Late Summer, Sunset Park: The Ice Cream Man

Late Summer, Sunset Park: The Ice Cream Man

The ice cream man has been standing on the east side of Sunset Park all afternoon, as parents, children, and elderly people go in and out. Despite the fact that the ice cream man lives in the area, he is not a regular visitor. “No, no, not that much,” he said in Spanish.

His silver cart with its large blue umbrella has variety—dairy and non-dairy ice cream, which he scoops into different size cups and cones. Popsicles of several kinds come out of his seeming bottomless cart. He appears to be doing well.

The variety may not be enough, though, as there appears to be commercial competition nearby. A woman strolling with a silver ice cream cart of her own, this one with a red umbrella, walks by the man. She is not alone; she has a flock of followers going after her. Adults and little children chase her.

This has no apparent effect on the ice cream man, though. He has been standing on the same spot for quite a while and he remains deadpan to the ice cream action he just witnessed. There is also no discernible difference that distinguishes the lady’s ice cream from the ice cream man, but she is drawing a crowd.

Neither ice cream vendor acknowledges the other.

Customers continue to approach the ice cream man; they get their ice cream and then they leave. It is difficult to tell whether this is a good day or a bad one for him. Right now he stands on the verge of autumn, but autumn is not here just yet.

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