I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream!
Join us for our 9th annual China Ice Cream for Breakfast Day Party
at Asia’s largest Typewriter Museum
248 Wuxing Lu near Jiangguo Xi Lu
When an invitation like this arrives, how can you possibly resist? Who wouldn’t want to visit Asia’s largest typewriter museum and eat icecream at a time of day when it’s normally considered way too indulgent to do so??
Definitely on the list of quirky things to do on a sunny Sunday morning in downtown Shanghai, yesterday morning we parked our bicycles outside the Old York Art Space on Wuxing Lu and headed inside.
The now world-famous Eat Icecream for Breakfast Day was invented in 1966 by an American woman, Florence Rappaport, who reportedly invented it as a way of keeping her two youngest children, Ruth and Joe, happy during the long winter months. The celebration caught the imagination of ice-cream-loving people the world over and this year was celebrated in places as far-flung as New York, Jerusalem, Bolivia and Beijing.
Florence Rappaport’s grand-daughter just happens to be my friend Rebecca, who established the Chinese chapter of the celebration along with her husband Liu Zhen some years ago. Yesterday around a hundred of their friends crowded into the Typewriter Museum with bowls and spoons at the ready for a morning of total unbridled ice cream enjoyment!
Given that this was Shanghai, the icecream flavours included green tea ripple as well as vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, and the toppings were nothing short of spectacular – bourbon cherries, choc chips, strawberries, caramel popcorn and fifty kinds of sprinkles. I whipped up a quick batch of hazelnut praline (as you do when you’re up with the sparrows on a Sunday morning) as our contribution. But there were a few unexpected oddities too – black bean sauce, curry powder, sichuan pepper and Chinese five spice for those with less conventional palates.
I tried a brilliant combination at Rebecca’s suggestion – vanilla ice cream, banana slices, a sprinkle of five spice powder, and a drizzle of rich chocolate sauce. Fabulous!
By the look of the many happy and slightly messy faces around me, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day was an unqualified success for all the kids (both small and large) in the room.
On my way out I stopped downstairs to look at the beautiful, magical old typewriters in Asia’s largest typewriter museum. They have quite an impressive selection, but arguments inevitably erupted over whether Seoul or even Tokyo’s typewriter museums were larger (do they even have typewriter museums? I’m skeptical on this count).
The museum also houses a cafe with the coolest tables doubling as glass typewriter display cases. This must be one of Shanghai’s best kept secrets! You can visit on any regular non ice cream day, sip coffee and imagine the tickity-tickity-tap-tap-ker-zhing! of an old-fashioned typewriter. Beats the dull old tap-tap-tap-tap-tap of a Macbook anyday……
Thanks to Rebecca and Liu Zhen for a wonderful day!
The Shanghai Typewriter Museum
Asia’s Largest, I believe.
Old York Art Space, 248 Wuxing Lu near Jiangguo Xi Lu