Archives for category: park

IMG_7613Yes, it’s November — yes, Thanksgiving is on the horizon — yes, Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Yes, yes, yes. But that doesn’t mean there’s no chance of warm weather. It’s statistically unlikely, but if you’ve been doing what we’ve been doing for as long as we’ve been doing it, you’ve seen some warm November days. Even warm December days. Not this year, so far. But it has happened. Photographic evidence provided here.

IMG_7561IMG_7557IMG_7594IMG_3373IMG_7568Will 2018 give us any? Who knows. If so, we’ll grab them. But if not, we at least have these memories to warm ourselves by.

IMG_8745IMG_8717IMG_8804IMG_8765IMG_8726And thank you for voting yesterday.

Warmer days are ahead.

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IMG_4411Enough pussyfooting around.

If you care about freedom (and what are you doing on this site if you don’t?), if you care about women’s rights and equal rights, if you care about driving racism and hatred back under the rocks they’ve been crawling out from, if you’re of legal age and a U.S. citizen and entitled to cast a vote in tomorrow’s elections — do it. No excuses. No bullshit. We’re all busy. We’re all disappointed with the options. Doesn’t matter. Go out and vote like your life depends on it, because it quite literally might.

0911-bWe’re not big on symbols, and when you see red, white, and blue around us it’s more likely to be random than intentional.

IMG_7423IMG_6225Or done in a spirit of fun.

IMG950323But these are not fun times we’re in. Sometimes an election really matters, and this is one of those times. Protecting our country from the gruesome excesses and cruelties of those in power matters. And we’re asking you to stand up for what matters. Especially when all you have to do to take this particular stand is find your polling place, and pull a lever.

cp3-xIt’s time to balance all the red and white in this country with a little bit more blue.

Don’t let us down.

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It’s wintry and wet out now, and in the days leading up to the election there have been eruptions of hatred and violence and cruelty. It’s hard to remember sometimes that this year has had good times in it too. It’s important to take a moment to remember warmer, happier days, outdoors and in.

Sweater2The summer will come again.

IMG_7105IMG_5590IMG_4499IMG_2386IMG_1205In the meantime, go out and vote, goddamn it.

IMG_4470For any color hat other than red.

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IMG_8324Okay, so it’s now officially Fall. Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. (Thank you, John Keats.) But we’re not quite ready yet to put away the things of summer, Keats or no Keats.

Yes, it’s getting dark earlier, and the mists are a real thing (it’s been overcast and drizzly and gray gray gray), but the temperature still periodically peeks up into the 70s, even tiptoeing toward 80 on occasion, and on one recent Monday afternoon we headed out to one of our favorite little lawns in Central Park for some proper R&R (reading and relaxation).

IMG_7889IMG_7898We were joined by a couple of first-timers —

IMG_7787–and an art photographer who used this marvelous old-style camera to capture the beautiful autumnal light on the grass and the leaves. (And on us.)

IMG_7996We were also joined by a marvelous fashion designer who brought a piece of custom lingerie she made in the classic pulp fiction style of a 1940s film noir femme fatale, so of course we had to try that on.

IMG_8295IMG_8178And then there was time spent petting a total stranger’s adorable dog.

IMG_8342Throughout all this (well, all but the lingerie part) we were blissfully bare from the waist up, drinking in those precious last rays,

IMG_8048…aware that it’s sweater weather now more days than not, and soon will be winter-coat-and-snowboots weather. On days like this, we treasure not just the legal right to go topless but also the waning proximity to the sun that gives us the privilege.

IMG_7785cIMG_7960What will we do in October, November, December? You’ll find us indoors — as always, we have some fun notions for places to go naked when it’s too cold outside. But that’s tomorrow. Today was sun, today was grass, today was nature. We feel fortunate to have had the chance. And perhaps, if the weather cooperates, it might not even be the very last chance of the year.

If you’d like to join us sometime — outdoors or in, this year or next — and you’re a body-positive woman in the New York area, drop us a note: toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you and to meet you.

Maybe even in our secret garden.

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IMG_9959Our group’s name notwithstanding, we read all sorts of books, not just pulp fiction. (Not even just fiction.) But when we do read pulp fiction, it’s often from a line called Hard Case Crime, which was founded by a friend of our group who kindly gives us advance peeks into what they’re going to be publishing months and months before anyone else gets to see.

IMG_1708IMG_1765IMG_5166IMG_3593This summer, that meant getting an early look at a first novel called Charlesgate Confidential by film critic Scott Von Doviak. And what a great read it is. An art heist in 1946 leads to a hunt for the missing art in 1986 and then to a series of murders related to the still missing art in the present day, and it’s all woven together in a twisty, satisfying way, all over Boston (even though we read it all over New York).

IMG_4059IMG_7788IMG_1724IMG_7785IMG_7623IMG_7680And we’d offer to lend you one of our ragged, dog-eared copies,

IMG_0074except now we don’t have to because this coming Tuesday the book’s finally being published and you’ll be able to get a copy for yourself!

IMG_9929We don’t generally shill for books, even ones published by our friends, but this one is pretty terrific. Don’t believe us? Here’s what a random guy named Stephen King said about it on Twitter back in June: “Get this book, campers. It’s a fun machine…the white-knuckle kind.”

How did Stephen King get his hands on a copy? Are we saying that Stephen King came to one of our events and stole one of our precious copies of Charlesgate Confidential?? We are so, so, so totally not saying that. Because it wouldn’t be true.

But we do love us some Stephen King too. 🙂

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IMG_7111In August 2011 — seven years ago — half a dozen of us decided that we were going to try doing this thing we knew was legal in New York, but that we’d never been brave enough to do: go topless in the park on a hot summer day.

park-jFor our first test of this freedom we supposedly had, we chose Sheep Meadow, the most glorious grassy lawn in Central Park, a stone’s throw from the legendary eatery Tavern on the Green. (That “green” they’re talking about? It’s Sheep Meadow.) We found our way through the fence and onto the grass, and after a timid moment or two, we unbuttoned, untied, unzipped — un-topped — and did it ever feel good! Not just the solar rays on our sun-deprived skin, but the feeling that we were really as free as the law said we were, that our rights really were equal, and our breasts as valid as any man’s chest. No one stopped us, criticized us, shamed us, ogled us. No one told us to put a shirt on or to go home; no one reminded us that there were children around (though there probably were, there always are). We simply were allowed to be.

IMG_7355IMG_7281IMG_7130Each year since then we’ve come back to Sheep Meadow at least once, and this summer was no exception, except that we left it almost to the very end. Once again half a dozen of us came out to enjoy the sun and the soft grass, the gentle breeze and the lack of judgment. Once again, no comments or stares came our way, just the kiss of the wind against our nipples, and at the very end, the tiniest scattering of raindrops to refresh us and (finally) chase us out of the park.

IMG_7296Two of our longest-time members were there for the event, along with one of our newest: a college student who made her mark instantly by bringing lemon sorbet, Pellegrino water, cups, and ice, for impromptu sorbet cocktails. (We’re keeping her.)

IMG_7166IMG_7357Reading material included a dystopian tale of a world in which women are a lot less free than we are — and which sadly, some days, feels only a few small steps away from coming true.

IMG_7134To take our mind off such dire futures we focused on the moment. Small physical joys. And it was blissful.

IMG_7159IMG_7236IMG_7250Would you like to join us? There’s still time! Monday is Labor Day, the traditional end to the summer season, and we’re marking it with a picnic in the park. If you’re a body-positive woman and in the city over the holiday weekend, why not see for yourself what freedom feels like? Email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. Before the winter comes  (and before this insane government goes all Margaret Atwood on us). Come out to the park with us, and enjoy the taste of liberty. It’s cool and refreshing, we promise.

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IMG_5030In our last post, we described a wonderful outdoor acroyoga class we held in Washington Square Park, where one of our members instructed us in balancing each other in midair on our feet.

IMG_5442IMG_5585It was a blast. But before we started flying, we had a more down-to-earth meet-up, and we wanted to share that with you too.

IMG_4982IMG_5218IMG_5022It always makes for great photos when we do something out of the ordinary — go rowing on Central Park lake…

octpfas_080513-9288…or snowball fighting in the middle of winter…

IMG_9682But our usual fare is more modest, even if not in the conventional sense of the word. We bring towels out to the park, like you do; we bring a few snacks and some bottles of water; we bring books to read and friends to talk with; and we take our shirts off to enjoy the feeling of the sun on our skin.

IMG_5078If a group of men did this, it would inspire exactly zero comment. Groups of men do it all the time, in fact, and zero comment is what it inspires. But get a group of women together to do the exact same thing, and… Well, on a good day, pretty much the same thing happens, at least in New York. But even here we get the odd comment. “There are children nearby,” one concerned and exasperated-sounding woman called to us. “Don’t you think you should put something on?”

IMG_5246No, we replied. We don’t think that, but thank you for asking? What we do think is that children will grow up healthier — both girls and boys — if they learn at an early age that there is nothing more shameful about a woman’s body than there is about a man’s; that those rounded shapes under a girl’s shirt aren’t some mysterious prize to be quested after or peeked at or groped, they’re just parts of the body like noses or biceps or knees; and that no woman has to apologize for or conceal the way nature has made her. We don’t always love our bodies, but they’re our bodies. And we’re all entitled to enjoy them equally.

IMG_6015IMG_5015IMG_5355The nice thing about Washington Square Park is that out of literally thousands of people enjoying the day together with us in peace and tolerance, only one felt the need to disturb the serenity with an outburst like this. But that’s Washington Square Park, and that’s New York City. We know that women elsewhere in this country and elsewhere in the world don’t have the same freedom we do. And that’s one of the reasons we created this blog, and why we keep posting to it year after year. People still need to discover that women’s bodies are something perfectly ordinary (half the people in the world have one!) and deserve to be treated as uncontroversial whether covered or uncovered.

IMG_5294If you feel the same way we do, we’d love to have you join us sometime. All body-positive women are welcome. Just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and we’ll find an event that’s right for you.

Remember, it’s already August this week! The summer won’t last forever. If you’ve ever felt curious or tempted or eager to try it for yourself…carpe diem.

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