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"Who you callin' a Jerk?"

There are just a few places where "Jerk" is a compliment. When I try to remember the old fashioned ice cream parlors of the Big Apple I don’t really think of ice cream much. Perhaps a scoop in a malted but in New York City the “Poor Man’s Malted” or "Egg Cream" was king and there was neither ice cream nor egg in that drink of legend. Perhaps the soda jerk was given that name for jerking that handle that dispenses seltzer. When making an egg cream a spoon would also be jerking up and down to agitate the chocolate and milk as the seltzer was added.


Do you remember the way Sergio Leone depicted Fat Joe’s in Once Upon a Time in America? It was supposed to be a bar and sandwich shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Sergio’s Italian immigrant eyes, awe struck by the bigness of New York and America, showed the moviegoer an almost arena like setting. That’s how I feel when I try to remember the ice cream parlors of my New York City youth, a vast collection of tasty toys. From the backless bar stool where I could spin until I was dizzy to the Wurlitzer blasting Do Wop in the back, Willy Wonka and his Chocolate Factory had noting on a good old fashion New York City ice cream parlor.


Brooklyn Farmacy is worth visiting and right across the street from a Moonstruck landmark, where the Cammareri Bakery once stood. Here's a tasty history and a good old New York Egg Cream recipe for you.

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Taken on July 2, 2010