IMG_4779Sunbathing in the great outdoors is all well and good, but there comes a time when you’d really like a dip in cool water to relieve the golden toasting the sun has given you. When that time comes, if you’re not by the fountain in Washington Square Park, your options are limited. Yes, there are some public pools, and someday we’ll try one. But this past week we went to our favorite private pool, on the roof of the Dream Downtown hotel. Unlike every other hotel with an outdoor pool we’ve reached out to, the Dream isn’t scared by the prospect of bare-chested women joining in with all the bare-chested men lounging by their pool. On the contrary, they’re a topless-friendly pool all the time. Consequently, when the time comes for our annual pool adventure, that’s where we head, books in tow.


A dozen of us took over one of their cabanas, relaxed on their lounge chairs (with real sand underneath, for that Authentic Beach Feel), toasted each other with champagne, and read Lawrence Block (The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes), Karl Ove Knausgaard (My Struggle), and Megan Abbott (The Fever).


We also indulged in a little live broadcasting via Periscope, teaching a few thousand observers about gender equality in New York…


…and just for fun, also a little touristy photography, shooting up through the cutouts in the pool bottom, as seen from the hotel lobby:


“What is this?” some hotel guests asked. “Why are you topless?” The same reason you are, we explained — if we were talking to a man. Or, when we were talking to curious women: You know you can too, right?


And a few of them took our contact info. Will they join us at a future event? We hope so. The summer isn’t over yet. Before the cold sets in (and if last year is any indication, it could be a long one), why not take an afternoon to lounge topless in the sun?

Or in the water. It’s all up to you.