Ice Cream Radar Shows Ice Cream Near You

It came to my attention a few days ago that the WNYC Data News Team has beaten me to the punch when it comes to New York City maps populated with ice cream shop locations. It’s called Ice Cream Radar.

Type in your intersection or address, and it’ll spit out a map marked with nearby ice cream shops. For ice cream purists who wish only to patronize local establishments (aka picky yuppies such as myself), you can filter out chains and fro-yo. The data comes from the foursquare and Yelp APIs and New York City restaurant inspection records. That’s cool and all, but the data contains some questionable results.

For example, putting in my intersection (please don’t stalk me) shows three nearby shops. Neither the red cone nor the purple cone are actually ice cream shops. The green cone is a Baskin-Robbins, so that’s accurate. But for some reason, the Baskin-Robbins on 145th Street and Broadway didn’t show up, possibly because it’s also a Dunkin’ Donuts.

At least four results in my vicinity? It's a sad lie. Harlem is actually an ice cream desert.
Here is a map of lies. Harlem is actually an ice cream desert.

 

Regardless of the false positives, props to WNYC for making this delightful widget. It has shown me that 1) there is demand for tools that display data about ice cream and 2) the data needs to be refined and curated. Therefore, I declare that this Ice Cream Radar has not rendered my ice cream directory project redundant. There is great value and utility in content curation and deep storytelling. And that’s what I plan to offer with my version of an ice cream radar.

New Opening: 10Below Serves Made-to-Order Ice Cream in Chinatown

It’s not too often that a net-new ice cream shop opens in New York City. There are, however, plenty of  openings for new locations of existing stores/stands/brands; see Van Leeuwen, Davey’s, MilkMaid, and Ice & Vice in 2015 alone.  So it’s exciting news that a new shop, 10Below, opened July 18 in Chinatown on Mott Street—right around the corner from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

According to the New York Times and the 10Below website,  they’re serving “Thai-inspired ice cream rolls” that are made-to-order. The ice cream base is poured onto a -10°F metal plate, mix-ins are added, and in a minute or two it’s frozen enough to be scraped into a roll shape.

I’ve never heard of this style of ice cream-making before, but I’m intrigued. It sounds a bit like a mash-up of San Francisco’s Smitten Ice Cream, where liquid nitrogen freezes the base in a sci-fi-looking blender, and  Cold Stone Creamery/Marble Slab, two mega-chains that slap already-frozen ice cream and mix-ins around on a granite stone before scraping it into a cup or cone. The novelty of freshly frozen ice cream, plus the roll shape, are sure to help 10Below stand out in an area of Manhattan that is already dense with A-list scoop shops.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of made-to-order ice cream because it has a very soft texture, similar to that of soft-serve. But it’s guaranteed to be fresh and smooth, and good flavors/mix-ins will go a long way in making up for the texture (I know for many, the texture of soft-serve is a good thing). Judging by the line on their opening day, they’re going to do alright:

New Yorkers love ice cream, and they love standing in line for things. Standing in line for ice cream? Heaven. (via 10Below)
New Yorkers love ice cream, and they love standing in line for things. Standing in line for ice cream? Heaven. (via 10Below)

Uber’s Most Effective Charm Offensive, #UberIceCream, Is Happening Friday 7/24

Another summer, another #UberIceCream promotion. Today, July 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Uber users all over the world will be able to order local ice cream through the UberEATS feature of the app. It’s a great day to be a New Yorker, because “local” ice cream for us means Ample Hills!

Push Button Tap Phone, Receive Bacon Ice Cream. (Next year I promise to try harder in Photoshop.)

 

Ample Hills is offering the “Black & Walt,” an ice cream sandwich comprised of a “baked cookie, vanilla malted ice cream slicked with malted fudge, and … rice krispies crunch” for $10. Melt Bakery is offering “The Classic” ice cream sandwich (chocolate chip walnut cookies with vanilla ice cream) at 2 for $10. Sprinkles is offering a cupcake sandwich Neapolitan—strawberry ice cream between a vanilla cupcake top and a chocolate cupcake top, 2 for $13.

Ample Hills' Black & Walt, Sprinkles' Cupcake Sandwich Neapolitan, Melt Bakery's The Classic. (via Uber)
Ample Hills’ Black & Walt, Sprinkles’ Cupcake Sandwich Neapolitan, Melt Bakery’s The Classic. (via Uber)

 

Delivery for any of the options is free. If you’re paying with a Capital One card, the ice cream is free too (up to $25 worth)! The promo code is: SWEETDEAL.

Sadly, the New York delivery area is only between 59th Street and 14th Street, so no Black & Walts will be showing up in front of my Harlem doorstep. I can only hope to live vicariously through those of you who are working in Midtown or Chelsea.

P.S. Hold on to your butts: the #UberIceCream promotion has created a shortage of Black & Walts.

The Difference Between Ice Cream and Gelato and Why Ice Cream Is Superior

Here’s a familiar situation in my life: I’ve just finished dinner with a group of friends, and we’re trying to figure out what follows. Someone will volunteer ice cream, because my *real* friends know that I love ice cream. I don’t even have to say “I want ice cream” after meals anymore. They already know. But maybe there’s a new friend who doesn’t know me as well, or there’s a friend of a friend, who will pipe up with a suggestion: Il Laboratorio del GelatoGrom?

Someone will shake their head knowingly. “Amy doesn’t like gelato.”

Continue reading The Difference Between Ice Cream and Gelato and Why Ice Cream Is Superior

Go Fourth

New York City is the most crowded city in the U.S., so it’s a magical time when it empties out, as it does during major holidays.

So, a few friends and I spent July 4 meandering around Flatiron and Chelsea, marveling at the empty streets. I did a lot of window shopping, and a little actual purchasing at Flying Tiger.

Flying Tiger is a Danish home goods/knickknack store, reminiscent of a certain other Scandinavian home goods store known for selling design-savvy products at low prices. It also reminded me of Kikkerland, another Scandinavian-esque (it was founded in NYC by a Dutchman) knickknack store. Though smaller than IKEA and more practical than Kikkerland, Flying Tiger offers items in the same style of affordability and charm. Do I need a giant clothespin, or an egg timer shaped like ice cream? Absolutely not, but the fun of the store is being delighted as you pass those items up for the more practical ones. Flying Tiger is an excellent place to find a quirky gift or party knickknacks.

We followed Flying Tiger with Fishs Eddy, a kitchen/home goods store featuring vintage Americana designs. I was unsurprised to spot several items that I’d seen in my apartment—of course E.S. owns items from this charming-quirky store! I guess you could say Fishs Eddy is affordable; however, I don’t think I’ll be able to spend $11.95 on a single plate until I’m out of my twenties. I’m still using pieces from the Corelle set I bought when I was in college. Stores like Fishs Eddy are for people who are settled down with tastefully decorated homes, people who own things like tablerunners and coasters. Adults.

Even though I’m still stuck in college-kid mode when it comes to home furnishings and decor, I liked Fishs Eddy and will probably return to get some bar supplies. Or, to pull the trigger on some ice cream cone-shaped cups.