5 Days of Awesome: The Ice Cream Man Cometh

It’s been a slow Spring so far. The last few days had that kind of damp cold that clings to the bones. San Francisco weather in New York. Chill days have outnumbered warm ones, but the weather is slowly turning. Plants are blooming, birds are chirping and Mister Softee is out on the street corners.

The Mister Softee truck, camped out on local street corners, is my favorite harbinger of better days to come. Forget Puxatawney Phil the groundhog, I measure the arrival of Spring in the number of ice cream trucks I spot on city streets. It’s a desert equinox.

Beneath the surface visual of the truck emerging after a winter in storage, there is the weird undercurrent that is unmistakably New York. The rivalries and turf disputes between various food vendors, especially those between Mister Softee and the smaller outfits that sometimes crop up. It makes me imagine some sort of ice cream mob, beefing over territory, dividing the city up between them. But, then again, truth is usually stranger than fiction.

Every truck is a landmark on the road to warmer days. Every time that muzak jingle gets stuck in your head you’re learning the song of Springtime in New York.

Spring is here. Summer is coming. There is promise and possibility in the air. Embrace it.


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