Hey Hipsters: Give the Ice Cream Back to the Kids for Sweet Jesus Sakes

Ice cream used to be a kid’s food.  As a child I would eagerly await the warm weather so that we could make the pilgrimage to one of the Dairy Queens in Sudbury (which at the time were nothing more than stands and were only open in the summer).  Otherwise, I would store change under the mattress in the event that the Dickie Dee ice cream bike decided to grace our street with it’s presence.  My mother didn’t necessarily approve (perhaps because there was a good chance the driver was a pedophile) so I was careful not to order the phantom because the carcinogenic purple dye stuck on my tongue would be a dead give away when I got home again. The rare time I traveled past the Hungry Bear in French River or the Espanola turnoff (depending if I was heading south or west) there was an off chance we would stop but  was usually few and far between and usually centred around my mother’s craving for a scoop of Tiger Tail.

And who said diversity wasn’t prevalent in the 80’s?

Unfortunately, in a manner synonymous with walkers infiltrating cities across America, hipsters have decided that ice cream in now in their wheel house.  Maybe it started earlier than I thought.  Years ago, Dennis the Menace was scrapped as Dairy Queen’s “spokesperson” and replaced by savvy commercials and sultry lips beckoning those with the wallets to come and bring the kids if you want.   A bigger testament to this theory is what has happened in Toronto.  Grown adults are now forfeiting coffee houses and Netflix marathons to stand in line for hours to pay asinine amounts for ice cream.  In most cases, kids are nowhere to be found.  Take Bang Bang Ice cream for example.  In addition to the possible sexual connotations of the name, I previously blogged that was there one night I got in line only to find soft-core cartoon porn projected onto the wall while a hipster dad in front me in line (who presumably only went to grab the kids an ice cream sandwich) had to cover his hipster kid’s eyes.  In other words, their ice cream came with a side of ass.  A second example was a recent trip to Sweet Jesus, the newish soft serve joint.  Shunned by some zealots for its anti-Christ antics like an emblem featuring an upside-down cross or a website that ironically features satanic looking children with tattoos, pet monkeys and gold chains, a key characteristic of this place is a disgruntled and tattooed ice cream artist taking your order instead of a 16 year kid who has their first job and splotches of melted product all over their shirt.  The flagship location is a few blocks away from the Rogers Centre and I sat watching the parade of people waiting to score a treat.  From the other direction a dad and his daughter (who was maybe 12) arrived.  The look of befuddlement on the dad’s face was priceless.  I could read his mind as he looked down at his daughter’s equally puzzled face.  Essentially he was thinking that all he wanted to do is get his daughter a cone after the game and the limiting factor was an hour wait because of a bunch or grown adults were waiting in line.  I’m sure if the girl was confused or upset or both but they quietly departed perhaps in search of another post-game treats that wouldn’t be impaired by Toronto’s urban “walkers”.  Maybe these places should have a kid’s express lane where parents can bring their kids for a quick and porn-free ice cream experience.  Trust me…the hipsters don’t mind waiting….it makes them cooler and gives them opportunities to discuss their social angst, explain their tattoos and show off their baggy jean shorts.

For Adults Only...at $6.50 a pop too
For Adults Only…at $6.50 a pop too



I fully acknowledge that this is likely another trend that the hipsters have plowed through similar to tacos, burgers and anything with kale but I’m hoping it is short lived.  We have already removed a good portion of our children’s ability to be kids with social media stimulation and fears to let them explore their own neighbourhoods.  Let’s give them their ice cream back for Sweet Jesus sakes.


Blows to Canadiana Which Depress me More than a Polar Bear from Central Park

As I sit here on Canada day weekend listening to fireworks exploding in the distance I figure there was no better time to pay  homage to Gord Downie. His tragic diagnosis of terminal brain cancer is no secret and the outpourings have been coming in ever since. I can attempt to recreate these glowing tributes but instead I think I will focus on how the Hip have influenced me since the late eighties:

  1. Food-They taught me to eat my chicken slow and, as a Christian, to be wary of coconut cream.
  2. Relationships-I’d like to meet a Thompson girl (even if she doesn’t give a fuck about hockey) and bring her down the highway to balmy Bobcaygeon for some Willie Nelson and wine.
  3. Fashion-Even if you loathe the leafs, it’s still OK to wear a 50 mission cap (which I willingly did as part of my university years).
  4. Geography– Give me a map and I can point out the 100th Meridian, dot a map at Chagrin Falls and tell you what’s in Sarnia.
  5. Travel- My ultimate goal on most road trips is taking the last American exit while looking for a place to happen and making stops (usually at triple Ds, James Beard winners or iconic eateries) along the way.
  6. Writing–  The hip allowed me to feel fully and completely comfortable about using two synonymic adverbs in the same sentence even in the midst of less than anti-social poets.
  7. History- I learned about both the heroic trek of Jacques Cartier and the travesty of David Milgaard on the same album at a time where eating gluten was still cool.
  8. Zoology– I’ve long to become lionized by using my pigeon camera (or maybe my iphone) to take a picture in Central Park of an emperor (or at least a king or chinstrap) penguin  or the ghost of Gus the Prozac prescribed polar bear.

Speaking of Canadiana, it is currently one of the hottest food trends in the GTA.  Aside from the expansion of popular Western Chains into the east, there is a smattering of  restaurants which serve fare reflective of our country’s expansive geography. Originally, I was going to summarize an eatery which fell along the foodie tundra which exists on King between John and Blue Jays Way.  Parlor, which opened in late 2014, had an ironically American name, most likely due to the fact a speakeasy with the Canadian spelling exists a mere 300 metres away.  Otherwise, it aimed to be as Canadian as the Hip themselves.  I went a couple of times and was treated to one of my favorite cocktails in Toronto…their smoked maple manhattan.  Alas, when I went to pull up the restaurant’s menu on the website to write this blog, it was nothing but a blank page.  When I checked opentable it reported the restaurant as permanently closed. A phone call answered by a befuddled voice on the other end confirmed the closure and left me wondering if Ry Cooder was invited to sing their euology.

Like the Tragically Hip, I guess good things need to come to an end and although my perfect segway was ruined by the closure of Parlor,  I suppose I could use this blog to set up my recent trip to New Orleans which reminds me I should start writing it before my memory gets muddy.