Friday, June 21, 2013


Ice Cream Truck
An ice cream van (British) or ice cream truck (American) is a commercial vehicle which serves as a traveling retail outlet for ice cream, usually during the summer. Ice cream vans are often seen parked at public events, or near parks, beaches, or other areas where people congregate. Ice cream vans often travel near where children play — outside schools, in residential areas, or in other locations. They usually stop briefly before moving on to the next street.

There were many stages of mobile ice cream vending until the soft ice cream vans appeared, from hand carts to horse drawn carts, trailers and trikes. Then in the early 1900's the motorised hard ice cream vehicles appeared.
The horse drawn carts sold ices and flavoured ice cream; they were the early mobile ice cream vendor of their time. The hand drawn ice cream carts were also mobile ice cream vendors and both announced their presence with a large hand bell.

Ice cream vans are often brightly decorated and carry images of ice cream, or some other adornment, such as cartoon characters. They may have painted-on notices, which can serve a commercial purpose ("Stop me and buy one!") or a more serious one ("Don't Skid on a Kid!") - serving as a warning to passing motorists that children may run out into the road at the sight of the van, or appear without warning from behind it. Along the sides, a large sliding window acts as a serving hatch, and this is often covered with small pictures of the available products, with their associated prices. A distinctive feature of ice cream vans is their melodic chimes, and often these take the form of a famous and recognizable tune, usually "The Mister Softee Jingle", "Turkey in the Straw", "Do Your Ears Hang Low?, "Pop Goes The Weasel" "The Entertainer", "Music Box Dancer", "Home on the Range", "It's a Small World", "Super Mario Bros. Theme" or "Camptown Races"; or, in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, "Greensleeves", "Whistle While You Work" in Crewe and Nantwich, "You Are My Sunshine" in Vale Royal, "Teddy Bears' Picnic" in Sheffield, and "Match of the Day" in other places. In some places in the US, ice cream trucks play the song "Ice Cream" by Andre Nickatina (essentially just Turkey in the Straw with bass).
Most ice cream vans tend to sell both pre-manufactured ice lollies (American English: popsicles) in wrappers, and soft serve ice cream from a machine, served in a cone, and often with a chocolate flake (in Britain) or a sugary syrup flavoured with, for example, strawberry. Soft serve ice cream is served topped with sprinkles for a slight extra charge. While franchises or chains are rare within the ice cream truck community (most trucks are independently owned/run), there are a few chains.

In some locations, ice cream van operators have diversified to fill gaps in the market for soft drinks, using their capacity for refrigerated storage to sell chilled cans and bottles.
Early ice cream vans carried simple ice cream, during a time when most families did not own a freezer. As freezers became more commonplace, ice cream vans moved towards selling novelty ice cream items, such as bars and popsicles. Early vans used relatively primitive techniques: their refrigeration was ensured by large blocks of dry ice so the motor was always turned off when the van was stopped for sales. The chimes were operated by a hand driven crank or a take-off from the motor, so they were not heard as often.

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, or BGICT, is a New York City-based ice cream truck that serves soft serve ice cream cones, cups, and novelties with a menu of unique and unusual flavors and toppings. Some examples? Olive oil, sea salt, cayenne pepper, ground wasabi peas, bacon, maple syrup, and sriracha just to name a few.

The "gay" in the name of the truck has a double meaning, referring to the sexual orientation of co-founders Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff, as well as simply "happy". According to Quint: "If I weren't gay, I wouldn't call it the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. And if I weren't happy, I wouldn't have the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. It would just be the big crabby ice cream truck."

Use of social media
The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck has made use of social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook to connect directly with their clientele rather than through traditional means of advertising. Quint and Petroff also frequently blog about their experience both on and off the truck.
Official website:
Doug Quint is a free-lance classical bassoonist and was looking for a secondary occupation in the summer off-season. A flutist friend had been operating an ice cream truck of her own and suggested doing the same to Quint, who took her up on the suggestion. In June, 2009, Doug Quint and his partner, Bryan Petroff, founded and began operating the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck at Brooklyn Pride in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. They currently operate the Big Gay Ice Cream truck during the summer months, parking at various locations throughout New York City, and tweeting their location and specialty items du jour to their followers.

Theme song
The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck has an "official" theme song composed and recorded by Go-Go's guitarist and singer/songwriter Jane Wiedlin, who is also a personal friend of Quint.

Melting Ice Cream Truck
Every year since 1997 in Australia, the Sculpture by the Sea Exhibition takes place.

Orest Keywan won $30,000 for the Sulpture by the Sea prize in 2006. Constructed with steel, stainless steel, sandstone and limestone, the piece evokes memories of shifting landscapes. Also a reference to global warming? Perhaps.
.... and last but no least.

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