May 18, 2009 by
Filed under: Asshole, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

nicedreamsflippbonqLast month I heard rumblings about how the green market at McCarren Park was facing relocation because the condominium association(s) around McCarren Park claimed it ruined their view.*

Not content with harassing independent farmers it would appear our well-heeled neighbors have set their sights on a new impediment to their quality of life:

Ice cream trucks. Mister Softee himself.

The following flier exclaims:


Let’s taking back McCarren Park from the Ice Cream Vendors!


I have heard Mister Softee’s chimes frequently over the last nine years. Much later than 10:00 p.m. on occasion. I don’t think they were simply shilling ice cream either. But I digress.


You bought a condo overlooking McCarren Park. A park located in north Brooklyn— an area which is sorely under-served in terms of public space. It is spring. Soon it will be summer. There will be ice cream trucks.

What’s more, the 94th Precinct (understaffed as it is) has better things to do than chase ice cream trucks. Get over it.

Miss Heather

Photo Credits: Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams screencap comes courtesy of flippbonq

*This is disputed look at the comments.


18 Comments on Found On Bayard Street: DADIDADIDADIDIDIDIDIDA

  1. amandabee on Mon, 18th May 2009 7:16 am
  2. I like that they’re “reclaiming” McCarren Park. Harkening back to those better days when you could sit in your million dollar condo in peace. Before the rabble all moved in and started playing soccer, learning to ride tricycles and chasing the ice cream truck. Right.

    PS. Secretly, I hate ice cream trucks. They make me insane . I know that makes me a curmudgeon. And I’m not a fan of their product, which is only ice cream by the most generous definition. Still, I’ve got no sympathy for people who buy overpriced condos in Williamsburg and then are shocked to discover that they’ll have to share the neighborhood with other people.

    PPS. I’m here before 9 because I thought you’d like this:

  3. Brian H on Mon, 18th May 2009 7:55 am
  4. Oh. My. God. Miss Heather, I see kids and hipsters buying ice cream. Holy shit, somebody call the police!!

    Thankfully, you have the 12 vigilant members of this Yahoo group to keep Williamsburg and Greenpoint safe from The Ice Cream Song.

  5. sbnyc09 on Mon, 18th May 2009 10:02 am
  6. You obviously don’t live near the park and so you have no idea how awful the Mr. Softee problem is. I do not live in a fancy condo by any stretch of the imagination, I do not live off a trust fund and sleep until 1pm. I am a law student that is constantly forced to either leave my apartment or wear headphones because Mr. Softee is parked somewhere on the park and I can here him for hours, over and over again. It’s maddening and if you had ever had to deal with it when you were trying to do something productive or even just watch a movie, you would never dare to judge those of us that have to. Not to mention that what he’s doing is illegal under the revised NYC noise code. Ice cream trucks cannot play their music while they are parked. The trucks in Manhattan seem to have no difficulty in obeying this law, why should we demand less? All this to say that I am truely insulted that you dare to judge me and those who are similarly situated because all we ask is for peace and quite when we are home.

  7. Brooklynite on Mon, 18th May 2009 12:46 pm
  8. I hate to go all, “hey you kids get off my lawn” up in here, but I totally agree with sbnyc09.

    I have lived within earshot of the park for 9 years and can testify to how that damn song has gone from seeming like a somewhat comical nuisance, to causing me to go fetal in the corner with spastic fits of maniacal giggling. Not productive when trying to get some work done. My wife and I have actually made up lyrics to the song, which I will spare you from.

    Anyway, the worst thing is when you walk by and realize just how loud they are blaring the tune through those distorted half-working bullhorns. It is literally painful to the ears. I can definitely tolerate hearing the tune, if they just turned the gosh darn volume down. There really is no need. I don’t see technically how it’s much different than sitting there holding down the horn. (Which I know, people do all the time.) I think it’s actually louder.

    I know we have much more important things to discuss, but it’s worth mentioning to them that they need to do their jobs and enforce the damn laws. All of them, please. In this case, I don’t think it’s just nit-picking. We all want a decent quality of life and for me, a musician, it’s kinda my worst nightmare.

    Here is the Wiki ref about the song. Notice the last part says they are only allowed to play it while moving. Shhyeah right!

    Mister Softee Jingle:

    The jingle played by Mister Softee trucks is instrumental and created in 1960 by Les Waas [2], but according to the New York Times, the lyrics are as follows:

    “The creamiest, dreamiest soft ice cream,
    You get from Mister Softee.
    For a refreshing delight supreme,
    Look for Mister Softee.
    My milkshakes and my sundaes and my cones are such a treat,
    Listen for my store on wheels, ding-a-ling down the street.
    The creamiest, dreamiest soft ice cream,
    You get from Mister Softee.
    For a refreshing delight supreme,
    Look for Mister Softee.
    S-O-F-T Double ‘E’, Mister Softee.”

    It is written in E-flat major with 6/8 time. In New York City, the trucks can only play the jingle while moving, to reduce noise [3].

    A copy of the sheet music and all the words can be found on the Mister Softee webpage

  9. mikki on Mon, 18th May 2009 12:59 pm
  10. What is this about the green market? It hasn’t been moved–have there been attempts to move it?

    I have heard those condo owners complain about the soccer players, the joggers, the pool, and now the ice cream vendors. Maybe we should remind them that prices in Manhattan are going down. (Note, am not tarnishing all condo owners with one brush, but the ones who live on the park have been particularly, uh, whiny.)

  11. mr. belvedere on Mon, 18th May 2009 2:47 pm
  12. Yeah tell me about it. I too am a law student and the only possible place in new york city i could live was next to a large community park. There have been sounds. Ive tried calling the cops and dirty looks (albeit from a safe distance) but nothing works. Life is so fucking unfair.

  13. palaganda on Mon, 18th May 2009 3:07 pm
  14. i grew up in brooklyn (kensington). the ice cream man would come around and play his jingle for a minute at the most. this was done to let everyone know he was around. It was no big deal.
    A few years ago I lived in Astoria (not near a park) and the ice cream truck would play the song over and over again, non-stop up until around 11:30. it was torture!!! i can understand why these people are so angry. just because these people live near a park doesn’t mean that they don’t have a right to complain. parks are noisey but not in the way that an ice cream truck playing it’s jingle non-stop for hours is. it’s torture. this has nothing to do with living near a park.

  15. missheather on Mon, 18th May 2009 3:41 pm
  16. I have heard they are trying to move it.

  17. Tony From Kent Street on Mon, 18th May 2009 5:17 pm
  18. The new condo crowd and the ice cream trucks can both be pretty annoying, but knowing of this silly campaign makes it all kind of funny.

  19. rowan on Mon, 18th May 2009 8:33 pm
  20. i find two things ironic about this (and not hipster ironic, natch): that these condominiums were probably advertised with “views of a park” and now their residents can’t handle it; and that an area woefully lacking in park space, that must fight with the city to get promised parks, now we have our skimpy park use threatened even further by self-entitled condo-dwellers. Personally, I’d rather look at a green market once a week, than a finger building daily. Heck, I’d rather look at a green market SEVEN days a week than a finger building. Are people really in such a tizzy over a green market?

  21. jrod11211 on Mon, 18th May 2009 8:41 pm
  22. I’ve lived in the neighborhood around McCarren Park for years and sometimes the Mr. Softie guy plays the song for 8-10 straight hours. It is simply ANNOYING after that long. I don’t mind anything except the guy staying in one place for hours blaring the song as loud as possible.

  23. lb203 on Mon, 18th May 2009 9:04 pm
  24. You guys have to be kidding me. You live in NY city. You don’t like it move. I live on Bedford. It’ s a nightmare I walk out and people are everywhere eating on my stoop. Selling stuff in front of my apt. I can barely move. But I chose to live here. For 10 years. And am originally from NY, Queens and grew up on a loud Boulevard. You need to relax, just like I do when I get pissed off at everyone and realize where I am living. Totally annoying thread.

  25. lb203 on Mon, 18th May 2009 9:05 pm
  26. It’s an Ice cream truck. Are you serious?

  27. missheather on Mon, 18th May 2009 9:14 pm
  28. My feelings exactly, Tony!

  29. jrod11211 on Tue, 19th May 2009 8:04 am
  30. How does living on crowded street compare to hearing the same blaring song continuously 10 straight hours a day? I don’t see the connection. It wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t parked for most of those 10 hours. You’re comparing living in a dense urban area to the techniques the US government used to get Noriega to surrender. I’ve never complained to 311 or to the Mr. Softee guy, but I can understand why some people have.

  31. mikki on Tue, 19th May 2009 1:41 pm
  32. Heather, I asked around about the green market. It is likely being moved, but due to the Parks Dept wanting to reseed the grass, not bec of the condo people (and it is hard to see how the condo ppl would even be bothered by the green market–how would it be interfering with their view? it makes no sense.)

    The green market ppl aren’t happy about being moved, and Parks is also displacing the volleyball players, which is unfortunate. It also seems weird that they are moving these longtime community activities while bringing in Artists and Fleas–I mean what do we need, skull onesies or fresh food?

    I think the moving of the greenmarket may be fishy (ha) but it isn’t related to the condo ppl.

  33. missheather on Tue, 19th May 2009 1:55 pm
  34. The plot thickens! πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for sharing this, Mikki!

  35. Brooklynite on Tue, 19th May 2009 5:32 pm
  36. I find this knee-jerk random hipster-hate/trust fund baby comments have recently gone from spot on to completely trite. Within the comments sections on this blog(which I adore) and many others (see, it is automatically assumed that anyone with a quality-of-life grievance about the goings on in GP must be a new arrival and must have overpaid for a crappy condo. Gimme a break! Yeah, I chose to live 2 blocks from Mccaren Park a decade ago(my family has lived in Brooklyn since the 1880’s), so I guess I should just shut up and not be involved in the community when I see something that ain’t right, or illegal. Yet actual neighborhood people’s comments gets lumped in with all these seemingly anecdotal comments from some made up privileged jerk-ass.

    And I love the old trusty, “If you don’t like it, move” comments. No, I think I’ll stay, thank you. Maybe you should move if you don’t like hipsters. That’s just the new version of “If you don’t like Polish people then move.” Which was preceded by, “If you don’t like Puerto Ricans, then move”. Which I’m sure was probably preceded by “If you don’t like Italians, then move.” And so on and so on, yadda yadda yadda. Well, a lot of people did move out of this neighborhood going all the way back for those same stupid reasons. I think I’ll choose to stay and try to help make it a better place for everyone, starting with me. And if that means that I want the stupid Ice Cream man to observe NYC noise ordinance laws, or for 18 wheelers to not drive illegally down my street knocking side view mirrors off in the process, or for club owners to take responsibility for their patrons to show consideration for the neighborhood residences, or for Exxon to clean up their reckless destruction, we should be able to do all these things.

    Btw, if Kool Man can play his little song without breaking the law, why can’t Senior Suave(Mr.Softee)?

Tell me what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.