childhood

The ice cream truck: Yes, it’s still a thing 

The sound of the ice cream truck has been one that I believe I can truthfully say I have not heard during the past eight years or so. First off, they wouldn’t stop in my New York suburban neighborhood because my town had 8,000 people. In NYC itself, the streets are packed with food trucks. Thus, you had the more gourmet gelato trucks. In San Francisco, which truck driver wants to drive to the top of a very steep hill?  As such ice cream trucks have not been a part of my life experience for a while.

Growing up, mind you, I didn’t tend to get super excited by the ice cream truck. We didn’t really gave the money for such a splurge. I know that’s sad. But at least I didn’t get stomach aches from over indulging as some other kids experienced. There’s almost always a silver lining, folks. Second, I didn’t like ice cream much. Still don’t.  I prefer sorbet. I’m a bit lactose intolerant. I tolerate milk in my lattes because caffeine is good. Otherwise, I have an ambivalent relationship with milk. Thus, whenever I heard the sound of ice cream trucks, I got a little sad.  But no need to feel sorry for me. It’s ok.
Now why am I reminiscing about something I didn’t care too much for? Well, because here in Los Angeles, there are tons of ice cream trucks going up and down the streets. At least in the south LA arwa in which I live.  Its been fun, oddly enough, to hear the chimes of the truck. I see some kids running out to the trucks with the dogs running behind them. Could actually seem like an idyllic scene even though a lot of the dogs running behind the kids are stray dogs.  That is so LA.
Besides the Chimes, the kids, and the dogs what makes me feel happy about the ice cream trucks is that many of them are pink. They’re decorated much more festively out here and I’ve seen out on the East Coast. The East Coast trucks just have pictures of the various flavors and a silly cartoon face. But out here you see all sorts of wild colors on the trucks. It’s a truly festive environment.  There’s even an ice cream truck for dogs. How fabulous. 
Sadly, while I’m finally excited to hear the ice cream chimes, my son is not a big ice cream eater. He will eat, in general, two spoonfuls and be done. But he does like the sound of the truck. And I hope those chimes keep on singing throughout the community. 

16 replies »

  1. Now that you mention it, I haven’t heard the ice cream truck at all this year. I’m sure it was around last year. Do I miss it? My feelings are ambivalent. The quality sold on these trucks is not so good and the chiming jingles kind of drove me nuts after awhile. Still, they were a fixture of suburban (and urban) life, a tradition that, when it goes,away, I miss it somehow. It reminds me that the fabric of life is changing in our communities. The ice cream truck brought kids (and parents) together, it was a shared summer tradition. It is probably not lucrative anymore or maybe they can’t find people to drive the trucks. Anyway, it’s gone for now (at least here), but not forgotten. Maybe it will be revived next summer.

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  2. The title caught my eye, reading your post brought me back to when I was a kid. I live in Montréal, we did not have them here. My godfather was from Queens Richmond Hill to be exact! NYC my mom would put me on the train and send me to visit often. The best time of day was after supper when the bell’s chimes as you say would be ringing, I would sit by the window waiting and run down to get me some. Thank you for the share great memories.

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