Twice before, we’ve visited the good folks at Cowgirl Seahorse, a restaurant down by the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge (on the Manhattan side, if you’re wondering). But both times it was for dinner, and both times it was indoors. That was before a pandemic flattened New York City, and New York’s restaurants responded by moving their tables outdoors onto the sidewalks for healthier open-air dining. We decided it was time for a return visit. And since the weather had turned coldish, we figured lunch was a better option than dinner.

Of course it rained.

But by the time we got to the table and its two helpful umbrellas, the downpour had lightened to a drizzle, and then to a mist. Still chilly, so we waited until we had warm beverages before unbuttoning.

Even then our toplessness was initially more a frontal thing than an all-over thing. This wasn’t about modesty — it was purely about comfort.

But mugs of hot tea for some and hot toddies for the rest of us warmed us up, as did plates of lower Manhattan’s yummiest comfort food. Nothing like whiskey, cinnamon and honey to chase away a chill, and nothing like fried pickles or shrimp and grits to warm the soul.

You’ll recall that Cowgirl Seahorse has a signature drink, the Sharkarita, which comes with a plastic shark full of “blood” that you pour into the blue beverage before drinking it. We had one of those too, and afterwards the shark enjoyed its proximity to our books and our nipples.

We also carried our drinks out into the street, where a rain-spawned dearth of traffic meant we had the cobblestones to ourselves for a bit.

It felt like the best sort of New York moment. A Sex and the City lunch out with the girls, in defiance of whatever life has thrown at us lately. We’re strong, we’re proud, and to quote another Sondheim song — we’re still here.