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I Scream (and Scream and Scream) About Ice Cream

April 4th, 2012  |  by  |  Published in Health and (Un) Safety  |  5 Comments

20120404-110315.jpgThe weather in New York has been warm and gorgeous of late, and that means the beginning of a particularly NYC-ish phenomenon: screaming about the overreach of entitled parents in Brooklyn!

I’m just kidding—that’s a year-round phenomenon. But the latest case hits home with me in a surprising way. Here it is, courtesy of the New York Post:

Overprotective Park Slope parents have declared war on a treasured rite of spring: an ice cream in the park.

The icy rebuke of the time-honored tradition erupted on the Park Slope Parents online group when one mother described her son’s meltdown in Prospect Park after she put the ixnay on a acksnay.

“Along with the first truly beautiful day of the year, my son and I had our first ruined day at the playground,” the poster named Sarah somberly recounted. “Two different people came into the actual playground with ice cream/Italian ice push carts. I was able to avoid it for a little while but eventually I left with a crying 4-year-old.”

Now, while I don’t support the proposed ban on ice-cream trucks and carts that the Post only round-aboutedly mentions, I do feel for the parents. That’s because this week a Mr. Softee (sp?) truck has set up shop outside the public elementary school that lies directly between Sasha’s preschool and the subway home. It’s absolutely impossible to get from one to the other without her noticing, even if we walk on the other side of the street.

“Ice cream truck!” she’ll yell. “冰淇淋車!”

“No, Sasha,” I’ll say. “It’s ‘damn ice cream truck.’ Got it?”

“Damn ice cream truck!”

Don’t get me wrong: It’s not that I don’t like ice cream, or that Sasha’s lactose-intolerant, or that I begrudge her a sugary snack. It’s that Mr. Softee ice cream is total shit—horrible, chemical-tasting, fatty shit. Once, I gave in and bought Sasha a soft-serve cone and let her work on it a while before giving it a lick myself. Instantly my mouth was full of the flavor of artificial fat, blobby and bland and vomitous. I felt sick the rest of the evening.

What I prefer, and what we most often do, is emerge from the F train in Brooklyn and get a cone of real, good ice cream at Van Leeuwen: strawberry is Sasha’s favorite, although she’ll sometimes opt for chocolate. That stuff is good! Organic, too, if you care about that sort of thing, which Park Slope Parents apparently does:

Please be assured that we in no way object to the sale of ice cream in Prospect Park, as long as:

-The milk and cream are from organically-fed and hormone-free dairy cows raised within 50 miles of Brooklyn in barns built of reconstituted plastic bottles (in the shape and color of actual wood, so as not to frighten the cows with unfamiliar architecture). Milk should be removed from the cows in a nurturing and supportive manner.

-The eggs, if any, are from free-range chickens specifically labeled “Certified Humane.” (For please note that “cage-free” does not necessarily mean that their beaks have not been removed; note also that the best ice cream recipes do include egg.)

-Transportation of these ingredients should take place only in compost-fueled vehicles, through companies that voluntarily provide family health insurance, including birth control, to all employees including those in same-sex relationships.

–Needless to say this ice cream should not contain any dyes or additives linked to ADHD. Any other acceptable additives must be labelled either “Israeli-Friendly” or “Palestinian-Friendly” so Co-Op members are able to make an informed consumer choice..

Ice cream vendors that follow these simple guidelines are welcomed– nay, encouraged!– within Prospect Park, with the exception of a few specific areas:

Our objection is to the vendors that sell the ice cream within the borders of the playgrounds.

Our children are very often using their playground-time to prepare for their preschool entrance interviews, and thus any distractions have a direct and negative impact on their future.

At least that’s what our Nannies tell us.

Holy shit! Park Slope Parents have a sense of humor? Someone go tell the New York Post!



  1. Anthony says:

    April 4th, 2012at 11:14 am(#)

    The Post article is a great hit piece, since the actual concern is unlicensed food vendors who enter the playground itself, which would still be illegal if they were licensed. It happens out in my part of Queens, too. A couple years ago the NYPD cracked down on it in Harlem and Washington Heights. The Post just went for the lazy story here.

  2. Steve Gross says:

    April 4th, 2012at 1:31 pm(#)

    I assume the cows are paid a fair living wage as well, right?

  3. Matt says:

    April 4th, 2012at 1:33 pm(#)

    Of course: They’re unionized.

  4. dadwagon says:

    April 4th, 2012at 2:16 pm(#)

    Hate to say it–but I don’t like the ones in the park, either. I don’t want to have to deal with JP about ice cream, and frankly, they’re not supposed to be there. Organic or not, outside of the park should be good enough. Fuck ’em. –theodore.

  5. karen says:

    April 4th, 2012at 10:39 pm(#)

    Don’t you guys know how we control this issue in The Provinces? Early on, we tell our kids that when the ice cream truck’s music is on, it means they are all sold out. Then we walk away fast. Real fast.

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