IMG_9479It feels like it’s been summer for a while now, with high temperatures and plenty of sun; but in fact summer didn’t kick off in all its formal summery glory until June 21. And what’s the first day of summer without red velvet cupcakes and fresh marshmallows, cool drinks and an icy wading pool, and well-thumbed copies of the last century’s finest works of imaginative literature? Boring, that’s what. And we may be many things at the Outdoor Co-Ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society, but we are not boring.

So out came Bram Stoker (DRACULA) and Stephen King (his latest, JOYLAND); out came GAME OF THRONES and THE WHEEL OF TIME; out came Patricia Briggs and James M. Cain; and for good measure, Harold Evans’ memoir about his newspaper days.  (You say memoirs are not imaginative literature? How adorable.)

Then off came the clothing and on went the sunscreen (some spray-on self-tanner, too, mostly for amusement value).  Some of us sported nipple jewelry. Two of us brought heart-shaped Lolita sunglasses (not, strictly speaking, a literary reference since they go back to the Kubrick film, but what the heck). A few stylish swimsuit bottoms made an appearance, but most of us wore nothing we hadn’t been born with. And why not?  Our home away from home, the Colonial House Inn, offers Manhattan’s only officially clothing-optional sundeck, and when given the option of wearing clothes or not, we tend to opt out.

Next time, it’s back to the streets of the city, teeming with humanity, or the green rolling hills of the city’s parks, and we’ll remain clothed from the waist down as the law demands. But for the first day of summer we gave ourselves a special treat, and on the possibility that a photographic record of our afternoon will be a special summer treat for you, we offer this brief portfolio.