Archives for category: park

For the last leg of our end-of-season visit to our favorite NYC parks, we paid our first visit of the year to Union Square.

Why Union Square? Well, to start with, it’s home to the city’s biggest farmer’s market, which means fresh-picked fruit to feast on — or to wear as impromptu pasties.

It’s also quiet, in spite of being home to a subway station and a never-ending stream of pedestrians (and chess hustlers, and street vendors, and, and, and…). The lawns on the east side of Union Square are set off by fencing and shrubbery and statues and just generally feel like an oasis amid all the midtown tumult.

It’s near the New School and some other schools where members of our group are enrolled, making it a perfect spot for a quick topless break between classes.

It’s far enough downtown that no one bats an eye if you walk from the subway to the park in a stylish leather top that lets you enjoy the breeze almost as thoroughly as if you had no top on at all.

Nor does anyone remark on it when you switch to actually having no top on at all.

But there was another reason for our choice when we went there on an unseasonably warm day earlier this month: Union Square is within walking distance of our favorite rooftop sundeck, and we wanted to pay a last visit there as well. So we had a rather full day: topless in the park at noon, nude sunbathing on the roof at 3.

Was that too much naked fun for one day? Sure — for a day in July, with the summer stretched out before us, feeling endless. But for a day in October?

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, the poet tells us, and so we did.

Would you like to gather some rosebuds with us when next spring rolls around? Or perhaps discover what indoor fun we’ve cooked up for the fall and winter? Drop us a note at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or DM us on Insta or Twitter. You’ll find that when you’re with us, naked is always in season. 🙂

For the third leg of our valedictory tour, we returned to Central Park, but the southern end this time, where all the tourists do go. This being one of the very last days of summer, there weren’t all that many tourists around — or all that many of us, for that matter. (School had started, summer Fridays were over at work, iffy weather made people hesitant. And so on.) But those of us who came enjoyed a truly lovely afternoon.

It was overcast, so no need for sunscreen (although the sun did peek out once or twice!), and there’s really no better spot for a mid-afternoon picnic on the grass than the lawn at Columbus Circle.

If it was too chilly at first to go fully topless, it wasn’t too cold to unbutton–

–or to find other ways of setting our nipples free.

And it did warm up! After a bit of brisk weather at the start we found ourselves bathed by gentle breezes and warmed lightly by the sun.

We weren’t super-energetic this time (for the most part). It was a snoozy afternoon, but that’s fine. Nothing nicer than lying in the grass with friends.

No one bothered us, our bare-chestedness notwithstanding. Which is proof yet again that a) New York is the coolest place on earth, and b) people here have finally figured out that a woman going topless isn’t grounds for ogling or catcalls or complaints or even paying attention especially. Yes, one teenage boy came over on the obviously concocted grounds of asking where the nearest bathroom was, but eh. A boy’s got to see his first boobs sometime. What do you want to bet he’ll treat the sight as more of an ordinary one now that he’s seen women simply relaxing without shirts on, just like he and his friends do all the time, rather than only ever having seen a woman’s chest in the context of porn or some sexualized videogame?

This was one of our last park outings for the year — but not the very last (yes, there’s a Part IV still to come). And we’re still holding out hope for a warm November! But if we don’t get that, we’ll have indoor events to tide us over until the thaw in the spring. Want to join us, indoors or out? We’d love to hear from you. Just email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or DM us on Insta or Twitter.

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.

The temperature is in the 50s and dropping — next Sunday, the low is supposed to be 40. On top of that, it’s raining, the Duane Reade down the block is advertising Halloween specials, and all in all it just feels like summer ended a million years ago.

But it didn’t. Less than 3 weeks ago it was 90 degrees in New York City — only for one afternoon, true, but it was in the 80s for longer, and even when it dropped into the 70s it was still quite comfortable to be topless outdoors. So for the past several weeks we’ve been enjoying a valedictory lap around the parks of Manhattan, conscious that it was our last chance to enjoy them before the cold properly set in and the only thing getting denuded in the park would be the trees.

We started up at the north end of Central Park, which is like the upper reaches of the Himalayas in the sense that tourists never go that high, so you’ve basically got the place to yourself. There’s a meadow we like to use, which is secluded enough even at the height of summer and basically empty when fall rolls around. You can stand on your head with nothing on but a thong and no one sees, no one cares, no one says a word.

You can also gather with twenty of your closest friends and enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin,

…secure in the knowledge not only that what you’re doing is completely legal (it’s been legal for 27 years for women to go topless anywhere in New York a man can) but also that, even if someone does pass by and see, it won’t raise any eyebrows. This is New York. Upper Manhattan. People see stranger things in this neighborhood than a girl with her titties out.

So we got our titties out.

And lo and behold, no one cared. Why can’t everywhere be like this? We had a few boys in the group this time, and our barechestedness drew as little attention as theirs — including from them.

We were able to read in peace,

and even get some schoolwork done.

Practice some asanas,

and our sk8r grl moves.

Show off ink and body jewelry,

and our selective adoption of undergarments.

Have a nosh al fresco,

and just lie back and daydream.

Even when we left the park, a few of us kept up the spirit of liberty that had animated our afternoon.

And why not? Why shouldn’t women be as free to walk down the street shirtless as men?

Nothing but cold weather should make us put more clothes on. And even then, we find all sorts of fun things to do naked indoors! But that’s a subject for another post — a whole winter’s worth of posts, in fact. For now, we’re going to remember the summer as it was at the very end: sweet and warm and free and fabulous.

We love our animal companions as much as our human friends. More, sometimes. But we don’t often bring them with us to our events. Once, a puppy named Charlie made an appearance, but that was years ago and he hasn’t shown his little canine head since.

But with fall rearing its head, we made a visit to Sheep Meadow in Central Park, and this time one of our members brought her cat with her. And said cat was a hit with one and all.

We were even joined by a male partner at one point, and he helped, uh… Oh, fuck it: he helped take care of our pussy. There. We have the sense of humor of a ninth grader. Are you happy now?

It’s not like our cat was the only new member making a debut. Even this late in the season, a number of first-timers made this their inaugural event, some of them going topless in a public place for the first time ever…

…some full-time nudists and proud of it.

Happily, Sheep Meadow is one of the most tranquil, beautiful, charming spots in the entire city and embodies the live-and-let-live attitude we both benefit from and encourage.

So what if five or ten women are enjoying the afternoon without shirts on? Nothing noteworthy about that. Now, if one of them has tattoos that reference deep-cut Disney fare like The Emperor’s New Groove and Hercules

We had more than our share of interesting, beautiful ink this time, come to think of it.

But even that didn’t draw stares in particular. And the lack of stares or comment helped make the afternoon deeply satisfying. As did the bonding among our little troupe. There’s something about being naked together that just turns strangers into family.

Improbably, with the summer just a memory, it’s still warm out. Probably not for much longer — it’s October this week, for heaven’s sake. But this Wednesday, the temperature is supposed to reach almost 90 degrees. So we’re planning to hold at least one more outdoor event, and as you can see, we welcome first-timers, no matter how late in the year. Would you like to join us? Just email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or message us on Insta (@topless_pulp) or Twitter (@ToplessPulp).

You’re welcome to bring your cat, your dog, your bird, your ferret, your chinchilla, your bearded dragon.

And if you don’t have one, just bring your pussy.

Yesterday our little group turned 25.

Years? No. We started meeting in August 2011, which makes us a bit over 8 years old. By that accounting we’re not even in our teens, never mind our 20s.

But there’s another way to measure our growth, and that’s how many people we’ve reached, and how many times we’ve reached them. And by that metric, around noon yesterday, New York time, we turned 25: this blog we created 8 years ago has now been seen 25 million times.

25 million!

It’s a number you can’t even properly hold in your head. If you grew up in a small town or a small city (or even a small country!), you didn’t have 25 million people to call your neighbors. Even if you’re a New York native, it’s more than the number of your fellow New Yorkers. 25 million gumballs outweigh the Statue of Liberty. 25 million subway cars would stretch from here to the moon.

And yet that’s the number of times people have come to this site and seen one of our photos or read our words, discovered what freedom looks like and sounds like, what a woman exercising her equal rights is like.

For our first event all those years and views ago, we went shirtless in Central Park, so we were very pleased to be able to commemorate this milestone with a report about a return visit. Not to Sheep Meadow this time, but to a quiet lawn on the east side, where passers-by stroll and strollers pass by,

where four-legged companions are welcome,

and two-legged companions too.

Where you can discover the sense of style you share with a total stranger–

Where you can partake of art in all its forms, whether that’s painting–

Or photography–

Or reading–

Or writing–

Or drumming and dancing–

Or the gustatory arts,

Or the simple art of the snooze.

And you can partake of any of these artful activities with or without a top on,

Solo or in a group,

Regardless of what body parts you happen to have been born with or acquired at puberty.

It is a wonderful thing to live in a city like ours, at a time like this, to have our autonomy and equality respected. But we’re conscious of the fact that our experience is still very nearly unique in the United States and in too many other parts of the world. Yes, you can go topless or even fully nude on select beaches throughout Europe and the Caribbean, and that’s a wonderful thing. But how many places offer true equality?

We relish the thought that some of the 25 million times we’ve been seen it’s been by women in those other parts of the world, where freedom isn’t as widespread — yet. Only one view once came from St. Bart’s, where a bared breast wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow, but 6 came from Vatican City — and hundreds of thousands came from Russia and China, tens of thousands more from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and the rest of the Middle East. We like to know that we’re providing a model of free expression and female liberation to places that lack it.

And even in our own back yard, we like to know we’re opening eyes and minds.

Of course, winter is on the horizon, so for this year our balmy days of sunbathing in Central Park are numbered. But even that doesn’t feel so terrible when the number we’ve reached is such a triumphant one.

25 million!

We thank you all for your part in helping us achieve what we’ve achieved. And we hope if you’re a woman — whether near or far, nervous or bold — you’ll stand up and be counted along with us someday. That you’ll take that wonderful first step toward freedom.

And if you’d like to do it with us rather than alone, we’d love to welcome you to the fold. Getting started is simple: just email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or find us and message us at @topless_pulp on Instagram or @ToplessPulp on Twitter.

All it takes is one message, one moment of being brave. That’s how we’ve gotten here, one brave moment at a time.

Times 25 million.

Yesterday you read about how our group gathered on a lawn across from the High Line before heading up for our walk along the elevated park.

Hanging out in 14th Street Park is very different from walking the High Line — one is a quiet, serene, nearly empty patch of green in the middle of the city, a little urban oasis; the other is a tourist mecca, a narrow, constructed space with literally thousands of people walking through it at any given time. It’s a different sort of experience (motion rather than stillness, sound rather than silence, lots of contact with strangers rather than next to none), and not everyone in our group was up for braving it. So as we went from the park to the street outside…

…and from the street up onto the High Line itself–

Some of our members peeled off, leaving only a core group to walk the walk.

What is the High Line? It used to be a set of elevated train tracks used by freight trains to get goods to and from the Meatpacking District back when meat was actually packed there. Abandoned for years, the tracks got resurrected as a park by some urban developers who realized they could be made unique and gorgeous and turned into a site for pleasant strolls and sun-swept relaxation. And you know how we love our relaxation.

So we’ve been coming to the High Line from our group’s earliest days, before the whole thing was even done being rebuilt. One of our photos from those days was even chosen by the High Line for inclusion in the fancy coffee table art book they put out to celebrate their creation:

Now the rebuilding is done, and the High Line offers a delicious variety of intriguing and photogenic spaces.

Open stretches and covered ones —

Scenic overlooks —

Spots graced by views of the city’s newest grand public sculpture —

Speaking of which, it’s possible to accidentally walk off the High Line (a public park) and onto a private plaza owned and run by the new Hudson Yards property barons. We know it’s possible because we did it! And got politely (well, sort of politely) ushered back off the private plaza by a security guard who kept trying to get us to be sympathetic to him. (He seemed to think if he didn’t chase us off it would cost him his job. Who knows? Maybe that’s even true.)

But the High Line itself is public and public in the very best way — meaning free for anyone to walk any time, with or without a shirt on, whether you’re a woman or a man. We were thrilled to visit our old haunt again and to feel as welcome as ever.

What came next? Well after the heat of the day and the effort of the walk, we were ready for something cool. Fortunately, there was an ice cream truck waiting at the exit — run by a wonderful woman from Greece, no stranger to topless sunbathing herself. 🙂

From there we had another long walk before us — at street level this time, from the far west side to midtown, where we could hop a subway. How did that stroll differ from our walk on the High Line? Find out in Part III of our report — coming later this week.