[insert abrasively loud ice cream truck music]

Ever since I’ve moved back to the (Lincoln) Heights in July I’ve had this ice cream truck from hell come ’round.

My apartment is right up against the street and has no yard and I have windows all around.  Consequently I hear all the vehicular, pedestrian, and skateboarder traffic all day long.  I can stand the pedestrians and the skateboarders but it’s a certain kind of vehicular traffic that has worn thin my patience.  There is this ice cream that for some reason decides to play their music at 20 decibels 80 decibels(!) and park right outside my apartment.  He sits for up to 20 minutes! Yes, I’ve timed him!  I was thinking for a while, “does he take his layover there? trading shifts?”

But it turns out that outside my apartment is a key spot since the kids run down from the hill to get their fill of high-fructose corn syrup frozen desserts.  I’ve counted 15 kids at one time, all unable to decide on what they want.  Now I actually enjoy how alive (and yes sometimes loud) this neighborhood can be but damn, park your ice cream truck somewhere else while I’m trying to nap off my hangover!

23 thoughts on “[insert abrasively loud ice cream truck music]

  1. Wow, 20dBA — those damn mosquitoes…

    10dBA – Normal Breathing
    20dBA – Mosquito or Rustling Leaves
    30dBA – A Whisper
    40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
    50dBA – Normal Conversation
    60dBA – Laugher
    70dBA – Vaccuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
    80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
    90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
    110dBA – Jackhammer

  2. There’s an ice cream truck that goes around with some sort of illegal cb radio or something cuz his mutterings bleed into the stereo and computer speakers!

  3. That’s a shame. Paleteros always stop near my house in South Gate for long periods of time as well. It’s due to the high concentration of apartment complexes in our half of the block that the paletero has no option but to stop for twenty minutes. However, he’s considerate enough to turn off the music whenever he stops. If you can, talk to him and ask him to turn off the music if he has to stop for a period of time. That’s what our neighbor did with the paleteros.

  4. Growing up on the Westside, I thought all ice cream trucks played “Pop Goes the Weasel”.

    When I moved to Highland Park, I learned how strange the noises coming out of those trucks can be. Lincoln Heights has even more of them, and weirder music choices too.

    There are bleeping hip-hop inspired tunes, metallic renditions of swan lake, and all sorts of other stuff.

    An ice cream truck is okay every once in a while, but sometimes my neighborhood in Lincoln Heights has one on every damn block, all day long.

    It makes me like the paleteros pushing carts on foot, because even though their ice cream is either hard as a rock or mushy like mud at least they don’t blare bad amplified music from an old diaper truck. A paisa yelling out, “Paletas!” and ringing a bell is okay in my book.

  5. If you really want him to go away – buy ice cream treats at a bulk store and hand them out free about 1/2 hour before he usually shows. Keep it up for a week or two.

  6. I like the ice cream truck that plays the tetris theme and then has this weird female robotic voice that goes “HeLLLLooo!” Some of the arty Mexican kids from Highland Park did a documentary on local ice cream truck drivers.

  7. that was music to my ears when I was a kid. Like the pied piper rounding up rats with his flute. I use to buy those fake tattoos all the time and those bags full of random objects and candy. Come to think of it, ice cream trucks are partly to blame for my portly appearance, but man it was worth it.

  8. i have a similar problem but with the elote guy, hunking his horn, i dont mind if he does it 2 or 3 times but after the tenth time i get a lil upset

  9. Chimatli, I’ve heard that same truck. The first couple of times I heard it it was pretty unnerving. That voice out of nowhere, and disembodied threw me for a loop.

  10. This is my neighborhood soundtrack:

    1. Ice Cream trucks.(hate to say I bought a cone last night)
    2. Verduleros (annoying horns)
    3. Sunday Morning – some guy comes at the crack of dawn yelling “tamales, champurrado” x3 each time getting louder. Selling them out of the trunk of his car.

  11. A while back,I wanted to start collecting Ice Cream Truck music. I thought it came on tape or CD format but I learned that Ice Cream Truck operators use this little black box that has the music already in it and they just hook it to their onboard PA system.

  12. (I kinda like the “Hello” song.)

    There’s a truck that plays “Turkey in the Straw” ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGzTlBm8QSA ) and sells nachos that are pretty amazing. The guy stacks the round tortilla chips into the tray, like cookies in a plastic tray, and the pours the cheese sauce over it. The sauce reaches every single chip, roughly equally, so you don’t end up with dry chips and wet chips. I totally nerded out on that.

    Here’s some info about Turkey in the Straw: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_in_the_Straw


  13. I like the sound of the street vendors, Tamales!, Elotes! Verdura’s!, Helado’s!,.
    But the picture you show of this ice cream man’s truck looks just like the obnoxious one we used have going down the street in front of my house in Highland Park, with his stupid tape of “Pop Goes The Weasel” loud as hell.
    Sometimes he would be going down the narrow street at 40 miles an hour. Lucky no kids were killed! Sometimes he would stop and block the street so nobody else could pass.
    He wouldn’t listen to reason so he had to learn the hard way. Every time he stopped one of the fella’s would put a couple of roofing cap nails under his tires.
    Curiously he stopped coming down our street.

    I love the sound of street vendors as long as they don’t get obnoxious. It’s an old old custom, as a kid in Lincoln Hts in the 50’s we had the “fish man” in his panel truck who would blow a distinct call from a megaphone that sounded like a giant kazoo, we had the “Helms Bakery Truck”, the man would blow a metal whistle and us kids would think of donuts and creampuffs, we had the “Ice Man” (yeah many people including us still had “ice boxes”), who clanged away on his big metal triangle, and up and down N. Broadway and N. Main we still had the old Italian vegetable man, who had a horse pulling his covered wagon while he rang his bell and yelled “we gotta pinappa, we gotta tomatta, we gotta pottata!
    The poor Good Humor Ice Cream Man, we would stop him and one of us kids would buy something, then when he took off with his song playing loudly one or two of us would run behind the truck close so he couldn’t see us in the rear view mirrors, as we ran behind the truck we would open the freezer door and toss a couple of boxes of ice cream into the street.
    Then we would all sit on the curb and enjoy our stolen ice cream.
    Poor guy! We did this for a couple of years before they wised up and put a lock on the doors.

  14. If gas gets real expensive, expect the trucks to return to more neighborhoods.

    I remember the Japanese fish man, who sold fish and rice candies. His truck smelled like a fishing boat. The ice keeping the fish cold melted, and water dripped from the back of his truck as he drove away.

    I remember the fruit vendors, with their ripe pineapples, ready to eat. That was just last month. Instant good memories, even today.

  15. There’s another Ice Cream Truck that would come around my Parent’s house in ELA.
    It had a hand-painted “Lay’s Ice Cream” on the front and it would play some cheesy music and a man’s voice with a really thick heavy accent would cut through and say:
    “Ice Creeeem, Ice Creeeem, Lay’s Ice Creeeeem”. There was another Ice cream truck driver that I swear looked just like Otto from The Simpsons and everyone knew you could score weed from him whenever he came around. Recently I spotted this tagged up Ice Cream Truck. It was parked near KMart. My brother claims that it actually still circulates around the neighborhood in that condition. http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll128/psychoworks13/taggedIcecreamtruck.jpg

  16. Al- I never thought anyone would remember Lay’s Ice Cream Truck, and his unique song!! That is truly an old time memory fron the neighborhood.
    What I really remember was the old school “Carnation Ice Cream” Truck with the old white man with the old leather apron, driving around East La in the early 60’s, nice classic truck, no loud obnoxious music!!
    Bannana Popsicles, Sidewalk Sundaes, The Original Big Sticks, not the generic newer version that many trucks now sell.
    There was also a Blue and White Truck much larger that would sell soft serve ice cream as well as the sundaes, and old school bannana splits.

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