Archives for category: 2015

IMG_7270Most of the time we confine ourselves to Manhattan — more a matter of laziness than principle, really, and even the laziness doesn’t make much sense when you consider how many of us live in Brooklyn. Perhaps it’s the centrality that attracts us. In any event: we generally meet in Manhattan. But with summer winding down, and with one of our number having access to a lovely rooftop sundeck in an Outer Borough, we decided to peregrinate to the other side of the river. And look what we found when we got there:

IMG_7082Just a little reminder of what we stand for. Individual liberty — and huddled masses yearning to breathe free. If only she wore her robe draped just a little more loosely, hers could. And why not? She is French, after all.

IMG_7131IMG_7229IMG_7215We were joined on our afternoon adventure by a reporter from the New York Times, who wanted to learn more about our group and why we do what we do; you may see a report from them sometime over the coming weeks. (Here we are striking a pose for her camera. Because why not. We’re proud of what we do.)

IMG_7363We were also joined by some bagels and black-and-white cookies from Barney Greengrass, some bubbly intoxicants from Ms. Liberty’s homeland, and books by two Kings (Stephen and Lily).

IMG_7304Later in the afternoon we wandered over to Prospect Park, where someone with no knowledge of the law called 911 on us, causing the police to roll up, see that we weren’t doing anything illegal, and roll on. But that’s a subject for another post. For now, let’s remember the happier parts of the day — when Liberty was in sight, and no one was trying to dismantle her.

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IMG_6991How do you follow an hour of play in the grown-up version of a kids’ ball pit? Dinner, of course, at an open-air French bistro, whose owners, being French, don’t see anything wrong with a dozen women dining topless in their establishment. Is it unusual? Bien sur! But is it shocking? Mais non. Should it be prohibited? Pourquoi? Let the wine flow, the foie gras and tartare get plated, and the shirts come off. Liberté, egalité, sororité!

IMG_6824IMG_6849IMG_6874We were joined by two surprise guests, the extraordinary art photographer Gunter Knop, whose female nudes are legendary…

IMG_6896…and this fellow, all 6’4″ of him, who must’ve come only to drink since he arrived with a box of 7-Eleven pizza in hand, and who joined us in toplessness and earnest philosophical discussion.

IMG_7055IMG_7075IMG_7023There were some onlookers from outside, peering in with curiosity (and iPhones — damn you, Steve Jobs!). There was a school group, and we’re told that we inspired a few dozen teenage double-takes.

IMG_6928IMG_6910But mostly the night passed without event. The food was delicious. The company even more so.

IMG_6977We rarely go out after the sun goes down, but when we do, we do it right. And with nights getting longer, you can expect to see us doing more of it in the coming months.

We’re delighted to have discovered Parigot, and will return there with pleasure.

We recommend the scallops.

IMG_6972IMG_6885IMG_6911And the creme brulee. 🙂

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IMG_6608We’ve Got Balls

Playing With Someone’s Balls

Balls, Deep

The punny titles just write themselves, don’t they? And while we bow to no one in our capacity for innuendo and juvenile humor, this time we’ll let it go.

What’s the story behind these rather unusual pictures? Simple. We heard that the downtown ad agency Pearlfisher had installed a giant ball pit in its reception area and invited members of the public to come and enjoy themselves in it. It’s meant as some sort of paean to childishness and playfulness and free-spiritedness, three things we like to like to think we embody. So we called them up and asked if perhaps they’d let us commandeer the space some afternoon and disport ourselves like the overgrown children we are. They said yes, and a subway ride later it was us and 80,000 white plastic balls in a battle royal.

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The experience was exhilarating, though perhaps more physically taxing than we expected. (Ever sink beneath a truckload of plastic spheres and find yourself unable to get up again? Fortunately some of our members are in peak physical condition and could fish the rest of us out.)

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There were selfies to take and ball fights to have…

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…juggling to practice and pretend spa treatments to enact…

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…swimming metaphors to explore and Chuck E. Cheese memories to blissfully expunge.

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No, we didn’t read any books in there; we didn’t even discuss any. But by god, we had fun. Hats off (bras, too) to the cool, supportive staffers who let us come and were super-nice to us while we were there. To the handful of ad execs in the back trying to get some actual work done while we frolicked noisily in their entrance after hours, our apologies. But tell the world it’s okay to come over and play with your balls, you’ve got to expect some people to take you up on it.

Ah, smutty puns, we can’t resist you after all!

Perhaps for our next outing we’ll have to go to the Jewelry District and try on some pearl necklaces.

In the meantime: Balls.

Enjoy ’em. We did.

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IMG_5975The temperature is still hitting the 80s in New York City — it doesn’t at all feel like summer’s over. But it’s September. Winter is coming.

So we got the group together at the single most appropriate spot in Central Park, below the bust of Thomas Moore, the Irish poet who wrote “The Last Rose of Summer,” as fine a tribute to the season’s end as ever there was.

IMG_5934IMG_6026A dozen of us filtered in and out, rekindling old friendships and discovering connections among us.

IMG_6062We were joined by a reporter from the Wall Street Journal, and maybe an article will result and maybe one won’t, but that’s not really the point. We stared down a half dozen rather too eager photographers determined to capture us for posterity, but that’s not really the point either.

What is the point? The point is that Central Park in September is just about the most beautiful place to be on the face of the earth, and bare-breasted is just about the best way to enjoy it. The air was warm, the sun mild, the grass comfy, the treats from Mille Feuille heart-melting. We read The Picture of Dorian Gray, we read The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes, we read the numbered entries of the Position Sex Bible. (What’s #69? Not what you think.)

IMG_6035IMG_6038IMG_6033And we relaxed. We weren’t a spectacle, we weren’t offensive. In as public a space as New York has, we were topless and decorum wasn’t shattered, nor traffic stopped, nor tourists scandalized, nor children scarred. Are you paying attention, Mayor de Blasio? Governor Cuomo?

We haven’t shared our feelings about the inane Times Square brouhaha in so many words. But as a lovely summer draws to a close, we trust each of these pictures to be worth a thousand of them.

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IMG_4779Sunbathing in the great outdoors is all well and good, but there comes a time when you’d really like a dip in cool water to relieve the golden toasting the sun has given you. When that time comes, if you’re not by the fountain in Washington Square Park, your options are limited. Yes, there are some public pools, and someday we’ll try one. But this past week we went to our favorite private pool, on the roof of the Dream Downtown hotel. Unlike every other hotel with an outdoor pool we’ve reached out to, the Dream isn’t scared by the prospect of bare-chested women joining in with all the bare-chested men lounging by their pool. On the contrary, they’re a topless-friendly pool all the time. Consequently, when the time comes for our annual pool adventure, that’s where we head, books in tow.

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A dozen of us took over one of their cabanas, relaxed on their lounge chairs (with real sand underneath, for that Authentic Beach Feel), toasted each other with champagne, and read Lawrence Block (The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes), Karl Ove Knausgaard (My Struggle), and Megan Abbott (The Fever).

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We also indulged in a little live broadcasting via Periscope, teaching a few thousand observers about gender equality in New York…

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…and just for fun, also a little touristy photography, shooting up through the cutouts in the pool bottom, as seen from the hotel lobby:

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“What is this?” some hotel guests asked. “Why are you topless?” The same reason you are, we explained — if we were talking to a man. Or, when we were talking to curious women: You know you can too, right?

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And a few of them took our contact info. Will they join us at a future event? We hope so. The summer isn’t over yet. Before the cold sets in (and if last year is any indication, it could be a long one), why not take an afternoon to lounge topless in the sun?

Or in the water. It’s all up to you.

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IMG_4408As longtime visitors to our site know, we’re not shy. We’ve taken, oh, about six thousand photographs of our events and posted scads them on this very site, which has in turn been viewed some 15,700,189 times by women and men all over the world. And we’ve been written about by many news outlets — probably hundreds, especially if you count that Greek newspaper that one time. But: until today we have never once appeared on video for any of them. You’ve never heard any of us speak.

That’s about to change, since we were kindly and sympathetically approached by a reporter for Salon.com, asking if she could be our first. And we do like first times, and trying new things, and breaking new boundaries. So once she convinced us that she understood what we were all about and that her approach would be consistent with the site’s tradition of fair coverage and female-positive views, we agreed to let her come out with us, first to Washington Square Park and then to a spot a little farther uptown, on the banks of the Hudson River.

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Both afternoons were lovely, and so was her company. So much so that we’ve invited her back to be a member in good standing. We’ll see if she joins us sometime, sans videocamera (and sans vetements). But for now we’re excited to see how the piece she’s working on comes out. Who knows? It may even be up on their site by the time you read this. We’ll add a link once it is. (EDITED TO ADD: Here it is — http://goo.gl/Tz9ZHP.)

In the meantime, enjoy these behind-the-scenes shots, from our very own salon. (Of the literary variety, naturally. Not that there’s anything wrong with beauty salons, hair salons, etc. But we suspect that’s not the meaning that gave Salon.com its name. Who really knows, though? We’ll have to ask Janet about keratin treatments sometime.)

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IMG_4018Our experience getting painted for New York Bodypainting Day sparked an artistic impulse in our collective breast, so for our latest trip to Central Park we chose a secluded meadow and invited four of our favorite artists to accompany us and sketch us as we lay about in the (almost) altogether.

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(Next time we might go all the way — full nudity is apparently legal in New York as long as it’s part of an artistic performance or exhibition, and being drawn or painted would seem to qualify. But this time only one of us was brave enough to go full monty in the grass.)

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We had our favorite new books on hand (yet another member came bearing a copy of Dune!), along with miniature danishes and chocolate kuglof from Andre’s on the upper east side. The sun was high and merciless, the grass sere underfoot, the boulders craggy wonders — and yet we felt less like we were in an apocalyptic milieu worthy of a George Miller movie (we’re looking at you, Happy Feet 2!) than like, I don’t know, Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon, minus only the body of water. Which is to say, paradisiacal (if a bit hot).

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A handful of people stumbled upon us as the afternoon wore on — several dog lovers giving their canine companions their daily exercise; a family of four who made no eye contact, just walked on through; two cute boys in college sweatshirts, ditto. And then there were the three oldish teens(?), who darted in with super-soakers in hand, sprayed us lustily, cackled, and ran away. We were torn between feeling incensed (and concerned for our not-precisely-waterproof cellphones, not to mention our printed-on-actual-paper books) and feeling refreshed by the brief cooling down. Still, next time, ask first, okay, boys…?

There was also this raccoon:

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The art, meanwhile, was all quick sketchwork — but lovely sketchwork with exactly the free, lively, impromptu quality a gathering of nearly naked people in the woods calls for.

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Next time: some extended poses. Who knows? Maybe we can even get easels and oils out there and make a proper Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe of it.

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