A Sprinkle in Time
Skip Giacco, co-owner of Lickety Split and president of the City Island Chamber of Commerce, describes his neighborhood as “the anti-Brooklyn.” He means it in every respect, calling attention to the tiny island’s small-town architecture, relative seclusion from the greater Bronx, complete lack of trendy restaurants, and neighborhood leaders who are wary of developers turning their entire waterfront into a carbon copy of Williamsburg.
Giacco and his wife Louise are Bronx natives who had planned on retiring in Florida but moved back to New York for two reasons: Mr. Giacco was afflicted with a visual impairment that prevented him from driving, and both of them found the retirement lifestyle boring. Almost immediately upon their move to City Island, they noticed an out-of-business ice cream parlor just around the corner from their home, realized that there were no other ice cream parlors around, and decided to make this run-down storefront their stake in the neighborhood.
True to the words “anti-Brooklyn,” Lickety Split doesn’t make its own products. A generous scoop of ice cream costs $2.50, high school students who live within walking distance of the shop work the counter, and all of the effort that could go into a craft product instead goes towards creating a place that preserves the childlike feeling of eating an ice cream cone.
According to the Giaccos, this emphasis is not just about decor, and it’s not about a nostalgia that papers over the realities of life. Their goal is to offer people of all backgrounds a reprieve from the hustle of city life, a place to sit with their kids that will actually have room for them to sit, and a visual setting that reminds them that ice cream is possibly the best excuse one can have to take a break from whatever life may be throwing at them on a hot summer day.
© Photographs by Donnelly Marks.
Through September 1, Edible Bronx is collaborating with Edible Manhattan, Edible Brooklyn, Edible Queens, and the Staten Island Advance to debut 30 new one-minute videos about food and life in New York. Subscribe to 1 Minute Meal to see food films from all five boroughs.