting distance that going shirtless is every woman’s right. Well, it’s your right if you live in New York — and it should be your right everywhere.

What did we do with this right of ours? Just enjoyed it. We didn’t shout, we didn’t don balaclavas or hoist picket signs — there are times for that, but we prefer simply leading by example. We swiftly got rid of what limited waist-up garments we wore to the park–

IMG_1161IMG_1521(We might, in some cases, briefly have disposed of some waist-down garments as well. It was just such a nice day.)

IMG_1874IMG_2111We brought out snacks courtesy of Driscoll’s and Starbucks

IMG_1549IMG_1378IMG_1629…which not only supplied calories but enabled a recreation of The Creation of Adam.

IMG_1330We dove into books by Jeff VanderMeer

IMG_1642IMG_1727and Jeffrey Eugenidies

IMG_1911IMG_2016and some people not named Jeff.

IMG_1765IMG_1676Between the food for thought and the plain old food, our appetites were well sated — especially when you add in the sun and the breeze and the neighborly dog who came over for petting and belly rubs, and the absolute and utter lack of fuss made by anyone at all over our bare chests. One infrequent member marveled at it: No one’s bothering us. No one’s saying anything. No one’s staring.

Right. Exactly. And that’s just the way it should be.

Freedom should always be this easy and feel this good.

IMG_2218If you would like to take part in one of our events this season — if you’d like to feel this free and this good — please email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. We welcome all women, whether you’re a veteran of topless beaches or a nervous first-timer. Write to us. Ask any questions you have. Come once to try it for yourself. But don’t deny yourself this pleasure and this privilege.

It’s your right as much as it is any man’s.

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IMG_1111We’re told that when the flood came, all God’s creatures went on the ark in pairs, two by two. Did they come off the ark that way, too, when the sun came out again?

Don’t ask us; we’re not the bible study type. But as our corner of the world has been emerging from its own seemingly endless season of dismal weather, two by two is how we’re poking our heads out into the sun again.

IMG_0935First there was our two-person expedition to visit the cherry blossoms in Central Park.

IMG_0636Then we got word that a fan from Australia was in town, so one of us joined her on a still-chilly day near the John Lennon memorial by Strawberry Fields. (You only see one of us because our Aussie friend was nervous about coworkers back home seeing her topless on the Internet. That’s ok. She did get topless in front of a few hundred total strangers on the other side of the planet. One step at a time.)

IMG_0173IMG_0169Then, after a solid week of rain, the clouds parted briefly on Sunday afternoon, and two of us headed out to Washington Square Park, where we unclad ourselves among a blissful potpourri of recent NYU grads, hula hoopers, adorable pigeon feeders, and enthusiastically patriotic canines.

IMG_0753IMG_1056IMG_1004IMG_1121No hula hoops for us, but we brought books, and the various yummies we also brought didn’t go to the birds. We read, lounged, noshed, and caught up on a winter’s worth of drama in each other’s lives. And then read some more. We are a book club and do have our priorities, after all.

IMG_0965IMG_0976IMG_0988Two by two. But the sun is shining more regularly now, and more of us are aching to feel her rays on our sun-deprived exteriors. So you’ll see larger numbers of us out and about soon. And remember, if you’d like to be part of those larger numbers yourself, we welcome all women, the bold and the curious, to join us — just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and we’ll let you know what we’ve got coming up.

Wouldn’t you enjoy being out in the sun and free?

We hope you’ll reflect on it.

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IMG_0623This past week, the weather in New York skipped over spring entirely and went directly to summer. 92 degrees! That’s high even for summer. And just a week ago it was 46. No matter. We’ve given up trying to figure out the climate. Instead, we went to Central Park to see the cherry trees in bloom.

IMG_0636It was a midday event on a weekday, so just a couple of us came out, but it was no less beautiful for all that.

IMG_0258IMG_0470The crook of a branch made a lovely seat, even if we did get chased out of the perch by a group of grade-school boys who made it clear to us that this was their tree, and they always climbed it at 3pm when school let out, and they weren’t going to change their afternoon ritual for anyone.

IMG_0314IMG_0350IMG_0372Once again: no matter. Central Park is big and bountiful, and there are hills and rocks and lawns to lie on–

IMG_0385IMG_0425IMG_0443–and other trees to greet with ardor–

IMG_0563–and of course the Central Park Reservoir to go visit for a post-ardor smoke.

IMG_0653IMG_0683A less-than-well-informed Central Park Conservancy employee drove up at one point and half-heartedly tried to hassle us about being topless, but he was in the wrong, we told him he was, and he grumbled off into his truck again.

IMG_0294.jpgAside from that one minor annoyance, it was as lovely an afternoon as it could’ve been. And we look forward to returning soon!

Would you like to join us? All open-minded, body-positive women are welcome. Just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. We’ll be glad to let you into our secret cherry grove. 🙂

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IMG_9607We recently received an email message from a woman in Turkey that broke our heart, but also filled us with gratitude and hope. With her permission, we’re sharing her message here (but not her name).

Hi! I am a 31 year old woman from Istanbul, Turkey and I have been following your blog for a few years now. I just wanted to say that you are very, VERY fortunate sisters of mine that happen to live far, far away from me. I cannot imagine sunbathing topless here in Istanbul. I would be sexually harrassed and then arrested within an hour. Plus, I would have photos of me circulating to shame and harrass me forever.

Despite living in this reality, reading the blog and looking at the photos make me feel at peace, knowing that there are some places in the world where I could live the way I want to. I deserve like-minded sisters to read with, and my boobs deserve sunlight!

I hope to visit New York City someday, and if that day ever comes, I would LOVE to come spend an afternoon at the park with you people if it is OK. I love scifi books and comics ❤

Thank you so much for making the world a better place! Maybe someday the whole world will see that female nipples are not the worst of the planet’s problems.

Hope to meet you someday,

Love,
[NAME REDACTED]

Some people ask, why do we make such a big deal about the freedom to go topless when it’s already legal where we live? This is why.

IMG_9900IMG_87xxBAnd yes, we told her we would love to meet her if she ever comes to New York. And we would love to meet you, too, whether you live in New York or are just visiting (we’re meeting a fan from Belgium today, and one from France tomorrow!), whether you’ve never bared your breasts outdoors or have been doing it since you were a child, whether you’re nervous about it or elated, and no matter how young or old you are or what you look like. All women are welcome; all women deserve to be free.

Just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com.

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IMG_0034Those of you who have been following our adventures for a while have come to recognize some of our members. “Whatever happened to that one with the tattoo of a moth on her abdomen?” you’ll ask. Or, “It was nice to see the member with the green stars on her arms.” (Tattoos are helpful identifiers when you don’t have clothes on.)

And we love welcoming the same people back, summer after summer. But we also love welcoming first-timers, and this past week, when the thermometer briefly poked its nose into the high 70s, we held a picnic in Central Park specially for people who’d never been to one of our events before.

IMG_9443IMG_9945In fact, many of them told us they had never gone topless anywhere before — not in a public place. And you can see from the smiles on their faces just how happy an experience it was for them.

IMG_9656IMG_9392IMG_9783It makes us appreciate what we’ve got that much more when we get to see it through the eyes of someone who’s never had it before, or at least never had it at home. (One new member told us she got used to sunbathing topless when she lived in Europe. But America isn’t Europe, and this was the first time she’d ever done it here.)

IMG_0016IMG_9554We had plenty of people around us who weren’t topless, but happily not one of them — not one — questioned our right to enjoy the sun bare to the waist. In fact, no one said a word to us, and even the occasional glance we got was passing and respectful.

IMG_9428One pair of little girls walked past with hands up by their eyes to block their view…but as we watched, we saw one of them peek through her fingers. Maybe in ten years or so, when she’s deciding for herself what to wear in the park, she’ll have a vague memory of this day and it will help her decide to choose the path of freedom.

IMG_0141IMG_9563In the meantime, we enjoyed our freedom as we always do. We read–

IMG_9334IMG_9929IMG_9800IMG_9691We snacked on things healthy and un–

IMG_9651IMG_9838We enjoyed the feeling of our bodies under the sun–

IMG_9689IMG_9413And we left feeling warmer and healthier than we have for a long time. Not just because of the sunlight, though that was wonderful, but because of the freedom. Because of how good it feels to be happy and (nearly) naked outdoors, to do it together with a group of smart, interesting, like-minded women, and to know we’re safe and in the right. It was a delicious afternoon, and we were especially glad to share it with newcomers.

IMG_9380We would love to share it with you, too, if you’re a woman in the New York area and would like to see what it’s like for yourself. Just send us an email. We’re at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. We’ll never share your name with anyone, and anything you’re wondering about you can ask us. We would be so very happy to hear from you.

Because your breasts deserve to feel the touch of the sun too.

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