Momofuku Milk Bar
(Williamsburg Location on Metropolitan Avenue between Havemeyer Avenue and Marcy Street)
The neon expedition I was wanting to undertake won’t work as well on weekends, which is probably all for the best as I should take it easy for another day or two. But I just remembered that I actually did stop in at a neon spot earlier this week — Momofuku Milk Bar. The photo above is from the East Village location, but I stopped in at the Williamsburg branch this week. Man, they have a LOT of outposts now! I gotta say, seeing the sign all over town lessens the neon appeal a bit. But still, dessert!
Somehow, I’d never been to Milk Bar. Crazy, I know, for a dairy queen like myself — I’ve even made Lucky Charms ice cream inspired by them. It was on my mind, too, because my friends are getting their wedding cake there. I’m looking forward to that! It’s hard to believe I resisted a giant MILK sign for so long.
Sadly, though, I was not really in love with the cereal milk soft serve I got the other day. The texture was great and the serving was generous, but the flavor was like the milk left over from bran flakes, not Froot Loops or Apple Jacks or something yummy. Next time I’ll go for cake truffles or an espresso shake, and I bet I’ll be happier.
The neon signs are the same in all locations — all milky white and gooily squashed like a delicious dessert. They’re medium-sized window signs, and a bit hard to photograph as the white neon isn’t terribly bright, but I think they’re pretty perfect for the shops. I usually hate sloppy-lettering in neon, but this is right in the sweet spot (so to speak) between precise and slapdash. Just right for carefully designed but slightly messy desserts.
Eddie’s Sweet Shop
(On Metropolitan Avenue at 72nd Road in Forest Hills, Queens)
Why are we not hanging out at Eddie’s ALL THE TIME? Seriously, it is the best. It’s a lovely old-fashioned soda fountain, with house-made ice cream and lots of other delicious stuff. When I stopped in on Tuesday, it was empty except the two (very nice) kids behind the counter, one couple, and me. Of course it was dinner time, but who doesn’t want ice cream for dinner?
I opted for a root-beer float with coffee ice cream — a tricky thing to eat while walking since you need to wield both straw and spoon, but that’s what I wanted so that’s what I got. I should have stayed and eaten it there, but I had miles to go before the night was over (I’ll show you the rest of the photos from that night soon) so I didn’t. Next time, though, I’ll stay — the inside is one of the most charming spaces in New York.
I can’t really judge the quality of the ice cream since mine was deliciously immersed in root-beer, but it seemed quite good if not world-beater quality. I make my own ice cream pretty regularly, so I’m more interested in an ice cream place with an array of great toppings, a wonderful atmosphere, and yes — neon! The soda jerks (I love that term…) inside were friendly and even undercharged me according to the prices posted. Seriously you guys — we need to go here all the time.
It’s a 15 or 20 minute walk from the subway (or the LIRR if you prefer), but the walk is largely through a weirdly magical fairy land of faux-Tudor fancy homes, which more than made up for the lack of commercial life, and next time I need to remember that the Q54 bus goes right there. The Ice Cream Express! Well, OK, more like the Ice Cream Local, but still. The shop itself is on a corner of Metropolitan Avenue, and the sign is a simple but classic pink SODA wrapping around the shiny stainless corner above the corner entrance.
I’ve known about Eddie’s for a long time, but never took the time to make the trek. I’m really glad Project Neon made me finally do it. And now we all need to hang out here all the time… and eat all the ice cream.