Is there anything more symbolic of the American summer than the ice cream man? No! But some people hate the ice cream man. Who? Dang food-Nazi parents, that's who! Especially one whose Brooklyn restaurant serves deep-fried candy bars to children!
On Wednesday the New York Times ran a piece in their Dining section about the growing resentment some insufferable parents of bratty kids have for the ice cream man. One of the parents quoted extensively in the piece was a woman from Park Slope, Brooklyn (Of course!) named Vicki Sell, and she is pissed that the damn ice cream man once made her daughter have an "inconsolable meltdown" after she was denied a tasty frozen treat, so she's now doing everything she can to shit all over everyone else's fun by having them all shut down just so she doesn't have to listen to her kid whine anymore.
"I fall into the camp of parents who are irate," Ms. Sell said. She has equal disdain for Mister Softee and the ice cream pop vendor outside the park, but since they are licensed, there is not much she can do about them.
"I feel kind of bad about having developed this attitude," she said. "I want Katherine to have the full childhood experience and all. But it's really predatory for them - two of them - to be right inside the playground like this."
Ms. Sell says she is not obsessed with health and nutrition. She - and others - feel they have been pushed to the brink by that little bell. Across message boards and playgrounds, soccer fields and day camp exits, parents have been raging. In a greener, more health-conscious, unsafe world, the ice cream man has lost some of his mojo.
Toward the end of the piece, Sell is quoted again and this time her occupation is noted:
And Ms. Sell owns and runs a restaurant in Brooklyn with her husband, a chef. "I'm not a health freak by any means," Ms. Sell said. "But I notice what happens to my daughter when she eats these sugar-filled things with all these additives."
Now, tonight a reader wrote in to point out the restaurant owned by Vicki Sell and her husband is The Chip Shop, a fish and chip joint on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope. What sorts of foods does The Chip Shop serve? Fried foods, and lots of them! In fact, they'll fry just about anything that can be battered and placed on a wooden stick! They even have something on their menu called the "Twice Fried Cherry Pie," but the brownshirts at the NYC Health Department banned it! But hey, don't fret, as there's all sorts of other "sugar-filled things with all these additives" that Vicki Sell is more than happy to batter and deep-fry for only $3.50! Here's the menu:
Now, in case you're unfamiliar with Park Slope and its geography, The Chip Shop is located in a densely populated area filled with families. There are at least a million and one jokes about Park Slope parents and their strollers in circulation right now! So isn't it sort of "predatory" to open a restaurant that sells crap like fried Twinkies, Snickers bars, Mars bars, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Twix in the middle of the New York City's neighborhood most synonymous with urban family life? Well, yes, perhaps it is, so leave the freakin' ice cream man alone lady!
Some people just have their heads stuffed so far up their own asses it's ridiculous.
Update: Vickie Sell wrote into comments and claims that she was misquoted by the Times and doesn't have anything against Mister Softee peddlers. Since this is sort of buried in all of your commenty rage, we're moving it up to the post:
I am the person quoted in the Times story and I my point of view was not accurately reflected by a long shot. I'm very upset to have been quoted as hating Mister Softee and all these vendors and I have absolutely not started a campaign against them. My complaint was about the ice vendors within the playground and that they are unlicensed and illegally sell to children in a place they are not allowed. I called 311 once (not multiple times by any stretch of the imagination) to inquire about their legal standing. They do not have sanction from any health authority to handle food and there's no telling where their product comes from. I had hoped that would be played up in the article. And yes, I do feel that bringing these carts into the playground is predatory. I was perhaps "irate" about this but not about ice cream vendors in general. They are run out over and over by the police or parks people but come back time and time again. I don't have any problem with legal vendors outside the playground in areas they are licensed for — despite what the article says. I'm all for people making a living and for people to choose the time and the place to buy treats for their children. I did discuss these points for the article but I don't see them there and I believe other people's points of view were attributed to me. In fact while I was being interviewed we bought ice pops for our children from a licensed vendor outside the park.
Pic by Chef Cajun Ryan.