The creepy Mister Softee songs mysteriously emanating from LinkNYC kiosks have gotten a lot of attention lately, but let's not forget that the original source of that ominous melody is still out there, prowling the streets and parking right outside your apartment for hours and hours and hours until you're hearing it jingle jangle into your dreams/nightmares.
City regulations state that ice cream trucks can only play music while moving, but the ice cream biz is notoriously lawless. In 2014, Gothamist reported that New Yorkers have lodged over 7,000 noise complaints since 2010, which averages out to almost five a day, 365 days a year.
Localize.city has updated the stats, and found that people may simply be learning to love the jingle (it is less creepy than the LinkNYC version?) and there has been a 20 percent reduction in noise complaints in the last 12 months. There were nearly 1,279 noise complaints about ice cream trucks filed during the last 12 months, through August 15th, 2018. Manhattan had a 47 percent decline in complaints, Brooklyn had a 25 percent decline, the Bronx has a 7 percent decline, while in Queens there was an 11 percent increase in complaints.
The areas that had the most complaints include Captain Tilly Park in Jamaica, Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, and the area between Madison Park and Union Square.
“Because these trucks are mobile, the local hot spots might vary year-to-year, but it’s clear that there remain corridors where residents are persistently annoyed by the song and trying to do something about it,” Localize.city data analyst Daniel Slutsky said. "For example, last year saw a steep rise in complaints in the north part of Kingsbridge, near Van Cortlandt Park. Not far away though in Norwood, south of the Williamsbridge Oval, there was a drop in complaints compared to previous years. Perhaps, the ice cream truck routes changed — or the persistent complainers moved away."
Many complainers, however, remain. As one rapidly unraveling Kingsbridge woman wrote on Facebook in April: “YOUR A***** DRIVER IS STILL PARKED ON VAN CORTLANDT PARK SOUTH AND BLASTING NOISE. YOU, MISTER SOFTEE, HAVE BEEN THERE FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR. DO NOT COME TO MY NEIGHBORHOOD.”
These are the top areas with the most ice cream song related complaints, according to Localize.city
- Jamaica, around Captain Tilly Park
- Flatiron/Union Square, around Union Square Park and Madison Square Park
- Kingsbridge, around Bailey Playground, Fort Independence Playground and Van Cortlandt Park
- Sunset Park, around Rainbow Playground, Brizzi Playground and Sunset Park
- Elmhurst/Corona, around Newtown Playground
- East Harlem, around Rev. Linnette C Williamson Memorial Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Playground, Morningside Park, Marcus Garvey Park, TRUCE Garden and Playground One Twenty Five CXXV
- Norwood, around Whalen Park
- Bedford-Stuyvesant, around John Hancock Playground, Herbert Von King Park, Hattie Carthan Community Garden, Banneker Playground and Tranquility Farm
- Boerum Hill/Fort Greene, around Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. Park, Boerum Park, North Pacific Playground, Fort Greene Park; Oracle Playground
- Soundview, around Soundview Park
- Manhattanville/West Harlem, around Annunciation Playground, Jacob H. Schiff Playground, Montefiore Square, Alexander Hamilton Playground, Frank White Memorial Garden, Carmansville Park and Jackie Robinson Park
- Inwood, around Inwood Hill Park, Fort Tryon Park, Dyckman House Museum and Isham Park
If you don't live in one of these neighborhoods, YouTube has you covered: