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An Ice Cream Truck—On Rodeo Drive?
“I think we’re getting closer,” I said to Cara, a fellow intern, as we drove down Wilshire Blvd. The buildings and palm trees seemed taller—fancier even, which meant we were headed in the right direction: Rodeo Drive.
When two interns are told on a balmy afternoon about an old fashioned ice cream truck rumored to set up shop in Beverly Hills, they will find it.
And find it we did, parked quietly on Rodeo, across the street from the Roberto Cavalli store near Brighton Way.
The little truck reminded me of the ones that used to drive around my neighborhood when I was a kid. Light blue and small enough to make you wonder if it’s related to a Smart car, the truck was adorable but ignored by most of the Rodeo crowd. Two men in suits walked by without giving it a glance.
Leaning against the truck was a dark-haired man, who told us his name was Mike and was the truck’s owner. Tanned and probably in his mid 40s, Mike told us he’s been selling ice cream on Rodeo for years. He’s usually there on weekday afternoons at different spots along Rodeo.
But why Rodeo?
“I like it here,” he replied quickly, with a shrug of his shoulders. He wouldn’t tell us much more than that.
“I like my privacy,” he said, though he did mention that he’s received many offers to film the out-of-place curbside classic, all of which he’s turned down.
We pressed Mike further, but he wouldn’t open up; he did however, offer us discounted ice cream. I ordered my first Choco Taco ($1). A taco-shaped waffle shell dipped in chocolate and stuffed with vanilla ice cream, it was perfect. Cara picked a SpongeBob SquarePants popsicle with gumball eyes ($1).
In the company of Valentino’s red clad mannequins across the street, we ate our ice cream on a sidewalk bench and did some people watching.
At 4 p.m., girls wearing let’s-go-clubbing dresses strolled by, as did pets on leashes, gaping tourists and men toting shopping bags.
In the shadow of the Salvatore Ferragamo store, we ate our treats in silence. But the quiet was interrupted when I spilled a dollop of vanilla on my shirt.
“So unclassy,” said Cara, before returning her attention to the now one-eyed SpongeBob, melting quickly in her hand.