There is what’s being called a “polar vortex” going on in New York right now. Without doing any meteorological research whatsoever, we can only assume from the feel of it that a polar vortex is defined as a “terrifying, testicle-shrinking, nipple-hardening blast of cold weather sent by Satan himself.”
Right in the middle of Coldpocalypse 2014, legendary indie rocker Stephen Malkmus announced that he would be posted up at Momofuku Milk Bar in Brooklyn to "sign posters and enjoy some ice cream with fans." So on the coldest January 7 in New York’s history, we sent two very intrepid Noisey editors to Momofuku to freeze their asses off in pursuit of ice cream. (There were no interns available.)
The brave reviewers:
Kim Taylor Bennett
When Kim was 17, she waited for four hours in the cold in Oxford, England, to see Pavement. She didn’t have tickets but eventually talked her way into the venue, had the best time, met Damon Albarn from Blur, and walked away with Steve West’s broken sticks. Several years later, she interviewed Stephen Malkmus. He spent the entire interview barefoot and lying on the floor like it was a therapy session. He later told another magazine that Kim’s interview was the highlight of his press junket. She loves cinnamon and is putting it in her coffee right now.
Dan is indifferent to Stephen Malkmus and Pavement, but he will not turn down free food. He isn’t crazy about cinnamon but does love lesbians. Not in a creepy, lesbian-porn-fetish way, he just cares deeply about his lesbian friends. (He’ll watch lesbian porn if he has to though, he’s not a monster.) He fucking hates the cold.
Kim, on the experience:
We decided it would be wise to get to Momofuku a little before 4 p.m. to avoid lining up outside for our moment with Malkmus and his soft serve. I love him but I wasn’t super keen on losing a finger or a nipple to this polar vortex. Turns out our punctuality was completely unnecessary. When we arrived there were a total of five people—including us—all of them dudes.
Malkmus fans are heavy into color coordination. Honestly this dude on the right had purple DMs, a purple sweater, and a matching purple hat. Serious.
By the time we arrived, the contents of my nose were making their way towards my mouth and the static electricity created by all the wool I was wearing meant my hair was sticking to my face. I looked gross. This was not how I wanted to present myself while rekindling my special moment with Malk. Not that he gave a shit. He stood nonchalantly off to one side and told me he had a fast metabolism, posed for two pics before his face got bored of smiling and then offered me a poster. Thanks dude!
Dan, on the experience:
Here's a tip for Stephen Malkmus or any other musicians who are considering holding a meet and greet in an ice cream shop on the coldest day of the year: First, you should probably either give away something warmer like hot chocolate or cocoa or do it in the summer. One or the other. But no winter ice cream.
Second, the store should probably be larger than the box a refrigerator comes in, which is roughly how large Momofuku is. But fortunately, my greatest fear of having to line up outside did not come true as there were only about 20 people and one baby there. With the exception of the baby, everyone looked the same — early 30s dudes who seem like they spend a lot of time in record stores, standing around waiting to get their Slanted and Enchanted LPs or other Pavement memorabilia signed. I didn't even notice when Malkmus walked in because he bears a striking resemblance to every single one of his fans. There's a very fine like between Malkmus fan and actual Malkmus. As for Malkmus, he was, as advertised, kind of a dick. He hung around for 20 minutes, took some photos, and left, never once leaving his position leaned up against a wall, shrugging.
Kim, on the ice cream:
Cinnamon is one of my favorite flavors because it makes me think of the holidays when people are happy and spend evenings cuddling, so I knew I would like this element of the ice cream. I had an idea of what the lesbian part of the ice cream would taste like, obviously, I’m a girl. Turns out I was wrong. According to Malkmus and his flavor-makers, lesbians taste like roses and incense, which is a total bummer because this combo made me want to barf. Total Turkish delight vibes. I couldn’t finish it. Dan however, ate it all up.
Dan, on the ice cream:
First of all, this ice cream was not free? Are you kidding me? I guess, now that I think about it, they never said it was free. But still, I just assumed that if you invite people to your store for ice cream when it's ass-cold out, the least you could do it is give them a free scoop. The name of the flavor is "cinnamon and lesbians" so I guess I was expecting a hearty mix of Cinnabon and women's softball. But apparently, according to this ice cream, lesbians taste a lot like regular ice cream that rolled around on the floor of a flower shop. I asked the guy working there and he told me the ingredients were cinnamon, rose water, and smoke, which explains why it had that hint of sitting in a hippie's incense-filled apartment all day.