IMG_3896Yes, last night it was hailing. And this morning we woke up to the sight of snow, crusting the ground and shining on the roofs of parked cars. Hail. Snow. The week before Easter! But the day before that…

The day before that was our first outing in Central Park for the year, and my, but it was lovely. Grass under our bare feet. Sun on our bare shoulders. A lovely spring breeze. A troupe of incredibly talented acrobats spent the afternoon doing backflips, one after another, and we watched, agog with delight and wonder. And the books we dipped into – some Steinbeck, some Werner Herzog, some Lawrence Block and Samuel Fuller, not to mention some deliriously pulpy adventure yarns about a finder of rare artifacts called Gabriel Hunt.

And the edibles: baked goods courtesy of Pain Quotidien (a last blast of leavening before Passover kicked in for some of us), plus Easter eggs in all the shades of the chocolate rainbow.

It’s good to have a reminder that, yes, indeed, it is spring.

Hail notwithstanding.

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IMG_3845Spring is almost here…almost. Oh so very almost. But not quite. It’s was still drizzly in the morning and windy in the afternoon. But we dauntless crusaders for pleasure in all forms did not let that stop us. We met in the private wine cellar of a female-owned Tribeca watering hole and sketched out plans for a summer of adventures, to be kicked off just as soon as the damn sun comes out of hibernation. Helios! We’re talking about you! [Taps foot impatiently, looks at watch.]

Not that an evening indoors is anything to regret, not when the libations are plentiful and satisfying, the food delectable (truffle mac and cheese! ceviche! churros!), the pulp fiction tempting us with its come-hither looks (check out this beauty, coming in May from our friends at Hard Case Crime), and the conversation wild and wide ranging. East of EdenMoby-Dick. “The Whore of MENSA.” Aristotle. Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra. How to pronounce “Targaryen.”

Glasses were filled, bottles emptied. Chocolate sauce intended for dipping churros wound up applied directly to the bosom. Gallant wait staff valiantly maintained eye contact.

Did we have fun? We did.

And do we have one hell of a fine summer planned?

Oh, yes.

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IMG_3073Nerve.com, one of the Internet’s earliest sites to focus on the intersection of the erotic and the literate, was thoughtful enough to assign Alison Gaylin to write about us: http://goo.gl/rtB64y. Only wish it was warmer out, so we could use it as a recruiting tool!

And no, that photo above isn’t us reading the article today. If it were, there’d be more snow than grass on the ground. But we like to remember the warmer days of summer.  Only a few more months to go…

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OCTPFAS-Book-3Richard Prince–acclaimed artist, bibliophile, and friend of our merry band–has curated a book of our photographs and published it in a limited edition of just 300 copies. The book debuted at a special “pop-up” installation at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday, January 23.

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If you didn’t happen to be in Beverly Hills this week, you can get info and (if there are any left) request a copy by writing to info@fultonryder.com.

Here’s a photo from the debut shindig:

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And here are a few pics from the last time we visited Richard’s invitation-only Fulton Ryder bookstore in New York…

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IMG_9479…and so, another year draws to a close. It’s been a fun one, and we thank all of you for your part in it, whether you came to one of our events and participated or just read about them on here (or on Twitter, or on Facebook, or in the Village Voice, or…). We’re looking forward to another season of fun when the next solstice looms.

In the meantime, with some time to kill over the holidays, we looked over the blog stats and noted down which of the photos we posted this year were the most popular, and thought we’d share them with you as a special year-end present, no unwrapping required. :)

Stay warm…

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AS-8585What to do when it’s 40 degrees outside? Meet indoors, with the heat turned up high, plenty of wine (including, as a tip of the hat to E.A. Poe, a cask of Amontillado), sublime pastries by the inventor of the cronut, and books, books, books.

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A few weeks back, one of our fans tipped us off about a new bookstore in Brooklyn specializing in pulp fiction (especially science fiction, hence its sf-ish name, Singularity & Co.). We knew immediately we had a new favorite haunt in the making. Happily, when we reached out to them, they were as enthusiastic about us as we were about them, and Plans Were Made.

Want to know something? The place exceeded our every expectation. Not only do they have cool stuff (a whole shelf of Choose Your Own Adventures! a section labeled “Smut”! an orrery!), it’s all laid out perfectly, it’s as warm and welcoming as your best friend’s bedroom, and the owner is a super-cool chick. If you have any taste for great bookstores, go. It’s magnificent.

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What did we do other than hang out and get lightly toasted? A gift exchange of books (everyone got to leave with something she hadn’t had when she arrived)…

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…followed by a smoke break in the brisk but lovely outdoors…

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…and then some fun with temporary tattoos, courtesy of Tor.com.

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(Don’t have water handy to apply the tattoos? That’s all right. There are other ways to moisten something.)

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All in all, a lovely and memorable evening. Who says bookstores are dying? Barnes & Noble, here we come…

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IMG_2809For good friends, and good food, and good times.

For good books.

For good weather, that allowed us to meet 24 times this year (so far!).

For living in a city where our bodies are not objects of ridicule or fear or shame in the eyes of the law.

For the thousands of people who’ve seen us lying  bare-chested in the park and gone on with their days, untroubled.

For the people who’ve come to this blog 7,561,724 times, from places as far away as the Republic of Kiribati and Tonga and Samoa and, yes, one time, we are not making this up, Vatican City.

For all your emails and Facebook messages and tweets in support of what we’re doing.

For the 83-year-old woman who sat with us for an hour, and for her poodle, and for the delight they both clearly felt.

For you, whoever you are out there, for being part of our adventure.

Happy Holidays, friends.

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