Some of my fondest memories of spending summers in Michigan as a kid are of the seasonal ice cream shops. Shuttered most of the year, the corner ice cream shops were always open for business during the warmer months. My grandmother would give my brother and me enough money to buy us each a cone and we'd race down the block to claim our treats. The ice cream shop down the street from my grandparents' old house in Detroit was housed in a narrow brick building. As I recall, it may have been attached to a larger structure, a business whose purpose I never knew because all I cared about was the ice cream window. That's where the magic happened! There was a metal shutter the ice cream man would raise when he was open for business and sad was the day when we ran up there only to find the shutter inexplicably closed.
The Frosty Boy ice cream shop in these pictures is in Belleville, Michigan, where my grandparents have retired. I run or drive by it every day and wish I could order a vanilla cone and sit down on one of the benches to savor it. I don't even want to do it for the taste (I doubt I'd enjoy eating dairy ice cream after all these years), but rather, I'd like to experience again what it was like to visit the ice cream shop as a child, to feel the joy of licking an ice cream on a hot day, trying to eat it all before it inevitably dripped onto my chin and fingers.
I rarely ever wish I weren't vegan. But passing by this place every day is tantamount to torture. Maybe I'll stop by to inquire if they have coconut milk ice cream. It can't hurt to ask.