For the second leg of our valedictory tour (which began in the secluded northern reaches of Central Park), we went back to the place we began this summer: Washington Square Park.

Now, Washington Square is about as different from upper Manhattan as you can get, and not just because it’s on the opposite end of the island. Where the meadow in Central Park is pretty empty even on warm summer days, Washington Square Park is busy and crowded even when it’s cold out — and the day we returned was far from cold. So the lawns were full of NYU students (and professors, and random other people) taking a last bit of sun for the season.

That didn’t stop us from doing the same. And happily, the results weren’t so very different from what we experienced up north. Far more people saw, but they ignored us (not counting the one wild-eyed fellow in an ill-fitting suit who stopped by to tell us about his role in the development of the anarchist movement — and we have a feeling he would’ve buttonholed us no matter what we’d been wearing). We felt comfortable and safe, two things you might not expect to feel out in public without a shirt on, surrounded by a hundred strangers.

New York seems to have accepted the fact that women have the same freedom of choice that men have when it comes to how much or how little to wear. When we first visited this park eight years ago, we certainly got more questioning looks than we got this time. It’s real progress, and we’re so pleased to have had a role, however small, in bringing it about.

What did we spend our time doing? Not all that much reading, although three books by Stephen King made an appearance. (The Shining, Joyland, and The Colorado Kid, if you’re wondering.) An adorable puppy also made an appearance, briefly, and got lots of attention.

Mostly we spent the time getting to know each other, since there were a number of first timers in the group. According to time-honored tradition we said hello by comparing ink.

We also shared some ingestible treats, most of them 100% legal.

And we just lay back and recharged our batteries.

How will we recharge when it’s too cold out for sunning in the park? We have no shortage of plans: there will be a topless karaoke night in November and our annual spa visit in December, among other well-heated delights. But we do miss being outdoors and warmed by the late summer sun.

Might November contain a day warm enough for us to do it again? It might — we’ll see. If you’d like to join us if it does, email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or DM us on Insta or Twitter. Same thing if you’re in the mood for singing along to Madonna’s greatest hits. We’d love to make your acquaintance — indoors or out.