3 Good Things: Ice cream memories, hooved horticulturalists and the LGBTQ Ozarks

(Karlotta Freier / For The Times)

number one

That magical jingle

Amy McNally, a fiddler in Wisconsin, asked on Twitter last week: “Who needs a quick wholesome story break?” The answer, of course, is that we all do. Here goes: “I grew up in the middle of nowhere, Ohio. My house was in the center of a bunch of neighboring cornfields. We didn’t get girl scouts, encyclopedia salesfolks, knife sharpening, or proselytizers.”


In the city where McNally now lives, ice cream trucks haven’t been driving around lately. Turns out gas prices are so high that it doesn’t pay to cruise anymore, but some companies will send the trucks out to events. Well, our hero booked one for her birthday last month and treated the kids in her neighborhood to unexpected ice cream. (She herself had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle popsicle with bubble gum eyes.) McNally’s story went viral, and I called her up to get her thoughts on why. “I think it’s maybe a little bit of nostalgia,” she said last week. “Nostalgia for things like full-service gas stations and doctors who make house calls and bookstores and reference sections in libraries. We’re losing a lot of things, but we haven’t lost the ice cream truck.”

number two

Send in the goats

Spain can keep its bulls; the “running of the goats” looks a lot more fun. The Riverside Park Conservancy in New York City has made it a tradition to bring goats to the city to help control invasive plants that grow in hard-to-reach areas of the sloping park. They’ll roam between 119th Street and 122nd Street all summer before returning to their home at a local farm.

number three

Must be something in the water

How many gayborhoods can you name? There’s West Hollywood, Chelsea, the Castro, Boystown … and Eureka Springs, Ark. You read that right. This little former spa town in the Ozarks is a draw for LGBTQ travelers, and apparently it’s the sort of vacation spot where people say, “You know what? I’m staying.” The town has been famous for decades for an almost unbelievable embrace of diversity, as conservative Christians live alongside drag queens. Perhaps in “the Bible Belt’s LGBTQ oasis,” they’ve figured out some secret the rest of the country needs to learn.

And one more ...

“Only Murders in the Building” is back! The first season of this Hulu series was a delight last year, following the adventures of three neighbors who make a true-crime podcast. (The real building is interesting in its own right.) My sole thought before starting the series was a nagging sense that the word “only” was misplaced in the title. But it only took only one episode to show that Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez were living their best quirky lives and inviting us along. The first two episodes of Season 2 came out last week, and the third is streaming now. Enjoy.


A weekly feature aiming to provide some relief from doomscrolling.

May 6, 2022