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Thursday, August 4, 2016

NYC's Museum of Ice Cream

mariana leung moic
This is reason 5629 that New York City rocks during the summer. The Museum of Ice Cream in the Meatpacking District is a pop-up event. Creative strategist couple Maryellis Bunn and Manish Vora brainstormed their childhood fantasy of swimming in a pool of ice cream sprinkles and the event was born.

I wore my pastels to coordinate with the colors I assumed would be all over this "museum." The dress is from Byron Lars. The comfy retro sandals are from Cobb Hill Shoes. The event/retail space has plenty of selfie opportunities in the frozen treat theme. Every "exhibit" was interactive and mostly tasteable.

ice cream museum
The entrance hosts a few art pieces like a deer trophy in sprinkles and mirrored scoop sculpture. You get your first taste of ice cream at the counter. The creation on my day was organic vanilla from Blue Hill topped with Fruit Loops cereal and marshmallows. (Different ice cream brand sponsors are featured at various times). Once you acclimate your palette to sugar, you enter the next sweet experiment.

Helium filled balloons of blown sugar are made in the next room. You can regress to childhood birthday parties and suck the helium through the balloon and yell out your favorite ice cream flavor in a squeaky voice. You must do this promptly though, as I attempted to whip out my phone with one hand, only to have the balloon burst in a sticky mess wrapped around my fingers, with no wet naps to be found.

After you pass a wall of ice cream cones and hanging light bulbs, you arrive at the "educational" portion of the tour. Random ice cream related facts are printed on the back wall where you are meant to choose a scoop to pick up simulated ice cream and drop it on a giant chalice to crowdsource the world's biggest sundae. There is no syrup or toppings, though, just a big gold cup with waxy scoops piled in. A game host who is there to stem the flow of guests leads an ice cream trivia round. You learn that while the ice cream was invented by the Chinese in 3000 BC, the ice cream scoop itself was not invented until 1897. This was because the frozen treat was originally made with milk and sugar, and did not create a texture that required scooping. It wasn't until the recipe changed to cream that a scoop was needed.
giant ice cream sundae

On the wall are small monitors that ran movie or television clips that featured ice cream. Next, you enter the chocolate room, the one disappointing exhibit. It consisted of brown curtains and projected screens of flowing chocolate. There is a sink with a weak spray of brown liquid that was supposed to be chocolate, but most suburban weddings have more impressive chocolate fountains. The one saving grace is the ample buckets of chocolate samples from Dove Chocolate.

The next room is the famous ice cream sprinkle pool. After removing your shoes, you can throw yourself into the basin filled with tiny plastic pieces that resemble ice cream sprinkles. There are inflatable toys and a hostess on hand to help take your picture. Chances are you will be clearing out sprinkles from your clothes and body for the rest of the night. I noticed the multi-colored sprinkles embellished all of Gansevoort Street on my way out.

The next room is a gallery of ice cream themed work. There is a taste experiment where an engineered "berry" of different chemicals is formed to trick your taste buds into perceiving other flavors. You chew on lemon slices that taste positively like candy and receive a full-size ice cream cone.

The last room is a playground. There is a phallic ice cream scoop see-saw there just to bait guys into watching women ride on it. There is a big swing made to look like an ice cream sandwich. More bait for women to strike sexy poses for Instagram. Yes, I took the bait.

How much fun is it to act like a big kid and live out your childhood fantasies? The Museum of Ice Cream may only be in town for a month, but the social memories will last a lifetime.

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