One month into the new year and we hadn’t held an event yet — it was time. But it’s still cold out! So we asked ourselves, what sort of fun could we get up to indoors?

New York’s warmest, most inclusive, most accepting piano bar called to us. The Duplex is an icon, having opened in 1951 and moved to its current space on Christopher Street in 1989. Generations of pianists, singers, comedians, drag queens, and future Broadway stars have performed there, or at least dropped by for a drink. The place isn’t huge, but what it lacks in grandeur it more than makes up for in bonhomie. (Ooh, aren’t we French all of a sudden? Perhaps the Duplex’s lovely French doors, with nice open views onto the street, inspired us.)

Could we enjoy an evening of song and good company there topless? Of course we could, they told us. Why not? And so we shed the winter blahs along with our topcoats and sweaters and scarves and blouses and bras; and having heaped all that in a pile in the corner, we got down to the serious business of nibbling meringues and fruit tarts from a patisserie down the block while the wait staff brought us brilliant libations and belted out the greatest hits of Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, Elton John, Billy Joel, Lennon and McCartney, Boublil and Schonberg, and some Disney princesses if those Disney princesses had been a lot hornier than the movies would have you believe.

We even stepped up to the mic and belted out a song or two ourselves: “Valerie” by the Zutons, “Popular” from Wicked. Was the point to dethrone Kristin Chenoweth as the perfect Glinda? It was not. But if we didn’t bring her soaring soprano, we more than made up for it with brio. (And now, suddenly…we’re Italian. What can we say, we contain multitudes.)

We didn’t get any reading done at the bar, of course, but we brought a bunch of pulp fiction to share and carry home, courtesy of our friends at Hard Case Crime: a new Mike Hammer comic book, a delicious Donald Westlake novel about monks on Park Avenue, a pre-release copy of Joyce Carol Oates’ tale of a serial killer in 1960s Hollywood. Good to have reading material for these cold winter nights.

But some cold winter nights you just need to go out and get your groove on.

And it’s hard to imagine a better place to do that than the Duplex. Welcoming, tolerant, queer-friendly, generous with both the tunes and the beverages, and (unlike, say, Tumblr or Facebook) utterly unfazed by the sight of a female-presenting nipple or two. (Or two dozen.)

Will we be back when those French doors open up in the summer to let the balmy West Village air in? Oh, yes. With a song in our heart and no clothing above it.