Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On the Search for an Ice Cream Truck

With New York temperatures well into the 80s, 90s and even the 100s this month, it's not surprising I've been so obsessed with ice cream recently. Normally I'll go months without a scoop. Last week alone, however, I bought two cones and ate at least half a pint of the Ben & Jerry's stash I've been hiding in the freezer.

But back to those two cones. One was in Mystic, Conn., the subject of Monday's post. The other? My very first purchase from a neighborhood ice cream truck.

It was surprisingly difficult.

Normally the ice cream trucks are annoyingly omnipresent. The jingles just won't stop. Even worse, is the occasional smell. Paul and I both thought something was on fire one day last week, but it was just the exhaust from an ice cream truck parked below our open window.

I decided I wanted soft serve, however, at 10 p.m., just when the trucks start to disappear. After supper at a neighborhood Polish restaurant, we detoured to 86th Street, where the trucks inevitably park outside the popular stores. But the shops were closed and the trucks had moved on.

Two blocks from home, I stopped.

"Did you hear that?" I asked Paul, feeling a bit like I was listening for the Pied Piper.

He strained his ears while I looked down the street. Yup, it was Bay Ridge's only remaining ice cream truck on a hot Saturday night.

We hurried to the other side of the street and Paul flagged down the truck like we were hailing a taxi. Good man.

I chose a chocolate dip, and Paul got a cherry dip. Of course I ate too slow, and the ice cream seeped through the cracks of the chocolate shell. I had sticky fingers but a happy stomach.

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