I spoke with my Dad the other day. He recalled the afternoons we’d spent at Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlor in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. We stuffed ourselves with cheeseburgers, onion rings, and, ice cream sundaes. My Dad would have what was playfully known as “The Kitchen Sink” sundae. He could put away twelve scoops of ice cream with toppings and all. This was a very thin man mind you. He would polish it off in an hour. My sister and I would sit there dumbfounded. We watched and waited for him to announce that he couldn’t eat another bite. Instead, he would ask us about school in between spoonfuls. We would answer his questions without taking our eyes off that huge platter of ice cream. He finished. He always finished.
I myself always settled for butter pecan ice cream with butterscotch topping, whipped cream and nuts and “two cherries please”. After a while, the waitress knew us by heart, especially my Dad. When I became a few years older I began ordering the grilled cheese with sliced tomatoes. This worked well as I struggled less with finishing my ice cream afterward. I also developed a taste for mint chip ice cream. I was becoming an authority on the various flavors and textures.
Our most recent conversation reached the “whatever happened to” point so I looked it up and found that Jahn’s was initially opened in 1897 by John Jahn in the Bronx, New York. His children took over the business for a few years. He then decided to open several locations including ours and a couple in Florida. Sadly, there is just one location left in Jackson Heights, Queens.
It’s not easy operating an old-fashioned business in a new world. Today if it’s not on the cutting edge, it’s not real. But at Jahn’s, there was no hurry-up and eat attitude. It was simply a place a Dad could take his kids to spend the afternoon. There are so many great places and things to do today and, taking a pause for simple pleasures can do a hurried mind some good. It certainly brings a smile to my face.
So, if you can’t recall special moments with those you love, do yourself a favor and find a place like Jahn’s. You can savor those moments for the rest of your life.
Here’s to sweet moments… cheers!