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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How to Buy Artisanal Ice Cream

Posted By on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 4:02 PM


The line at Bi-Rite Creamery. - JOHNNY O./YELP
  • Johnny O./Yelp
  • The line at Bi-Rite Creamery.
Before you even think about buying artisanal ice cream, consider: Is it a hot, sunny day? Did the company just tweet a new flavor? Did 7x7 just write some more stuff about ice cream? You are fucked! Seriously, you are fucked.

But if the air is chilled, 7x7 is on pastries, and a London gloom hangs upon the neighborhood, it's the perfect time to buy ice cream. Let's go get some.

Line Resourcing

Find a line in the Mission that seems faintly ridiculous. This is your ice cream line. Stamp into place like Larry Ellison stepping up to a urinal. Introduce yourself to the person in front of you. Go ahead, do it. Fucking do it, you god damn coward!

Attend to gender-specific personal space: Stand close enough to a man to smell his morning hair but not so close that he could pin an emission on you. Stand close enough to a lady to see what she's frantically texting about ― jeggings? But not so close that she'll notice anybody's breath playing upon her ear.

click to enlarge Humphry Slocombe's menu board. - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Humphry Slocombe's menu board.

Line Skills-Tasking

If you have a friend, spend the first 15 minutes staring in opposite directions to create mystery. Then sigh and dialogue about, oh I don't fucking care, Sufjan Stevens. If you work, talk about how everyone you work with is an asshole or such a fucking genius. If you don't work, that's awesome. Act bored with everything in the world except what you are doing, which is waiting a very long time to buy ice cream.

Core-Competence Line-Posturing

Never stretch ― you're not an asshole in a gym class. Never stand in a way that could be compared to the second half of The Exorcist. That's no way to stand. The proper stance is: shoulders squared, arms folded, ass slightly pinched, rectangle sunglasses on. Imagine you're some asshole who just got published. It's also okay to slowly slide one foot out and perch there like a drugged ballerina.


If you find your head in your hands, reorient your endgame. This is not the fucking meatball line at IKEA! Imagine this line is a bank, and the chance to pose is the dividend. Own this ice-cream bank line. If there are any children (there won't be any children), kneel down, take their hand and ask them if they appreciate the seriousness of what the company is doing here, with the ice cream.

click to enlarge Bi-Rite Creamery's salted caramel - NCHOZ/FLICKR
  • nchoz/flickr
  • Bi-Rite Creamery's salted caramel

Gaining Net-Nets

Do you own an artisanal general store in Williamsburg? Because that's how you should be acting right now. Meyer lemon with olive oil? Ever try it with okra shavings? Heirloom vanilla with white chocolate gravel? What is this, Baskin Depression? Communicate all this with your eyes and a sample spoon playing across your lips, not your voice. Smell the air. Call for silence if necessary. Everybody is just talking about rSBT and Echo and the Bunnymen anyway. Then raise a finger into the air and order from the tub that's had the most action. Or not. It hardly matters because everything is delicious*. If you have a stone-faced clerk who's only barely looking at you because you're about to give him money, cede Soup Nazi awareness with a prim half step to your left ; ladies may want to reach over and slap him.

Congratulations, you can stop cursing! You've just bought yourself artisanal ice cream.

*Later, if you suspect your ice cream is not delicious, don't panic. You're mistaken.

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Michael Leaverton


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