When I posted the video to "In the Evening," with a momentary shot in front of the lost Dojo restaurant of St. Mark's Place, I made mention of the fact that Dojo's had once been an ice-cream shop that sold treats with drug names. Bowery Boy commented, revealing the name of the place: "Ice Cream Connection. I have the original menu board on my kitchen wall." He shares a shot of the menu:
Sadly, none of the drug-name flavors are on the board, but they did exist. Signed D.C., blogger from It's All the Streets You Crossed, let us know that "Gael Greene wrote about that ice cream shop in a 1970 New York magazine article."
In that article, reproduced on Insatiable Critic, Greene reported: "Stoned and sober they flock to The Ice Cream Connection, 24 St. Marks Place, for a butterfat high on soothing, digestible goat's milk ice cream, sweetened with organic honey, 35 cents a scoop... Leslie Margulies, second-generation Coney Island, struggles to keep goat's milk ice cream in stock." Flavors included "Acapulco Gold—peach studded with 'hash' (flaked chocolate)—and Panama Red—'hash'..."
The macrobiotic Margulies told Greene, "Ice cream is a pleasant world. People don't walk in all uptight the way they do going to buy a $200 Cardin suit." As for the flavor, Greene said, "How does goat's milk ice cream taste? I tried peach. The first taste is peach. The second taste is goat."
Allen Ginsberg also ate the ice cream there.
In an email exchange, Bowery Boy gave us the scoop on how Ice Cream Connection became Dojo. The owners of Dojo, Barbara and Tadao, bought the Ice Cream Connection during a chilly time of year when ice cream--goat's milk or otherwise--wasn't selling. So they started offering miso soup and soy burgers. The ice cream vanished, the miso and soy stayed. Dojo was born.
This 1974 Voice story tells the tale of the expansion to soy burgers from what sounds like the East Village's first "artisanal" ice cream shop:
Scrap lumber from the ice-cream shop later went into remodeling the owner's Bowery bathroom. Years later, when Bowery Boy moved in, he unearthed a wooden step from that bathroom and discovered the Ice Cream Connection's menu.
The ice cream shop is gone. The Dojo is gone. The kitchen wall where the ice cream menu currently hangs is about to vanish, too. It's in 206 Bowery, the last surviving Federal rowhouse on the Bowery, dating back to 1818. It's set to be demolished--and its occupants (including our reader Bowery Boy) evicted before Christmas. Write to Landmarks and ask them to save this building--for its residents and for the Bowery--before it turns to dust to make room for another luxury glass box.