Happy (Naked) 4th?

I was walking down 22nd St., through a few blocks of gorgeous brownstones, when I passed The Colonial Inn and saw a young Hispanic man coming down the stairs to the street. The building has a gorgeous facade and was the original HQ of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis anti-AIDS campaign.

I asked him if it was as nice inside as out, and he gave me a tour. Five (!) long, steep flights of stairs later, we came out on the roof garden:

Roof garden with German church steeple


Then I realized he’d said, “Clothing optional,” and he was immediately naked (after all, it’s a gay B&B). “Does this bother you?” he asked. Having lived through the ’60s, I said “No.”

We talked for about 20 minutes—as if nudity in the middle of NYC was not odd—and then I reminded him that I was on a quest to find an open café (not easy on the 4th) with a nice view, Champagne and fruit. So I took my leave of him, probably just in time before he suggested something kinkier!

On 9th Ave. and 21st St. I found one of my favorite cafés was open, and I dined on a fruit crêpe and Champagne, as planned.

Happy 4th (belated) to you and yours, naked or otherwise!


My table (and Hanji the waiter)

9th Avenue


About Nancy

Nancy Hoffmann began studying Zen Buddhism in 1992 and has dedicated this site to meditating on what she sees and believes. She is not averse to sharing laughter as well.
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