Friday, August 7, 2009

Thursday in pictures.

Here are some photos for you, taken during the course of my morning and afternoon. Some are just sights that I see on my drive, and each time I think about the history of what I'm looking at.

This first shot is mundane. While waiting for my truck this morning a delivery of ice cream mix was coming in. This truck is from Panza, and I like their chocolate way better than the Mr. Softee mix. Their delivery guy is a gentleman.

Ho hum- I know! It will only get worse! When I drive through Williamsburg I note this place:

Why does this poultry place wig me out? You go, you buy a chicken, they kill it for you. Why am I ok with eating chicken "grown" and slaughtered elsewhere, but when I see this I get squeamish? I should stop eating meat... but I'm addicted. *sigh*

Once I am into Manhattan I drive up Bowery. What was once the stomping grounds for junkies, bums, artists and maniacs is now pretty much characterless. This particular photo is of a building which I look at every time I pass. The brick building in the middle of the picture is 222 Bowery. William S. Burroughs lived at this address (a former YMCA) in an apartment known as "The Bunker." It had no windows; the converted living space had been a locker room.

The door to The Bunker- the arch furthest to the left- still has the gate on it which is mentioned numerous times in an interesting history by Victor Bockris.

In this next photo, you'll see Amato Opera- a location known to all NYC opera fans. This little hole-in-the-wall was home to a loyal cult following. Tony Amato produced operas normally seen on huge stages but managed to "make it work" with minimal forces. AIDA at the Metropolitan Opera needs well over 500 people. At Amato it was done with 25... and it was wonderful. Amato Opera has just closed; please read this New York Times article for insight into this wonderful bit of history.

In this same photo, with Amato Theater on the left, look at the unremarkable building to the right. That guy is going into what used to be CBGB. Yeah, CBGB was a really pathetic excuse for a venue for the last 15 years, but still- it was historical. Now it's... well, I can't tell you from looking. [note- apparently I'm wrong about the CBGB location. See comments.]

The Village Voice was one of New York City's most relevant news sources for decades. Like CBGB, The Voice lost its reason to live, dried up, and died. Sadly they still put out a paper, though no one knows why- it's a tragic waste of trees. Their website gets traffic solely because people read the gossip column.

That's it for the drive into town today. Good fun was had at Union Square, as usual. I had a nice line going for most of the day... I enjoy that people in my line socialize with each other. "We found it!"

One of the stranger things to happen today had to be when I served ice cream to four ladies in bikinis... and two of the ladies were gorillas.

It's now 2:09 am. I'm home; another day has been conquered. I'm eager for the next, as each is an adventure.


  1. Your shock when I ordered ginger AND caramel was hilarious! Thanks for making ice cream as fun as it ought to be.

  2. Hope that salty liqurice makes it to the menu on monday!

  3. CBGB's was another door or two down. It's now a John Varvatos boutique. Yay!

  4. The salted caramel ice cream I got from you last night was delicious! The caramel started heading south right after it was given to me, but it was still fun for my friend and I to quickly eat it before reached our fingers (we failed btw).

  5. Rosey: I'm glad you liked your combo. That did make me laugh. :)

    Anthon: Those licorice bits are STRONG! Good lord! Thank you.

    Anonymous- thanks for filling me in on that. I was thinking that the archway was the main door, and the one to the left was the entrance to the downstairs. Oops! I only went there a few times, because... well, there were rarely bands worth hearing and the smell really was pretty atrocious... the last time I was there I saw The Friggs. I'm glad you jogged my memory; last I knew they had broken up but you prompted a googling and I find they are doing shows again.

    Ruby: I think maybe I need to keep the caramel in the fridge. Anything to make it last longer. I'm going to try that, and see if I can still squeeze it out. Hopefully I can keep it up on the cone longer if I do so. XO

  6. Please tell me: is that live poultry place selling GUINEA PIGS???? My partner will be in Brooklyn next week... if this is true... I am going to have her go buy some for me to rescue.

    PS- I love your truck!

  7. I think the place has Guinea hens, not Guinea pigs. God, what a horrid thought, a Guinea pig slaughter factor. I'd really have to smash my truck through the front then...

    Although... dead is dead. Again, I have weird double-standards about animal killing, and this alarms me.

  8. People buy meat from there?
    You should park outside with your truck and with a sign that says "Don't kill a chicken, have an ice cream instead!"
    Then again. I wouldn't want to serve anything edible anywhere near a building like that.

    Heard your story on NPR, just had to look it up. A story that makes me smile!
    A big hug from Denver.

  9. Really hoping to find you!!

    Great pictures, great idea, you've probably heard it all before but still... AWESOME!

    A suggestion: How about Big Gay Ice Cream Truck hoodies/sweaters?

    Also are you going to stop the ice cream business after summer's over?
    Hope not and Good Luck!

  10. I will make some hoodies available in our store. Look later this afternoon. Good idea!

    I will stop going out on the truck once bassoon works kicks back up... late September, early October... but BGICT will live on. No worries.


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