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Nina In New York: Park Slope Parents Missed The “You Scream, I Scream” Memo

A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.

By Nina Pajak

Oh, dear. Has anyone around here ever heard of the phrase “choose your battles wisely?”

Apparently not, as evidenced by a new movement in Park Slope to ban ice cream trucks from kid-heavy areas like playgrounds and parks, because they inspire one too many temper tantrums. Also, the music has inspired a series of noise complaints from neighborhood residents like Ebeneezer Scrooge, Scrooge McDuck (no relation), The Grinch, Mr. Burns, and Cruella DeVille.

More: The 5 Best Ice Cream Shops Outside Manhattan

chipwich Nina In New York: Park Slope Parents Missed The You Scream, I Scream MemoFor the love of all that’s good in this world, leave the ice cream trucks alone! Just leave them alone. Cue viral YouTube video in which my face is streaked with mascara and I choke out uncontrollable sobs as I work through an ocean of Chipwiches. Oh no. I said Chipwich. I will now think of nothing else for the next 48 hours.

More: The 8 Best Milkshakes In NYC

But you see, I am capable of managing my desire for something that I cannot and should not have. I can sit with the thought, despite the fact that it’s sad and in my wildest dreams, a Chipwich will materialize in my hand. That is because I grew up with a healthy exposure to the word “no.” And though I’m sure I occasionally accused my mother of unprecedented and unendurable cruelty, I can say with total honesty that I’m a fairly normal adult with no major psychological scarring. Plus, I never eat more than two cookies at a sitting.

Said one highly quotable mommy on the Park Slope Parents blog: “I should not have to fight with my children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living!”

I mean. gy4589truy…….Sorry. That was my head hitting the keyboard.

I hate to give credence to miserly whining of this nature, but a piece of my childhood is being attacked. All of our childhoods. The tingle of nostalgia and excitement that we all get when we hear Mr. Softee’s iconic chimes are the stuff of the collective American experience. What’s next? No more hot dogs at baseball games because kids loooove nitrates. Or maybe we banish those people who walk around with glowy fiber optic blinky tickley wand things after the circus because kids will not back down when glowy fiber optic blinky tickley wand things are involved.

Or, here’s a tip: Just say no. If your kid won’t listen and throws a temper tantrum every time he or she sees an ice cream truck, you’ve got a problem that no quantity of King Cones can fix.

Perhaps if the Fat Frog bar was still around, things would be different. Oh, Fat Frog. Everybody could agree on you.


Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions or follow me on Twitter.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

The Nina In New York Archives:

Hong Kong: My Kind Of Town

A Short List Of Things Nina Learned In Vietnam


One Comment

  1. Bob says:

    Parents have to nip these brats whining in the bud. If not, they’ll grow up to be Liberals.

  2. Amtracmarine says:

    Why is everyone trying to clean this srory up?? The main beef is with the people (Hispanics) that operate the Icee push carts. That wouldn’t be PC though.

  3. Alice says:

    These clowns have way to much time on their hands and need to get a LIFE !

  4. Jean says:

    I’m with you, Nina. These spineless parents need to toughen up and teach their children that no means no. If your kid throws a screaming fit every time you refuse him or her something they want, ice cream trucks are the least of your worries. You’ve got a much bigger problem of your own creation: undisciplined kids. While I know the whining of a determined child can make someone lose their mind, hello! That’s called being a parent. Welcome to the real world

    1. tw says:

      this is crap. all i want to do is sit at home on a nice quiet evening and read a book. but there’s this dumb ice cream truck that seems like it won’t go anywhere. seems like it’s just parked outside the house. But no! it’s actually like 4 blocks away. it’s terribly annoying and distracting. If a motorcyclist can be ticketed for having too loud of an exhaust, then this should fall under the same category bc it’s constant!

      1. kentuckian says:

        Sounds like you need more practice.

      2. Bob says:

        Keep the trucks- lose the music

  5. EMC says:

    Almost everyone living in park Slope these days thinks they are in Berkley.
    These birkenstock wearing polititically correct wanna-be’s are practicing social engineering at a dangerously high level.
    Control, control is an obsession.What the co-op should or should not sell, bike lanes, you name it.
    They are living in a cosmopliton city not a gated community.

    1. kentuckian says:

      A gated community! But, aren’t there republicans in there?

    2. ADOLF HIMMLER says:


  6. Sally says:

    from everything I’ve read, these Park Slope parents are obnoxious and entitled, and think they can impose their preferences on everybody else.

Comments are closed.

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