IMG_5057…no, not the prison. We may be getting a bit stir-crazy, cooped up indoors while we wait out the cold weather, but not crazy enough to actually go to stir. (Not a place for a topless adventure, that.)

IMG_4718Sing Sing on Avenue A in New York is the city’s diviest karaoke bar, and we mean that as a compliment. You can keep your chromed-up, K-pop suffused, midtown glitzerias — we’ll take a grotty basement with a gold disco ball, thank you very much. Couches that look like Sid and Nancy shot up on them. Cinderblock walls, thickly painted and never cleaned. A place where even the shadows cast shadows.

IMG_4647Into this veritable Mos Eisley we brought a group of 20 eager chanteuses, including two ringers with serious singing credentials; a sackful of baked goods courtesy of Dominique Ansel and Frederic Vaucamps; enough alcohol to drown the butterflies in anyone’s stomach; and an eclectic pick list that ranged from Biggie Smalls to Peggy Lee, from My Funny Valentine to My Chemical Romance, from ABBA to zig-a-zig-ah. 

IMG_4598And did we get topless? Did we ever. Shed sweaters to Sondheim, bras to Believe, winterwear to Wayne Newton. Sing Sing’s VIP Room, initially frosty, warmed up as we sang our hearts out, with dancing to match. We’d say it was hands-down our most energetic event ever, but “hands down” is a singularly inapt description of how most of us spent the night.

IMG_5097IMG_5108IMG_5089Of course, if you think going bare-chested in public is intimidating, try singing in front of a roomful of strangers — even a warm and welcoming group like ours. But by the end of the night even the first-timers in the room were singing full-throatedly, and the last buttons, clasps and ties were coming undone.

IMG_5130IMG_5138The room was dark enough that our few attempts at capturing the fun on video didn’t really work — unless you think of them as bootleg tapes, made on the sly, at some underground concert. In that case, they work fine, and we’re glad to share a few snippets with you:

All in all, this was a perfect way to warm up a cold winter night. But perfection comes in many forms, and we’ve got other fun events coming up that’ll take the chill off too. If you’re fighting the winter blues and would like to join us next time, let us know — all body-positive women are welcome, and an email to toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com is all it takes to get an invitation.

Won’t you join us sometime…?

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