There are many parks in New York City, many even just in Manhattan, and even after eight years we haven’t been to every single one. So why do we have some spots we come back to again and again?

Because they’re special. This one was special to no less a New York City luminary than Edgar Allan Poe, who lived a few blocks away, christened the spot after his landlord’s son (or so the story goes), and came here to meditate and write his poetry. What obscure poem did he work on here? We won’t give it away, but it starts, “Once upon a midnight dreary…”

How did this location inspire a classic of gothic melancholy? You’ve got us. There’s nothing dreary about the spot, with its giant boulder, its lush foliage, its towering trees, and its views of nearby hills and paths. The Hudson River flows nearby, as does the majestic West Side Highway. (Poe missed out on the latter.)

And better than all the rest is the privacy the boulder affords, once you’ve climbed to the crest. There’s room enough for two dozen people to set out towels and take off their clothing, and as long as you’re sitting down, no one lower down in the park can see you. As a location for people coming to one of our events — and maybe also to outdoor toplessness — for the first time, it’s pretty much ideal.

So it won’t surprise you to learn that many of the people we invited this time were first-timers —

— though there were some second-timers as well, returning after enjoying our visit to Summit Rock a week or two earlier.

(Interestingly, there’s no rock at Summit Rock. At least not like there is here. See what happens when you get anyone less than an immortal poet to name locations in your park for you?)

We discovered all sorts of interesting coincidences as our new members met and made friends. Vegans met vegans, chefs met chefs, a couple of doctors met an aspiring medical student. But there was also diversity of every variety, across the spectrums of gender and age and race and body type.

We had tasty snacks and beverages —

–read everything from a weighty photo history on street art to 1984 to Joyce Carol Oates’ psychedelic riff on the Charles Manson murders, The Triumph of the Spider Monkey

–and we napped,

–and chatted,

–and smiled,

–and everyone treated everyone else with kindness, patience, respect, enthusiasm, and warmth.

Why can’t every group of people be like this? We come from all sorts of different backgrounds, different neighborhoods, different countries of origin sometimes, and yet somehow we are able to be good to each other, to be humane. To be, in a word (and notwithstanding our partial nudity), decent. It’s not hard. In fact, it feels like the easiest thing in the world. And if two dozen people who start out as total strangers to one another can do it, who says two million people can’t? Or two hundred million?

Well, one step at a time. First you climb a hill, then a boulder, then a mountain.

Would you like to join us on our quest? Show the world what freedom looks like, what equality looks like — what decency looks like — and enjoy some great times doing it? We’d love to hear from you. Email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or message us on Insta or Twitter at @ToplessPulp.

Because we know you rock, too.